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Can a Tableful of Food be Produced Economically in an Urban Environment?


Can a Tableful of Food be Produced Economically in an Urban Environment?

The reality has always been that it takes land to grow crops…no matter the type of crop. People need certain nutrients (protein, carbohydrate, roughage, and others) to thrive and all come from crops that are presently grown on arable land. The problem is that as the population increases, the amount of land available for crop production decreases. But, more people also mean the need to produce more food. It is a circular problem and it requires a solution.

Since land is needed to grow crops, it has been difficult to produce what is needed in urban areas. According to United Nations estimates 66% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050. These people will need a means of producing some of their own food because more arable land will be used for housing.

Aquaponics is among the possible solutions to this problem.


The term is the portmanteau of “aquaculture” and “hydroponics”. Fish snails and various types of crustaceans have been farmed and harvested for many years. A farmer builds a small pond, introduces the animals and induces growth with proper nutrition. The ponds are naturally aerated and waste is disposed of via runoff. Hydroponics is a means of using water as a growth medium for plants rather than soil. When the two are combined, the waste products of the fish become plant food (with a little help from naturally occurring bacteria) and the plants serve to help aerate and filter water that is recirculated to the fish.

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