Chances are you have probably consumed some produce that has been hydroponically grown. Instead of drawing water and nutrients from the soil, the hydroponic produce is grown with the roots submerged in nutrient-fortified water.
The benefits of hydroponics are extensive. Hydroponic farming allows large amounts of produce to be grown on a small piece of land. Additionally, hydroponic operations use water recycling systems, which can reduce water usage. It is estimated that 90% less water is used than traditional farming. Traditional farming uses a lot of land and water plus is limited by geography and weather. Hydroponics allow urban areas or places like Alaska to have access to fresh produce.
Another benefit of hydroponics is the indoor aspect. Traditional farms may experience storms, heat waves, and unexpected freezes which can be costly due to crop loss. Hydroponics are in a controlled environment which limits the loss of crop due to weather. Plus farmers are able to control the conditions and produce better produce. Hydroponics is also less susceptible to weeds, insects, and pests. This allows a lot of the produce to be grown without pesticides, and many of the farmers are looking into organic certification.
Due to the number of benefits hydroponics have been growing quickly. Many traditional farmers have been switching to this technology. But not all plants work in the hydroponic system. Some of the best produce to grow include lettuce, leafy greens, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries.
Now you may be wondering are there any nutritional benefits of hydroponic produce? Comparing the nutritional content of hydroponics to soil grown produce is not easy. Plus research comparing the two is very limited at this time. What we do know is that nutritional content can vary depending on nutrients added to the soil or growing medium. The variety, degree of ripeness when harvested and storage period after harvest can all affect the nutritional content of the produce.
Keep your eye out for produce that has been grown hydroponically. You may find the produce has better flavor and know you know about the environmental benefits of this type of farming.