Hydroponic Produce in the Grocery Stores
What is hydroponic? Hydroponic produce are fruits and vegetables that aren’t grown in the soil outside, instead they are grown in water inside shelter. The water is fortified with all of the nutrients needed to help the plants grow. Strawberries, leafy greens, herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers can all be grown hydroponically.
There are many benefits to this new method of growing produce. Since the plants are grown inside, farmers have more control over their environment. Farmers are now able to avoid losing their crops or land if there is a drought or a heavy snow storm. Another benefit of growing produce hydroponically is that it allows the farmers to be closer to more populated areas as they need less land to grow their produce. Less transportation time is needed when produce is grown locally, therefore, it reaches the consumer in a fresher state.
Unfortunately, there are also potential disadvantages that growers and consumers should take into consideration. The cost of running the water and electricity needed for production may be higher, resulting in prices comparable to organic pricing.
Continued research and debate will be needed to identify the nutritional effects and classification of the hydroponic plants. Since the indoor plants do not need to use pesticides or herbicides, the USDA has recently ruled that hydroponic plants can be labeled as organic if they meet the requirements. For more information on USDA regulations please click here.