However the above is based only on my intuition and personal experience, I would like to see some studies about that, does anyone know of any?
One disadvantage of aquaponics seems to be that, if you ever happen to scale up and start selling some of your produce, in some countries you can't sell it as organic - because there tends to be a requirement, across several countries, that you grow your crops in-soil for organic certification (Australia, where I live, is one of those countries, IIRC this is also the case in the EU).
To me this feels a bit unfair because typically in aquaponics you won't use many chemicals if any (either for the reasons mentioned above, or because the chemicals would harm your fish), so I think it would appeal the same type of people who buy organic food.
 I grew up on a medium-sized farm and as an adult I've got some limited experience in aquaponics, as a hobbyist.
It, indeed, cannot be certified as organic. However some found ways, such as selling (or even creating) to high-end restaurants.
Pertinent (with labour) studies:
Personal experience: string interest since 2009, created then maintained many micro to very-small scale experimental systems.
I'm quite astonished to not see more of such projects here, as there an elegant, efficient and interesting cross between aquaponics (and even hydroponics) and IT, as automation is key when it comes to lower labor costs and various risks. The whole domain (high-end food) is economically booming. Launching an experimental project isn't difficult nor expensive, and scaling up is possible. It comes as a fair mix of abstract-and-applied and also buy-or-build challenges, of work to do on a desk and also in the field... It also enables (partially) remote maintenance and expert-diagnostic. All this without any real philosophical tension (no user to lure or to spy on!). One may even avoid killing fishes, for example by raising ornamental species.
Last but not least such a project is satisfying because you design, create, maintain... you see it running, instead of working on a component of a component (...) of some huge abstract org.
We'd do better with large-scale reforms like stop paying farmers to grow food that goes to waste or encouraging more meat consumption (meat is pound for pound more efficient at energy storage for humans, and allows the conversion of faster-growing native species into actual food, if we did it right).
Citation definitely needed here. Meat is an extremely inefficient vehicle for getting calories into humans.
The other side of the equation is it takes way more energy per calorie to produce.
400 pounds of Cashew nuts? Man that's a lot of trees. Not to mention the other nutrients in beef. A piece of beef contains everything a human needs to live. You could just eat beef and you'd probably not be great, but have all your nutritional requirements met. Cashew nuts... no.
According to https://www.quora.com/How-much-fruits-and-nuts-does-one-Cash..., to produce 500 pounds of Cashews, you need 2.47 acres. Now compare this to a pig, which, if you slaughter it at around 270lbs, yields about 154 pounds of meat. That means 3-4 pigs will give you enough meat as 2.47 acres of cashews, and pigs eat everything. Pigs can be kept with about 8 sq ft per pig: https://familyfarmlivestock.com/how-much-space-do-i-need-to-...
Beef is definitely less efficient as a form of meat. It's also not the only form of meat. If you had a few acres to grow things, you should grow some vegetables and a whole lot of forage for your pigs, which will constitute the base of your diet.
You'd get scurvy, just for starters. Not to mention what a job a complete lack of fiber would do on your digestive system.
The idea that oil seed is more efficient than meat is funny, and really shows how the vegetarian-industrial complex has gaslighted the world. Oil seeds are incredibly inefficient, extremely environmentally harmful, and incredibly resource intensive. Not to mention a good portion of modern oil seed relies on petrochemicals to extract the oil...
In terms of calorie density, tubers like Potatos, Sweet Potato, Yam, Cassava, etc, are better calorie stores on microfarms. You're not going to grow enough grain on an acre to feed anyone.
I had to laugh at "vegetarian-industrial complex" :D.
and though it's unlikely to make any difference in the farming calculus, south LA is underserved by fresh grocery, so this seems a nice little intersection of empowerment and quality of life improvement in regards to that problem.
edit: also, greywater in this case is usually captured from rainfall, not recycled from sewage, like you might be thinking.
Contaminated crops usually uptake the pathogens from their water intake rather than from "dirty handling" and given it's within the produce itself, you cannot "wash it off". Cooking solves the issue, of course, but not all produce gets cooked.
Your going to have a bad time when you find out what most organic fertilizer comes from.
I agree crop subsidies are mismanaged and often way more is spent on crops that don't need subsidization, but without crop subsidization at all you end up with price shocks in the food market and potentially/inevitably shortages and famines.
For the meat (not saying you should consume a meat based diet but rather one that's mostly plants that properly incorporates meat as necessary... i.e., a traditional diet): https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-015-9577-y .
Also, as an aside, if you don't want to turn veggie farming into mining with some extra steps, you need to raise animals that you can grind up into fertilizer. Otherwise, you have to mine petrochemicals or bat poop, which is extremely bad for the environment.
Additionally, the study is using the USDA guidelines in their model scenarios. Those guidelines are heavily influenced by food lobbyists and are not entirely in line with what sustainability advocates have been pushing. For example, the emissions assumptions made in that paper are assuming that the replacement calories are coming from our "traditional" food system and they are not modeling in any increase in local production. i.e. replacing a chicken breast from Iowa with a bag of Apples from Chile might indeed be a net negative in terms of emissions. But that is not what food advocates are pushing for. It is more like: replace a steak with a head of broccoli from your local CSA. That would likely be very net positive in terms of emissions.
Except the brocolli is less nutritious and less caloric than the steak. 8oz of steak is more calorie dense and is a form of complete nutrition, whereas a head of brocolli gives you a very tiny amount of calories, some fiber, and a lot of vitamin C. It's missing vital nutrition. Growing enough brocolli to make up for the missing calories is quite environmentally taxing, and consuming enough brocolli to make up for the steak would be sickening.
You linked to a study that critiques USDA guidelines, which has nothing to do with the changes that sustainability advocates are pushing for. And now you are picking apart a short internet comment analogy to try to make the case that beef consumption is a good thing. The fact is, beef is one of the highest emissions foods per calorie that a person can eat. Until you directly address that argument, you should stop "encouraging more meat consumption" (from your top comment).
Basically the answer is a long growing season: getting 3 rounds of crops out of the same field each season, and keeping the dirt rich by collecting everyone's "night buckets" and preparing the hu-manure to turn nutrients back into the soil.
My impression is that growing produce and composting organic matter can produce more calories per acre than industrial farming methods, but the cost is labor, selling vegetables is only profitable with the petro-fertilizer methods.
Is the article asserting that they can feed the world this way? Also the word climate didn't appear in the article either but I might have forgotten in the few hours since I read it. I saw the story more as a calorie supplement like a victory garden in WW2.
I garden in a small space like the article quite a bit as well and find that worm compost from cooking scraps is sufficient for keeping my soil healthy without specially purchased fertilizer. I imagine most households have quite a bit of organic waste products produced from groceries and could support a modest garden in their yards too.
Your home garden is not intensively cultivated the way most farmland is.
Yes, more people should garden. No one should think it's the end-all answer to our food problems, or even that it's going to make a huge difference. Still good to know where your food came from and some stuff tastes better.
I think the defining characteristic here is the presence of a large population of lower income and lower car ownership (hence distance to a good grocery store being a greater difficulty).
As far as subsidizing a local grocer, perhaps that’s a good idea, but I suspect that if the real problem is serving car-less urbanites then we don’t just need one big grocery store, but rather a number of smaller markets spread through the area so that it’s never a burdensome walk to get fresh food. This is how grocers used to operate. However, small grocery stores don’t have the same economics of mega stores, and inevitably charge more than supermarkets as a result.
It’s not obvious to me that there’s a good way to define a subsidy such that walkable neighborhood markets can offer mega store prices - but only in low income neighborhoods that need the support.
On the other hand, something like community markets and micro farms - if they’re run and organized by the people who live in the neighborhood - seem like a very positive development, since they are empowering people to save money / make some extra utilizing the resources they have and keeping the work and value creation inside their own neighborhood.
Another strategy they use to fudge the data is not counting grocery stores that are not 'traditional'. For example, this map (http://www.povertyusa.org/stories/homelessness-food-deserts-...) has a food desert in Pico Rivera that contains a Food 4 Less.
Around here you can get significant staples from the gas station, and not at bad prices either.
This methodology doesn't lead to the conclusions you're trying to find. It's not valid.
Assume that most people who aren't cooking meals at home from basic staples behave the way they do not because they can't find the staples but because they don't want them. What would your study find? What would it conclude?
All that said, it is certainly true that Los Angeles Hispanics eat large amounts of home-cooked meals.
A lot of education is needed to educate people on food choices once more options become available. Just because we ate that food before doesn’t mean we have to keep eating it, especially in a much lower calorie lifestyle.
What we need is to fix corrupt local governments that prohibit the supply of new real estate via redevelopment and densification. Having lived in Houston for a while, I saw first-hand how different things are when there’s a robust competitive market with new supply constantly added to (mostly) keep up with demand. If you do a poor job as a landlord you’ll go out of business fast.
Anti-trust, anti-monopoly reform is what we need most, and no more regulatory capture. Perhaps compared with more efficient redistributive measures like the negative income tax or land value tax.
home values, for instance, can appreciate in value without (economic) rents, they'd just need to become more desirable in other ways, like making improvements (we need to drastically reduce code and zoning restrictions, and review, permitting, and legal delays to allow this in economically efficient ways).
i'm absolutely in agreement about anti-trust/anti-monopoly enforcement/reform though.
The idea that were all on this team together trying to find solutions is naive, you need to do what's best for yourself and your family
The smart people are leaving, of course if you want to stay in LA and struggle your entire life you're free to
My ancestors migrated from other parts of the US to California. If you want to survive you need to move.
Easy I suppose if you've not had to do that too many times yourself.
Edit: It would take me longer to drive there if you include parking and everything.
I carried a medium-sized rucksack and went shopping more regularly.
Obviously not quite as easy for an old age pensioner or people that might also have issues walking with a heavy bag, but the vast majority of people do not fall into that category.
Nowadays I get my big shopping delivered, but still sometimes walk (to the now closer shop) with rucksack. For the further afield discount alcohol shop I often bike there, again with rucksack and/or side bags.
That's trivial; I do that much to get to the bus stop to commute to work daily in the US.
garage -> microfactory
trailer park -> tiny house village
gruel -> soylent
I'm not sure if there's a word for this other than "marketing", but it's an interesting phenomenon I've been noticing lately. Just re-label something old and it sells better.
See also: the McDonald's celebrity meals, it's the same chicken nuggets or hamburgers they've been selling for decades, but call it the "____ Meal" and get a million new customers.
A garage is where you park your car. A microfactory is where you build goods that you sell. Quite a few famous companies started in garages of course.
Trailer parks are where trailer trash live in old and broken trailers. People with limited means may choose to live in a place that doesn't suck that just happens to be small.
And so on. It's not just relabeling. It's actually doing things better/differently with modern means and technology. I follow quite a few people on youtube into things like farming, making, cooking/baking. It's a thing this century. People with good educations busying themselves in the small with reinventing humble things like farming, baking, etc. and making a living out of that. It's not just marketing. I was born in the seventies and find this fascinating.
These people are choosing to do these things instead of being wage slaves in some corporate hell hole and are making it work with modern technology, hard work, and creative use of resources.
I agree Soylent is weird though. I guess if you hate food and life in general, that would be acceptable as a way to survive. Otherwise, you might get a bit of joy out of eating or making some genuinely nice food. It's not that hard.
People keep their tools in their garage and that's where they make stuff, like the local wooden toymaker here. It's his "microfactory" and he has 50+ (articulated, stained-in-multiple-colors, interesting and varied in type) on display every weekend for sale, quantity enough to justify the haughty "factory" label for his garage, I'd say.
MANY retirees live in rather nice, well-maintained trailer parks, the only difference between their trailer park and a tiny house village is the exterior cladding. Theirs might even cost more.
Don't buy the hype. These things aren't actually different.
However, I don't think your second point really stands up when considering 'kinds' and classification of things.
jillesvangurp's response was that "micro-whatevers" are a profitized subset of the original definitions (e.g., they are saying a 'microfarm' is a profit-driven subset of 'home vegetable gardens'. You then say that people can and do make money from their gardens, thus arguing that microfarms are not a thing?
The existence of profitable home vegetable gardens does not mean that they are not microfarm's in jillesvangurp's definition.
| For that, subscribers get a 3-pound mix of greens and vegetables every week.
$43 a month gets you 12 pounds a month with delivery which comes to $3.58 a pound ($3 without delivery).
Depending on the vegetables that's a great price.