Farm Fresh
Grocers are introducing inventive new ways to offer fresh produce
Life / 23 Nov 2011
Even with the ascendant appeal of locally grown organic food, many people live in areas that lack the abundance of fresh goods they crave and are thus forced to default to less nutritious options. Fortunately, in response to the mounting demand for better accessibility, convenience stores, restaurants and markets are finding new ways to bring farm fresh food to anyone, anywhere.
Stockbox Grocers: From its outside appearance, Stockbox may look like any unassuming shipping container but, after stepping inside, shoppers will discover a miniature grocer packed with fresh fruits, vegetables and dry goods. The mobile market was conceived as a solution for “food deserts,” those densely populated, often low-income, neighborhoods that lack pedestrian access to healthy, affordable food. Delridge, Seattle is home to Stockbox’s first location, where more than 300 essential grocery items are available in just 160 square feet of space. With the help of Kickstarter funding, Stockbox hopes to expand into dozens of locations around the country, enabling everyone to have access to food that makes them feel good.
FARM:shop: With chickens on the roof, pigs roaming the yard, and mushrooms growing in the basement, FARM:shop’s environs are a dramatic departure from the typical café. More than just a place to grab a sandwich, Farm:shop is an experiment in food cultivation within a constrained urban environment whose goal is to grow the maximum amount of food in the most efficient way possible. The London-based project was launched by eco-social design group Something & Son. Every inch of the space is built for agriculture, be it a fish tank of tilapia that fertilizes the lettuce, or an outdoor greenhouse planted with tomatoes, peppers, herbs and greenery.
BrightFarms: Solar panels are one way for grocery stores to optimize their otherwise unused rooftops and reduce their carbon footprint, but BrightFarms has another idea: hydroponic greenhouses. Often, the high cost of organic produce is fueled by cross-continent shipping and distribution. And, with a lengthy supply chain that involves sitting in a refrigerated truck for days, fruits and vegetables tend to wilt soon after purchase. But BrightFarm works with supermarkets to design, finance, build, and operate onsite greenhouses so that shoppers can always buy hyper-local greens from the source. To date, ten grocery store chains have hired BrightFarms, with three more expected in 2012.
©The Intelligence Group