I would argue yes; urban vertical farms can be grown virtually everywhere- homes, schools, restaurants, even on the top of city busses![img_assist|nid=199474|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=250|height=187]
The issue of obsesity rises for a variety of reasons, one being that there simply is ‘not enough time’ to prepare a meal for those that have a busy schedule (and let’s face it, that’s most of us). In this case, the idea of a quick and easy but not necessarily healthy $5 meal from say a Wendys or McDonalds then suddently appears the appealing choice.However, because urban vertical farming would allow fresh fruits and vegetables to be available for immediate consuption or cooking, the liklihood of an individual to pick the healthier alternative increases.
There is also the issue of low-income communites that currently cannot afford a grocery store and so must depend on their convenience stores and fast food restaurants for the low-quality processed foods that promote obesity. Because urban vertical farming is a cheaper and far more economically feasible alternative to the grocery store, the mere availability of fruits and vegetables would reduce obesity rates.
I like daisiesanddaydream’s answer, but I have some things to add.
First, I’m less certain that vertical farms, once widespread, would have a direct effect on obesity rates. I know that obesity is caused by a hodgepodge of factors, and simply having a more healthy, locally grown food supply does not guarantee that people will eat it. I know a lot of the causes of obesity have to do with lifestyle choices: eating excessive fast food, no exercize, etc.
But hopefully it would at least have a slightly positive effect on chronic obesity. As cities begin to embrace their role as a food production centers, I think there will be a gradual shift in attitude on the part of the denizens. They’ll start to be more aware of healthy food options, and as a result, they’ll presumably eat at least slightly healthier. A big part of fast food’s dominance is the proliferation of iconic brands. I think vertical farms have as much potential in the iconic brand category as any fast food giant, so I think vertical farms, once realized, will draw massive numbers of consumers, which would mean less likelihood of obesity. But we’ll see.
Couldn’t hurt, if it will make fruit and vegetables more accessible to inner-city population then it could make a difference.
Yeah, i don’t think it could hurt. It may even help because as was previously mentioned, grocery stores, mainly organic groceries, are not common in the lower-income communities where obesity is becoming an even bigger problem.
However, we are operating under the assumption these families KNOW they should be eating fruits and vegetables and laying off the fast food. If you’re raised in a family where your parents eat KFC or McDonalds on a daily basis, evening making produce more accessible isn’t going to ensure that they eat it. Especially when junk food is so addictive and these companies are targeting these lower-income families. Just the other day, I saw a Nestle poster at my nearest bodega (i live next to the projects in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn), that read “Happiness everyone can afford.”
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