Posts Tagged ‘Nachhaltiger Anbau’

What’s hot in 2010: sustainability, local sourcing and nutrition.

The US restaurant industry certainly is a powerful innovator when it comes to new concepts and trends. Think of fastfood, fast casual and so forth that have revolutionized the way we eat around the world – often, arguably, not for the better of humankind. The below survey published here reveals the latest trends for 2010 that dramatically reverse what the US restaurant industry did in the last 30 years: sustainably produced food, locally sourced ingredients, and a better eye at the nutritional values of our meals are the hot items of the future.

I am thinking that these restaurants trends are just as valid for Europe. And I will bet you that these trends, like fast food in the past, are here to stay, because they are increasingly relevant for our wellbeing. We all want to eat more organic, more locally sourced (because it is more ecological, more intimate, less global and more transparent) and we would like to eat healthy food. This is a global need. What better than fruit, vegetables and fish from an AquaFarm from a rooftop next to your house, in the city wherever you live?

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A promising start of a great collaboration…successful brainstorming meeting at the ZHAW

You shall not eat from the tree of wisdom...but its sooo good!!

Visiting Mr.Graber, R&D Project Manager at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Wädenswil, offers more than spectacular views. However,  the vista overlooking the lake Zurich from the ZHAW campus is in itself worth a visit.

The gorgeous view from the ZHAW onto lake Zurich

Yet, work was to be done in the lounge garden of his huge greenhouse research facility, adjacent to the university. Christian Bärtsch who accompanied me on this research trip agreed, and thankfully also took some pictures of the place here.

 We met today to discuss possible alleys of collaboration between AquaFarm and the ZHAW team of researchers and students at the department of Ecotechnology and Aquaculture. Indeed, Mr.Graber has been involved with the science behind the magic of Aquaponics for more than 10 years. See here for more information about their impressive track record of publications.

Immediately, Mr.Graber and us hit it off well with each other, and our meeting turned into an open brainstorming session of 3 hours. The opportunity for Mr.Graber to share his knowledge on our project and to facilitate a closer form of collaboration with the ZHAW is evidently a very important milestone for AquaFarm.

Vertical greenery at the lounge

Challenges and opportunities in developing a commercial-scale AquaFarm are myrriad: Particularly in the area of sustainable energy management solutions to support the concept from a sustainability and CO2 emission efficiency point of view, the critical scale of throughput of both fish and vegetables as well as the corresponding retail and distribution strategy (50 tons of annual fish filet supply, anybody?!), the issue of nutrient circulation and possible means of adding organic nutrients to support plant growth naturally, the choice between different fish species and their growth patterns as well as their social and breeding characteristics, etc, etc.  Overall, I believe that together we can form a powerful alliance to make this happen and I am very excited to move ahead.

Meanwhile, the vertically mounted plants meanwhile dripped along and the merry fish swam in the test installation next door in perfect peace and harmony. It just looks great here.

Friends in the Garden of Eve..

With Mr.Graber and his colleagues, Dmitri Pugovkin, a Russian-born Aquaculture expert, and Alex Mathis, the Swiss hydroponic specialist, we agreed to work together on both the AquaFarm business plan and the execution, as well as moving ahead with our search for strategic and industrial partners.

To finish off for today, some final bizarre learnings about fish: Firstly, fish can apparently be conditioned not to swim against the wall and hit their heads against it, which is evidently a life skills…secondly, that fish are apparently “more happy and relaxed” when the water has been sourced from the hydroponic garden where the water has been cleared by the vegetables instead of a filtered solution without any plants involved  (this may need to be validated with some more research I believe :-)..…thirdly,  that fish really like their privacy and hate ignorant human spectators eyeing their every move in the water. – Talk about soulful & intelligent animals, those fish…

“Bio für alle” – Kommentar auf den heutigen Artikel auf nachhaltigkeit.org

Ein heute erschienener Artikel auf nachhaltigkeit.org mit der Direktionsleitung für Nachhaltigkeit und Qualität bei COOP Schweiz zeigt die Komplexität im Bereich der Biolabels sowie der gegenwärtigen Entwicklung im Biomarkt.

Der Artikel verdeutlicht aber auch die eindeutigen Stärken von AquaFarm  gegenüber traditionellen Anbaumethoden.

Aus Sicht von AquaFarm besonders interessant ist die Aussage, dass nachhaltige Fischzucht sowie die effiziente Ressource Wasser oberste Priorität bei der Entwicklung von neuen Biostandards haben sollte:

Welche drei Prioritäten würden Sie setzen?

Sibyl Anwander Phan-Huy: Eine nachhaltige Fischwirtschaft ist dringend. Wird wie bisher weitergearbeitet, so sind in spätestens 20 Jahren unsere Meere und Seen leergefischt. Wassermanagement ist ebenso ein grosses Thema – Wasser ist heute schon knapper als Erdöl; eine Alternative dazu gibt es nicht wirklich und Wasser ist zentral für die Produktion von Nahrungsmittel für eine wachsende Weltbevölkerung. (…)

AquaFarm bietet für beide Prioritäten eine optimale Lösung!

  1. So wird durch die effiziente Koppelung einer ökologischen Fischzucht ohne  Abwasser dem ersten Punkt voll Rechnung getragen. 
  2. Mit einer  Einsparung des Wasserverbrauchs der Hydrokultur von 90% ggü. traditioneller bodenbasierten Anbaumethoden werden im AquaFarm Gemüsegarten nicht nur Wasserresourcen sparsamer eingesetzt, sondern vitale Ressourcen wie Pflanzennährstoffe viel effizenter rezykliert.

Ich hoffe, es gibt weitere Manager im Detailhandel & Retail, welche die Vorteile eines geschlossenen Systems wie AquaFarm erkennen dürften. – Die Zukunft für AquaFarm hat begonnen!