One unique farm in New Jersey is taking a new approach: using A.I. to grow produce.

How willing would you be to consume produce grown in a lab? Produce grown in this lab contain zero pesticides, use 95% less water than traditional agriculture and is 100x more productive on the same footprint of land as traditional farming. Oh, and it might be the freshest produce to hit the shelves.

Founded in 2015 by Irving Fain, Bowery Farming is “the world’s first post-organic produce” and has roots in several Whole Foods Markets and restaurants in the New York Metro area. Bowery grows their crops in a warehouse that sources ideal seeds from partners that don’t use GMOs.

The seeds are planted in vertical rows and grown in ideal conditions indoors all year round, substituting LED lights for sunlight. Precision farming (cost-effective controllers and monitors that use data system analysis) oversees the growing process. By using these techniques, waste is eliminated and “eyeball” farming becomes a thing of the past.

The crop cycle is significantly more efficient than traditional approaches; the more crops grown, the more data collected to optimize the process. This process uses 95% less water than conventional methods and delivers the highest quality nutrients through purified water.

Analytics allows Bowery to harvest crops the exact moment they are ready. After harvesting and packaging, the produce is sent to the stores and restaurants the same day. Proximity is key. Most produce can take up to several weeks to reach grocery stores. Bowery is located within a certain distance from the businesses they serve, creating a timely delivery process.

By monitoring the growing process and analyzing data along the way, more produce can be grown and more people can be fed. Not to mention fewer resources are used, saving time and energy.

Some argue that A.I. is taking jobs; others just think it’s unorthodox, but with 70% of the world’s water supply going to agriculture and 11% of the world population struggling with access to food, we need a solution.

Food for Thought: Is this a solution for feeding the future?

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