From July to September there are lots of great, tasty local fruits and vegetables available throughout the country. However for the rest of the year it is not possible to cultivate crops such as lettuce. Now there is an alternative to having produce shipped in from other regions, sometimes over large distances.
This is a tried and tested method of growing plants in nutrient rich water. Some countries such as Israel have been cultivating crops for decades using hydroponics. The system uses only ten percent of the water used by regular farming and is normally carried out in a greenhouse. This means the people have access to fresh produce all year round despite the hot and arid conditions.
Researchers have carried out test on lettuce grown in different conditions to see whether people could tell the difference. One experiment asked subjects to rate organic, regular and hydroponic lettuce for taste, texture and appearance. The subjects did not notice much difference between the three types and said that they liked them all equally.
Buying hydroponic produce in Alaska has a number of advantages. Firstly, it is often cheaper than products from far away. This is because it is local and has not travelled long distances incurring high transport costs. This is also better for the environment as there is less vehicle pollution.
Local produce is fresher. It can be picked at the optimum time for taste and texture. If lettuce has travelled a long way it has often degraded and the flavor is impaired. There are also more nutrients in local produce as the nutrients in vegetables start to break down as soon as they are picked. It is important that people get sufficient nutrients from food for physical and mental well-being. Studies have shown that the levels of nutrients in food have been falling for decades and could be impacting health. These vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy bodies and may fight off serious illnesses such as cancer.
There is another way that hydroponic farming impacts health and that is because the method requires fewer chemicals to be used on the plants. It usually takes place in a greenhouse and so there are fewer pests and insects to contest with. The farmers use far less bug spray. They also do not need to put many chemical fertilizers on the crops as there is no water run-off. The nutrients come from natural additives in the water which the plants grow in.
There are lots of great reasons to buy fresh hydroponic lettuce in Alaska. It has a less negative impact on the environment and is healthier for individuals. Fresh, affordable lettuce is now available year round.
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