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Fujitsu Is Growing Radiation-Free Lettuce In Japan's Fukushima Prefecture

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the just-eat-it dept.

Earth 146

Taffykay (2047384) writes "Tech giant Fujitsu has opened an organic lettuce farm in Japan's Fukushima prefecture. Blending agriculture, technology, and medicine in a former microchip factory, the company has developed a new variety of organic lettuce that is not only lower in potassium and nitrates than standard varieties, but is also radiation-free."

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When will it be ready (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040151)

to put on MickeyD's burgers?

Re:When will it be ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040337)

The other Fukushima lettuce growers have that covered.

Sure! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040179)

They'll be saying something different when a 300 foot radioactive lettuce monster is attacking Tokyo....

Re:Sure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47041003)

They'll be saying something different when a 300 foot radioactive lettuce monster is attacking Tokyo....

Holy crap!!! thats some funny stuff

Re:Sure! (2)

JDeane (1402533) | about 5 months ago | (#47041785)

Biollante VS Godzilla?

Yeah... (5, Insightful)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | about 5 months ago | (#47040183)

Fukushima's a pretty big prefecture (13,782.54 km2/5,321.47 sq mi). It's ranked third by area [wikipedia.org] . I'm sure there's plenty of safe land there.

Re:Yeah... (2, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 5 months ago | (#47040197)

Yeah, and why would you want a lettuce low in potassium and nitrates anyway? You need those things to live!

People think Japan is basically 90% uninhabitable because of nuclear holocaust. I want to move out of the US to escape the stupidity.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040239)

I want to move out of the US to escape the stupidity.

Come to Canada, eh?

No wait... Dictator Harper is still in command.

Move along.

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040279)

What are you doing on slashdot? Shouldn't you be paying homage to Queen Victoria today by dressing up in leather and gluing random stressed gears together to make impossible builds?

Re:Yeah... (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 5 months ago | (#47040349)

Potassium yes, nitrates no.

Most people in developed countries eat way to much nitrates via sodium nitrate which is used as a preservative in things like hot dogs, sausages, beef jerky, ground beef (pink slime).

Re:Yeah... (3, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 5 months ago | (#47040461)

The study that originally connected nitrates with cancer risk and caused the scare in the first place has since been discredited after being subjected to a peer review. There have been major reviews of the scientific literature that found no link between nitrates or nitrites and human cancers, or even evidence to suggest that they may be carcinogenic. Further, recent research suggests that nitrates and nitrites may not only be harmless, they may be beneficial, especially for immunity and heart health.

Amusing stuff [chriskresser.com] . More nitrate from vegetables than from like 500 hotdogs. 90% of your nitrite exposure comes from internal manufacture.

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040611)

There have been major reviews of the scientific literature that found no link between nitrates or nitrites and human cancers, or even evidence to suggest that they may be carcinogenic. Further, recent research suggests that nitrates and nitrites may not only be harmless, they may be beneficial, especially for immunity and heart health.

Right, because it's an indirect link via nitrosamines. One think I know, John Galardi's death might be a warning to everyone.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 5 months ago | (#47040657)

very interesting, thanks for the link. imma go eat more beef jerky now, I love that stuff xD

Re:Yeah... (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | about 5 months ago | (#47041017)

Yet the EPA wants to warn me my well water is board line unsafe because of nitrates. So...... do I need to buy a system to remove nitrates or not??

Re:Yeah... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#47041163)

Yes, you concentrate them and convert it into nitroglycerin, just like any red blooded, paranoid - psychotic would do.

Thus the EPA feeds the ATF and the cycle of American life is complete!

Re:Yeah... (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 5 months ago | (#47041173)

I would imagine if you consumed 1000 times more nitrates than is considered safe in food, you may have issues. Toxicology is about dosage. Our river water is borderline unsafe because of sodium chloride.

Re:Yeah... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47041693)

It's the dose that makes the poison. - Paracelsus

If you have a problem with the current ppm, or the science they use to come to tat number, then state it and we can talk. idiotic statements that make it sound like you can't think about things in a complex way are beneath you.

http://water.epa.gov/drink/con... [epa.gov]

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47041337)

If you're sincere about your knowledge about nitrates, you might want to look a bit deeper than a paleo advocate. For starters, there are many different types of nitrates...if you compare the ones in veggies (or saliva) to the ones in meats, you might find there's a chemical difference, and then look into the effects that particular compound has. So yes, SOME nitrates have no connection to cancer. I doubt they've ruled out ALL nitrates.

That remind me of the glutamate scare (2)

aepervius (535155) | about 5 months ago | (#47042093)

People fearing MSG because it is everywhere. I tried to explain calmly, that glutamate as amino acid is something around 7% (IIRC) prevalence in protein, so unless you are eating no protein whatsoever , you will eat a lot of glutamate. Also the body internally itself produce 90% (IIRC) of the glutamate for protein creation. But no matter the argument , I could not convince the person that MSG is harmless especially considered the very low quantity.

Re:That remind me of the glutamate scare (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 5 months ago | (#47042433)

You sig tells me you're a genuine skeptic. :)

Re:Yeah... (4, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#47042505)

The study that originally connected nitrates with cancer risk and caused the scare in the first place has since been discredited after being subjected to a peer review. There have been major reviews of the scientific literature that found no link between nitrates or nitrites and human cancers, or even evidence to suggest that they may be carcinogenic.

That's because those studies were of nitrates, not the high-temperature products of cooking nitrate-laden organics like beef: as nitrosamines.

As I posted in another link above: nitrates themselves are known to be pretty benign. But there is plenty of good evidence over a period of decades that cooking nitrate-cured food (like hot dogs) produces nitrosamines that are well-known (and long studied) carcinogens.

Nitrates themselves are probably not much concern. In fact nitrates are known, often-prescribed vasodilators. (Know anybody who takes nitroglycerine for heart problems?)

As with so many other things, nitrates are not necessarily evil. It is what you do with them that counts.

Re:Yeah... (1)

laie_techie (883464) | about 5 months ago | (#47040469)

Potassium yes, nitrates no.

Most people in developed countries eat way to much nitrates via sodium nitrate which is used as a preservative in things like hot dogs, sausages, beef jerky, ground beef (pink slime).

Not all ground beef is pink slime [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Yeah... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040695)

Not all ground beef is pink slime

Think you can guarantee that not all pink slime is ground beef

Re: Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040835)

I've seen raw ground beef in colours of brown or green, but as a general rule it needs to be pink.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#47042449)

Potassium yes, nitrates no.

Not quite so fast. Nitrates on their own are pretty benign. It is when they are subjected to heat that they form nitrosamines, which are potent carcinogens.

Cold foods that contain nitrates (within reason of course), as long as they were also cold-processed (cold smoked or cold cured), are generally of very small concern. It is that crispy bacon and burnt barbecue hot dogs you should be concerned about.

That is why bacon cooked in the microwave -- and especially not overcooked to crispiness -- is a lot healthier.

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040361)

why would you want a lettuce low in potassium and nitrates

It's explained in the article

Re:Yeah... (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#47040401)

It's explained in the article

Your point being?

Re:Yeah... (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 5 months ago | (#47040521)

It's explained in the article

Your point being?

To RTFA?

Re:Yeah... (1)

faffod (905810) | about 5 months ago | (#47042015)

You must be new around here...

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040651)

You're not very bright, are you?

Re:Yeah... (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 months ago | (#47040475)

Even MORE importantly

The trial vegetable farm was set up in a clean room of a renovated semiconductor fabrication plant and is totally free of chemicals.

How the hell are they growing anything without chemicals such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water?!?

Serious answer: the article mentions the low potassium as good for people with chronic kidney disease. Nitrate free means less bitter. But if you need such expensive facilities to do so, then it's kind of stupid marketing. It doesn't sound like growing plants without nitrates or potassium is shocking scientifically.

Re:Yeah... (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | about 5 months ago | (#47040619)

If everything is a chemical, why would they bother using the term?

The only place I've seen someone refer to carbon dioxide as a "chemical" is in chemical equations. Water even less so.

Re:Yeah... (1)

chuckugly (2030942) | about 5 months ago | (#47040707)

If everything is a chemical, why would they bother using the term?

Because they are borderline retards.

YOU DON'T KNOW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47041475)

HOLY FUCK MAN! You didn't know? Dihydrogen Monoxide [dhmo.org] is killing millions every day!

Re:Yeah... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47041717)

It's important when selling things as chemical free, and trying to use 'chemicals' to sound like that are sciency and thus bad, unlike the natural organic stuff that contain no chemicals.

herp, derp.

Re:Yeah... (1)

nojayuk (567177) | about 5 months ago | (#47041001)

They're not using any pesticides or herbicides as they would have to in the "wild". There are no caterpillars, no fungus or microbial antagonists or weed seeds that could destroy or deplete the crop, they're kept at bay because the facility is a clean-room setup with filtered air and water. That's the big "no chemicals" deal with this greenhouse.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#47042547)

It doesn't sound like growing plants without nitrates or potassium is shocking scientifically.

Lots of people here are missing the point. While nitrogen and nitrates may be controversial, lack of potassium in their lettuce is a big deal in the Fukushima region because potassium 40 is radioactive. You don't want your lettuce to absorb an extra neutron here and there and become even more radioactive. That probably would not market well.

Re:Yeah... (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 5 months ago | (#47040717)

In many vegetables, potassium is the most radioactive part [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Yeah... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#47040861)

The problem is that in order to escape stupidity, you must leave the planet entirely.

Re:Yeah... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47041733)

The problem is that in order to escape stupidity, you must leave the planet entirely and not take a mirror.

Everyone does stupid things, and most things the seem stupid aren't, you are just missing information,

Re:Yeah... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#47041125)

It's got electrolytes!

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47041499)

Well duuuuuuuuh! It's what plants crave!

Re:Yeah... (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 5 months ago | (#47041681)

People think Japan is basically 90% uninhabitable because of nuclear holocaust. I want to move out of the US to escape the stupidity.

That's uninformed and ridiculous; the area affected by that is only about 5%. The other 85% is accounted for by the recurring giant monster attacks.

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040227)

No radiation, but the lettuce has two heads. (j/k)

Re:Yeah... (3, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47040327)

It's a little over 50 miles away if you just Google the address. It's just outside the exclusion zone set by the US government for US citizens.

It's INSIDE what was once the companies clean room. So it's distance from the reactor is irrelevant. The point of what they're doing is that they can grow food irrelevant of the conditions outside. Year round. The plants they are growing are specialized for people who have kidney diseases. The lower potassium makes them easier on the liver and the lower nitrates make them for palatable to children and likely people undergoing chemo. i.e. It costs a lot to grow food this way, so they picked a food people were more willing to pay a premium for.

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040383)

It's a little over 50 miles away if you just Google the address. It's just outside the exclusion zone set by the US government for US citizens.

It's INSIDE what was once the companies clean room. So it's distance from the reactor is irrelevant. The point of what they're doing is that they can grow food irrelevant of the conditions outside. Year round. The plants they are growing are specialized for people who have kidney diseases. The lower potassium makes them easier on the liver and the lower nitrates make them for palatable to children and likely people undergoing chemo. i.e. It costs a lot to grow food this way, so they picked a food people were more willing to pay a premium for.

Uh, "more willing"?

Seems with applications related to feeding people undergoing chemo, this "food" will become medicine very quickly. That premium you speak of will be "premium" alright...at about a 10,000% markup.

I don't know how "willing" people will be to pay for that. Guess it depends on the price.

Re:Yeah... (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 5 months ago | (#47042237)

Yeah, but that doesn't mean people are eating the vegetables grown there. There are ads on the train all the time where idol groups advertise Fukushima vegetables. Many consumers in Japan still won't eat them(the prefecture/country of origin is shown when you buy fresh produce in Japan).

This of course is just amplifying the pain that Fukushima prefecture is experiencing. The population of Fukushima dropped by about 3% from 2010 to 2005 [wikipedia.org] , and that was BEFORE the earthquake. The population has dropped another 3% or so just in the past 3 years, and is continuing to plummet as younger people leave the prefecture partially due to fears about radiation, but mostly due to a complete lack of economic opportunities. Things are looking pretty grim for Fukushima

Unfortunately (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040205)

As the female workers learned the hard way, it's not tentacle-free.

But do they have radiation free raindeer meat? (0)

JumpSuit Boy (29166) | about 5 months ago | (#47040225)

Reno's Radiation Free Reindeer Steaks!

Man I loved that movie.

New improved formula! Radiation Free! (1)

Kevin Fishburne (1296859) | about 5 months ago | (#47040243)

Is this the world we live in now? Sad.

Re:New improved formula! Radiation Free! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040297)

Is this the world we live in now?

Close enough. [xkcd.com]

Re:New improved formula! Radiation Free! (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 5 months ago | (#47041941)

More appropriate XKCD showing the amonut of radiation in one banana: http://xkcd.com/radiation/ [xkcd.com]

Re:New improved formula! Radiation Free! (2)

boaworm (180781) | about 5 months ago | (#47040473)

Actually it used to be the other way around. Radiation was a great additive :-) Toothpaste, Underwear. Mineral water. Watches (the arms glows nicely in the dark).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:New improved formula! Radiation Free! (3, Informative)

boaworm (180781) | about 5 months ago | (#47040509)

Here is a good summary of many excellent products with Radium added for extra marketability.

http://io9.com/seriously-scary... [io9.com]

Re:New improved formula! Radiation Free! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040537)

Underwear? Yikes.!

Re:New improved formula! Radiation Free! (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 5 months ago | (#47040935)

Radiation is still a great additive. You can seal and sterilize things just like canning, but without having to boil it. Now radioisotopes.. those aren't such great additives....

NOTHING is radiation free (5, Informative)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | about 5 months ago | (#47040259)

Nothing in existence is "radiation free". There is no such thing. There are MANY MANY MANY naturally occuring radioisotopes. A major one is Carbon-14, which ALL organic materials contain to some degree. I can't determine if the people making this "radiation free" lettuce are either very stupid, or very smart and cleverly marketing to stupid people.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040287)

Nobody is really poor. There is no such thing. There are MANY MANY MANY things poor people can do to not be poor. A major one is selling a kidney, which all bodies contain to some degree. I can't determine if you're a fuckit, a mongoloid, a brain tumor victim or just the average Asperger's neckbeard.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | about 5 months ago | (#47040291)

Reminds me of back in '81, when I was at WUSTL.edu, during the height of the "No Nukes" movement. Some idiot had been quoted in the student newspaper as saying, "any amount of radiation is dangerous".

So I and a bunch of friends started the SOTS movement. "Stamp Out The Sun... Because ANY Amount of Radiation is Dangerous".

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

Altus (1034) | about 5 months ago | (#47040367)

Ever since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun...

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (2)

sconeu (64226) | about 5 months ago | (#47040683)

Believe it or not, we actually got approval to post our flyers all over campus.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47041515)

*ahem* Excuse me while I kiss the sky! *air guitar*

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47041539)

How many times do I have to tell you: We didn't start the fire! It was always burning since the world's been turning.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47041745)

The sun is dangerous. Who told you it isn't?

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47040295)

Yup, just a marketing ploy to charge more for lettuce.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | about 5 months ago | (#47040311)

Apparently, the REAL story (once you get by the "radiation free" hype and get to the real story) is that the lettuce has much lower levels of potassium than normal lettuce. This, of course, does not make it "radiation free" by any means, since naturally occuring radioisotopes of both potassium and carbon will be present in it to a measurable degree...but, the much lower levels of potassium make it an alternative for people with kidney issues that make them sensitive to potassium.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#47040419)

Actually, the REAL story is that Slashdot web designers have finally found a web site worse than beta.

The goggles! They do nothing!

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (2)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about 5 months ago | (#47040375)

A small level of radiation is one thing; it's the dihydrogen monoxide I worry about.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about 5 months ago | (#47040623)

Bah, you have to drink gallons of that for it to have a detrimental effect. Now Hydrohydroxic acid, that's what you should be worried about.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 5 months ago | (#47040933)

I've heard that it can eat through solid rock, given enough time.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47041841)

It really only takes about half a cup... just inhale it.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 5 months ago | (#47040911)

A small level of radiation is one thing; it's the dihydrogen monoxide I worry about.

Don't worry, TFA says that it's totally free of chemicals.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

Extremus (1043274) | about 5 months ago | (#47040439)

So...

1) Buy lots of radiation-free lettuce
2) Prove that there was radiation in the lettuce (natural occurring, but who cares?)
3) Sue the company for misrepresentation
4) Profit!

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040467)

Nothing in existence is "radiation free". There is no such thing. There are MANY MANY MANY naturally occuring radioisotopes. A major one is Carbon-14, which ALL organic materials contain to some degree. I can't determine if the people making this "radiation free" lettuce are either very stupid, or very smart and cleverly marketing to stupid people.

It is logical thinking in the sense that they are able to use the word "radiation" within context and 99% of the audience know exactly what they are referring to (i.e. artificially created radiation sources).

As opposed to the 1% of "smart" readers who manage to take this to the extreme in a vain attempt to make the rest of the planet look stupid and ignorant.

I've also found that "smart" people often suck at common sense, so I'm not surprised...

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

fnj (64210) | about 5 months ago | (#47041079)

vain attempt to make the rest of the planet look stupid and ignorant

No attempt is necessary to make most people "look" stupid and ignorant. Most people ARE stupid and ignorant, and it is apparent to to anyone who is moderately intelligent and informed.

Just check the results of any national election for example.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47041771)

Everyone is ignorant of most things.
Very few people are actually stupid.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 5 months ago | (#47040749)

It reminds me of advertisements like this [chemical-free-living.com] . Every one of their products have chemicals in them.

Most "(enter substance here) FREE" campaigns are marketing ploys.

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#47041015)

As usual the English translation leaves a lot to be desired. I can't find the original Japanese article I read now (I'm on my phone), but what they actually meant was that the plant was just outside the exclusion zone where there is still a considerable amount of contamination that is slowly being cleaned up. Despite that none of the radioactive isotopes known to have been released by Fukushima Daiichi found their way into the clean room, due to the heavy filtration in place.

But hay, at least this version let you have your little rant...

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#47041271)

But why do this? Why try to grow plain ol simple veggies in one of mankind's most complex artificial environments? We know we can run clean rooms that filter all manner of things out. We know you can do closed cycle hydroponics. So now you can do it close to a polluted zone (or Trenton, New Jersey, if you are desperate).

Woot.

Is the low potassium / nitrate that much of an advantage?

Re:NOTHING is radiation free (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47041781)

For the people with kidneys issues this was developed for, yes, yes it does have an advantage.

Not radiation free (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040261)

If it has potassium in it, which is natural, it's not radiation free. duh

Re:Not radiation free (1)

Megane (129182) | about 5 months ago | (#47040321)

Yes, but it's low in potassium, so it's got less radiation than normal lettuce!

Obligatory link: Periodic Table Table: Potassium [theodoregray.com]

Re:Not radiation free (2)

maxwells_deamon (221474) | about 5 months ago | (#47040459)

I was thinking that the only way they could do this would be mass spec processing to remove all the radioactive elements (like carbon 14) from the soil and air before supplying this to the plants, They would be the most expensive plants ever harvested but in theory possible.

Then I noticed the plants were being grown in a building that is "totally free of chemicals" must be virtual food or uneducated people writing the article.

Why is this newsworthy? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040267)

They're growing lettuce in hydroponic trays inside a "clean room" of what used to be a semiconductor plant. It's not really surprising that plants grown in so-called "clean room" conditions in water that isn't from an irradiated area would not contain radiation. Hydroponic gardening has been around for hundreds of years. So, what exactly is the "news" here?

Re:Why is this newsworthy? (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | about 5 months ago | (#47040329)

The real news (once you get past the "radiation free" hype that is basically a lie, is that the lettuce contains MUCH lower than normal levels of potassium, making it an alternative for people with kidney issues (or any other disease really) that makes them sensitive to potassium. A VERY niche market to be sure. But the point is, the lettuce is not "radiation free". It has carbon in it, therefore it has carbon-14 in it.

Godzilla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47040443)

It's somehow a Godzilla tie in.

Don't know how - but it is.

It's just vertical farming (1)

Animats (122034) | about 5 months ago | (#47040403)

There's a whole cult of "vertical farming" [gizmodo.com] . With LED lighting, it's much more cost-effective. Not only is the power consumption down, but the plants can be racked much more closely without overheating. Phillips has some special-purpose farming LEDs with spectra chosen for growing specific crops.

So far, most of the enthusiasm for this comes from the organic "farmer's market" crowd, not production-scale farmers.

Re:It's just vertical farming (1)

sl149q (1537343) | about 5 months ago | (#47040573)

Do they have LEDS with the correct spectra to sell in Washington and Colorado states?

Could be a huge cash market for smuggling those North to BC and South to Mexico.

Wow! (2)

The Real Dr John (716876) | about 5 months ago | (#47040539)

Radiation-free lettuce... what will they think of next?

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47041477)

Radiation-free uranium!

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47042281)

Two-eyed fish.

Organic AND worse for the Environment! (1)

517714 (762276) | about 5 months ago | (#47041155)

Perhaps using the sun to grow the plants rather than using lights that contain mercury, powered by nuclear and coal fired generating stations would be a more sensible way to provide a piece of lettuce. Something tells me this organic lettuce will find its way to expensive restaurants in New York so the rich and famous will be able to pay a huge premium to eat it and then turn around and condescendingly tell the 99% how important eating organic, animal rights, and the environment are.

Re:Organic AND worse for the Environment! (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 5 months ago | (#47041357)

Are they using florescent lamps? I thought I read somewhere they were using LEDs. LEDs typically contain no mercury.

The actual Fujitsu link is almost a year old original press release [fujitsu.com] and has about as much information.

I'm not sure where I got the LED reference from, though, as looking back I don't see it in either the release or the article. Maybe I skimmed it in a previous comment.

Re:Organic AND worse for the Environment! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47041411)

That's why we call it "ecological", and not "organic", in sane zones of the world. Just saying...

Organic, radiation-free food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47041525)

There's no scientific evidence that the organic label is better for the environment. Radiation free food means higher risk for bacteria to infect the end consumer. Radiating food ensures safety and poses no risk to consumers.

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/dueling-narratives-on-organic-farming/

Long shelf-life is a big selling point (1)

KNicolson (147698) | about 5 months ago | (#47042513)

I saw coverage of this on Japanese TV last weekend, and the hype is over the fact that since it is grown in a clean room, there is no bacteria, so it can be kept in an airtight bag at room temperature for a long, long time without going brown or losing its crispness.

The program had three month old lettuce that they tasted and they said it was just as good as the freshly-picked stuff.

Radiation free Lettuce .. (1)

lippydude (3635849) | about 5 months ago | (#47042531)

It would be radiation free considering it's in a clean room. A relevant question is do they use the local water.
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