Our food is going up in smoke. Not in the literal sense, but with the current population growth and our limited resources in terms of agriculture, it won’t be long before we start feeling the full effects of what decades of pollution and industry have done to our planet. We’re killing our planet and if we don’t come up with an alternative solution, the degradation will only amplify. Here at Michigan Aquaponics, we are challenging this by developing a sustainable alternative solution to farming and fisheries.
Agriculture and fisheries are highly dependent on the climate. We’re faced with an international crisis of rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels, which theoretically can increase some crop yields. But, without the proper nutrient levels, soil moisture, water availability, etc, these potential benefits could very well be detriments (“Climate Impacts on Agriculture and Food Supply”). Aquaponics could fix most of these problems - soil is unnecessary and it uses 90% less water than typical farming techniques (Water Usage in Recirculating Aquaculture/Aquaponic Systems). Unlike industrial farms, where excess water is mixed with contaminants like silt, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, aquaponics is 100% organic as nutrients are simply filtered between fish and plants within the system.
Climate change is a big deal. In 2010 and 2012, high nighttime temperatures affected corn yields across the U.S. Corn Belt, and premature budding due to a warm winter caused $220 million in losses of Michigan cherries in 2012 (“Climate Impacts on Agriculture and Food Supply”). Furthermore, the heat can cause drought and drier soils, leaving lasting damage to the future of our food supply. Bacteria and parasites can grow at a faster rate in warmer temperatures and lead to marine disease outbreaks and premature death among most marine life. Due to the effects global warming is exhibiting, our food supply is in jeopardy and future generations will starve if we don’t find an alternative sustainable process to grow our food.
It’s more imperative than ever that we seek solutions to these issues and one of those answers is aquaponics. As a pioneer of sustainable agriculture, aquaponics could be the future to maintaining our current food supply and help the environment by avoiding chemicals and waste. We can stop putting a huge strain on soil and water resources and avoid polluting our earth with pesticides and fertilizer. It’s a solution that benefits both the people and the world.
“Climate Impacts on Agriculture and Food Supply.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 6 Oct. 2016, 19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/climate-impacts/climate-impacts-agriculture-and-food-supply_.html.
“Water Usage in Recirculating Aquaculture/Aquaponic Systems.” Food & Water Watch, Aug. 2009.http://agrilife.org/fisheries/files/2013/10/Water-Usage-in-Recirculating-AquacultureAquaponic-Systems.pdf