The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Underground Farm: Michel Roux Jr. Reveals Plans to Supply London With Fresh Produce
One hundred feet below the streets of London, a 2.5-acre farm will soon sell fresh veggies grown on a not-so-traditional farm.
Dubbing it a "food revolution" underneath your feet, Zero Carbon Food owners Richard Ballard and Steven Dring have teamed up with two-star Michelin chef Michel Roux Jr. to open their Growing Underground farm later this year. Located under the Northern Line near Clapham North tube station, the Growing Underground will offer leafy greens, micro-greens and herbs grown using LED lights and a hydroponics system.
“When I first met these guys I thought they were absolutely crazy,” said Roux, who operates Le Gavroche in London and has appeared on Hell's Kitchen and other shows.
“But when I visited the tunnels and sampled the delicious produce they are already growing down there I was blown away. The market for this produce is huge.”
The team has conducted trials for the last 18 months for the farm that will be carbon neutral, according to a news release. The 100 feet of Earth above the tunnels are expected to keep temperatures around 16 degrees centigrade all year while consuming minimal energy. The company would get any energy needs from green suppliers. Zero Carbon Food says its system uses about 70 percent less water than open-field farms.
"Integrating farming into the urban environment makes a huge amount of sense and we’re delighted that we’re going to make it a reality,” Ballard said.
Ballard and Dring will sell their produce to area markets, restaurants and wholesalers. One confirmed customer is the nearby New Covent Garden Market. The first Growing Underground produce will be available at restaurants and shops by late summer.
The first crops will include pea shoots, broccoli, garlic chives, mustard leaves, radish, coriander and Thai basil. Growing Underground will also grow and sell edible flowers and miniature vegetables. Stage-two crops will include heritage tomato varieties and mushrooms.
“There is no ‘could’, ‘might’ or ‘maybe’ about our underground farm," Ballard said. "We will be up and running and will be supplying produce later this year."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."