We’ve all seen it increasing; demand for ethically and locally sourced food that consumers can brag to their friends about. There’s a marked difference between fresh food and things like candy, it must be said, as the popularity for American Candy and sweets and sodas prove that novelty and exclusivity come at a premium over almost everything else.
That being said, there’s something very interesting happening at the moment in inner-city areas where more affluent young consumers want more locally grown produce, but where space is at a premium.
They’re starting to find spaces that are otherwise useless and making them into urban farming spaces. Areas like old garages, car parks and factories are now being re-purposed to be able to grow fresh food, ingredients and produce.
Cities like London, Manchester, Bristol and other urban spreads are seeing increasing numbers of city farmers popping up.
In an article for The Guardian, Megan Clement took a tour around a facility in Paris where La Caverne has re-purposed 9,000 square metres within an old multi-storey car park to be able to grow fresh, ethically sourced produce to sell around the city, and business is booming.
Thanks in main to the fact that fewer people in cities than ever are driving cars these days (58% don’t drive in cities), car parks aren’t exactly in high demand, but urban areas to grow fresh food are.
In this particular example, the company grow endives and mushrooms underground, where the vegetables and fungi thrive in the environment, and Parisians are going nuts for it.
Saffa Riffat, the president of the World Society of Sustainable Energy Technologies, says that if the world is going to feed 9 billion people by 2050 agriculture will have to move underground. He was quoted in the Guardian as saying “With limited land, the only idea is to grow food underground and leave the land above for people, people are moving from the countryside to the city so there’s [fewer and fewer] farmers to grow food. So, we have to move the overall infrastructure of growing food from the countryside to cities,”
The future of candies and food
Could we start to see much more of these re-appropriated spaces in the future to help us to continue to grow food and ingredients more sustainably? The answer is almost certainly yes and there are already plans in the UK to start re-using abandoned mines as underground farms post-Brexit in order to make the UK more self-reliant for food.
With a mass of land and urban derelict property around, it’s hard to imagine that we won’t, in the near future, make the most of this opportunity and venture out into new spaces to help ourselves live more sustainably.