As I have mentioned before, I’m taking summer classes. Currently, I am taking a class called Food Production and Sustainability. Summer classes are 6 weeks long and we are cramming 16 weeks worth of information into 6 weeks.
Anyway, the class does seem pretty interesting. We learn the importance of food sustainability, whether it’s finding eco-friendly ways to growing plants to eating local. Eating foods grown locally in the area is a huge trend right now. Some concepts, like Farm to Fork, is popular. We also learn about the food service industry and management.
Anyway, for our class, we have a huge project at the end. We have to make about 100-200 “to-go” meals, depending how many orders we get. We have to create a menu, test it, and then see if it’s good. Then, we advertise and we get orders coming in ready for the end of the semester. What’s cool is that we will be growing some of our own herbs and plants.
At the school that I attend, Sac State, we have a program called STORC. I forgot what the acronym stands for. However, it’s based on finding eco-friendly ways to do things. For our class, we want to find a sustainable way to grow our herbs and plants. In our case, we are using something called aquaponics (hydroponics). I’ve never heard of it before until we toured the facility.
Aquaponics, in VERY SIMPLE TERMS, is basically growing plants with feces of aquatic animals. Here is the link to the wikipedia page on aquaponics. Basically, the water from the tank with the aquatic creatures excretions are in it, is moved to wear the bacteria can convert the ammonia from the excretions into nitrite into nitrate. Ammonia is toxic to plants but the bacteria “filter” it by converting it into nutrients that plants can use. The roots of the plants touch the water. It’s basically eco-friendly, as the water goes into cycles.
Here’s a picture of an aquaponics system my STORC has.
I’ll discuss more about the meal project later.
What’s your thoughts on food sustainability?