Are 3D Ocean Farms the Future of Food? What Students in Food Safety Programs Can LearnApril 18, 2017
Imagine a completely new way of growing food that doesn’t just have zero impact on the environment, but actually improves it. GreenWave, an innovative organization in New York, is looking to dramatically shift the way the world farms and produces food. The company’s CEO and Executive Director, Bren Smith, has been a commercial fisherman for all his life and believes ocean farming offers promising hope for a sustainable future.
Read on to learn more about 3D ocean farming and what it could mean for students in food safety programs.
3D Ocean Farming Explained for Students in a Food Safety Program
3D ocean farming may sound complicated, but the concept is quite simple. Attached to buoys floating on the surface of the ocean would be vertical columns that grow sugar kelp, clams, oysters, and scallops. Bren claims that in a 300 by 300 foot area, he could grow about 26 tons of kelp in just five months. Farming these species requires zero input, which means no harmful pesticides, antibiotics, or fertilizers would be required.
3D ocean farms could become a major economic driver. If 3D ocean farming catches on, food quality assurance and quality control professionals might see a wave of new jobs opening up in marine food safety regulation.
The Environmental Benefits of 3D Ocean Farms Explained for Students in a Food Safety Program
Farming on land takes up a lot of space. In fact, if you added together all of the world’s farmland, it would cover an area roughly the size of Canada and the United States. With the Earth’s growing population, more and more agricultural land will be needed in order to produce the amount of food necessary to feed the human race.
3D ocean farms offer an easy solution that will have a positive impact on the environment. Bren believes that ocean farms could produce enough food to feed the entire world, using a space the size of Washington State. That’s a lot smaller than the land currently used for food production!
In addition, kelp can absorb five times more carbon than plants on land. Because carbon is a major contributor to climate change, implementing widespread 3D ocean farms would not only improve the health of our oceans, but also the health of our entire planet.
Ocean areas that have dwindling sea life from over-fishing, acidic waters, and pollution could recover as sea farms naturally regulate the ocean and return it to its healthy state. Imagine a type of farming that actually increases the amount of natural life, instead of taking it away.
Health Benefits of 3D Ocean Farms Students in a Food Safety Program Should Know
Once you begin your food safety program, you’ll learn about proteins, vitamins, and the microbiology of food—all of which will help you understand the health benefits of 3D ocean farms. Kelp, which would be a major ocean farm crop, contains enormous amounts of protein and important supplements for a well-balanced diet. Bren claims that kelp contains more protein and iron than red meats and more calcium than milk. So, not only are 3D ocean farms good on paper, but they could actually support a healthy diet of leafy ocean greens and seafood with plenty of nutritional benefits!
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