Recent events highlight need for localized food production

A series of recent events have demonstrated the need for more localized food production.

Bad weather in Spain and Morocco has caused shortages, prompting several British supermarket chains to limit the amount of some fresh fruits and vegetables that customers can buy. Likewise, in the U.S., some restaurants and stores have had difficulty sourcing leafy greens due to a disease that wiped out thousands of acres of crops in California. Prices have predictably climbed to the point where people are seeking out replacement veggies. Meanwhile, severe drought continues to plague traditional farming operations.

The vulnerabilities of the worldwide supply chain were exposed for all to see when the pandemic hit in February/March 2020. CSAs — community-supported agriculture programs — quickly gained in popularity. The veggies came from nearby farming operations, and consumers were glad to support local businesses while reducing the carbon footprint associated with transporting goods.

The USDA has put renewed focus on fledgling farms and recently opened up $133 million in grant funding to support the planning and implementation of regional and local farms. The Local Agriculture Market Program — or LAMP — intends to generate “new income for small, beginning and underserved farmers and improve food access for rural and urban communities.

Decentralized food production will be a larger part of our future, and investing in the infrastructure now will help stave off the types of crises we’re currently seeing. Agtech solutions enable people with no agricultural background to begin farming in the areas where nutrient-dense food is most needed.

What Happens When There’s Not Enough Water to Go Around?

Water conservation in agriculture is a big topic of conversation as seven southwestern states try to figure out how to curb their water

Decades-old water compacts didn’t account for prolonged extreme drought conditions or the level of population growth. We need to be better about capturing and storing rain and snowmelt, but it’s obvious that cutting usage where we can is going to be key to ensuring the survivability of communities throughout the southwest. This is a very real challenge, and it’s one we’re faced with right now, before we encounter a dead pool situation that would have a catastrophic domino effect.

We’ve spent recent years figuring out how to grow food with fewer natural resources. As much as 50 percent of the water we use outdoors is lost due to wind, evaporation, and runoff caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems. A household with an automatic landscape irrigation system that isn’t properly maintained and operated can waste up to 25,000 gallons of water annually.

The Vertical Hydroponic Farms we build are designed to limit water loss to evaporation and to get the most out of every drop of water. We capture, filter and recycle it back through our system, and you can water your outdoor plants with any nutrient-rich water that’s left over. It’s not the entire solution, but it’s one way that technology can help ease the burden on our fragile water supply.

Educating Future Generations Using Innovation, Hands-On Learning

Educating Future Generations Using Innovation, Hands-On Learning


Is there any greater gift than bestowing life-changing knowledge to younger generations?

For schools that focus on science, technology, engineering and math — or those that simply think outside the box when it comes to how they educate their students — it’s a no-brainer. The trend of implementing curriculums that emphasize hands-on learning is on an upward trajectory, and it shows no signs of slowing.

The Governor’s School of Science and Mathematics in South Carolina is a prime example of how to promote greater interest in learning among all students, including those who struggle in a traditional, straight-out-of-the-textbook setting. The high school recently began growing in a Vertical Hydroponic Farm made by FarmBox Foods that will serve as an interactive classroom for years to come. It’s housed inside an upcycled shipping container that’s been outfitted with all of the plumbing, electrical components and sensor technology needed to grow food.

Oftentimes, engagement is the key that unlocks the door to improved attentiveness, and producing something tangible hammers home the potential impacts. When a student is able to hold, say, a fresh head of lettuce that was grown via ingenuity, it can spark something greater: intense motivation to learn more. They suddenly — and satisfyingly — have used both existing and newfound knowledge of science and technology to grow fresh, nutritious food, perhaps for those who face hunger in their community. The students can literally hold the real-world impact in their hands.

GSSM’s Hydroponic Research Lab, however, isn’t necessarily centered on what it can produce, but how it produces, and, perhaps more importantly, why. It’s a venue for all-encompassing lessons in everything from civics and social responsibility to inventing new indoor farming techniques and creating avenues for environmental stewardship that previously didn’t exist. The educational promise is boundless, as are the practical applications that result.

In many respects, encouraging initial failure provides interdisciplinary opportunities for critical thinking and problem solving. GSSM’s students will have the ability to experiment with different controlled environments, study the research findings, and help answer questions about its effects on the agricultural community in its region, state and beyond. The lab will also help students to develop and standardize hydroponic research protocols for model plants used in plant science, plants of interest and plants beneficial to the area.

“The GSSM Hydroponic Research Lab provides unprecedented opportunities for students to engage in meaningful research on issues of worldwide significance right here on the GSSM campus in Hartsville, SC,” said GSSM Director of Research and Inquiry, Dr. Josh Witten. “Because this lab represents a unique research resource, it will also be a platform for GSSM students, faculty, and staff to collaborate with researchers beyond our campus. These innovative and immersive experiences are a hallmark of the GSSM education, which prepares students to become the problem solvers of tomorrow.”

The container farm contains elements of — and applications for — biology, chemistry, environmental science, engineering, computer science, robotics and economics, and is ‘being used as a teaching tool to engage their creativity,” the school said.

Creating a curriculum

Within the next 1-2 years, FarmBox Foods plans to roll out a curriculum specific to each controlled-climate farm it manufactures. The Colorado company is fortunate to be surrounded by educators of all types who have offered to contribute their expertise to the endeavor, largely because they can see the enormous potential. The goal is to create plug-and-play lesson plans that fit with current science and technology curriculums.

User-friendly automation within the Vertical Hydroponic Farm puts control in the hands of the students and teachers. For example, they can tweak the watering schedule or crank up the humidity and witness first-hand its effects on the plants, and learn precisely why it has such a big influence on the growing process. They can also explore how plants that historically haven’t been able to grow in low humidity can survive.

Higher learning

One of FarmBox Foods’ prototype hydroponic container farms was delivered to the campus of Delaware State University in Fall 2022. Consider for a moment all of the different academic disciplines and tracks that a single farm can touch, from marketing and business development to mechanics and horticulture. 

“We have a lot of interested clients looking for ag-tech solutions to bring to schools,” said Michael Choi, owner of Ponix, which equips indoor farms with specialized software. “It offers a compelling story for schools — how they can work with the community, and offer things like workforce training. It’s how you program around it.”

Choi, who sold the used farm to Delaware State University, said they will use it for both food security and educational purposes.

“I’ve been working with a network of schools for many years, and that particular school wanted to move forward quickly,” he said.

Valor Christian High School, in Highlands Ranch, Colo., has a project-based learning environment that is helping to lead the next generation of agriculturists to the greener pastures of the future.

The Applied STEM Program, led by director Rick Russon, enables students to put into practice what they learn in the classroom, preparing them for successful careers in a number of industries, including agriculture. Members of Valor’s agriculture club, in particular, have an infectious enthusiasm for ideas that combine brain power with a desire to make a positive impact on the world, and it’s already leading to groundbreaking results. For their capstone project, Russon and the club members built a four-tube vertical hydroponic unit using prototype parts donated by FarmBox Foods.

The Applied STEM Program is aiming to modify the four-tube hydroponic system and build several models to bring them into food deserts to feed people in need. Valor Christian sends nearly 40 teams throughout the world each year on missions, and Russon’s hope is that they can help deploy a workable system in areas with little arable land and few natural resources.

The Valor-based vertical hydroponic setup continues to draw interest from students and faculty who want to grow their own farm-fresh greens and help others learn the science behind the hydroponic growing process.

By the numbers

  • The farms are housed inside an insulated, 40-foot-long shipping container
  • A Vertical Hydroponic Farm — or VHF — produces 200-250 lbs. of veggies each week; a Gourmet Mushroom Farm yields around 400 lbs. of mushrooms per week
  • The farms have a 320-square-foot footprint
  • A Vertical Hydroponic Farm can grow approximately 8,000 plants in various stages of growth simultaneously (4,100 in the grow walls, 3,800+ in the seed table)
  • Because of its ability to capture, filter and recycle water, the Vertical Hydroponic Farm uses around 5 gallons of water per day
  • The VHF yields the equivalent of approximately 2.5 acres of farmland annually
  • The VHF grows peppers, grape/cherry tomatoes, microgreens, tree seedlings, as well as a variety of leafy greens, like lettuce, kale, cabbage and culinary herbs
  • Estimated labor required for a VHF is 15-20 hours per week. Labor for the Gourmet Mushroom Farm is about 30 hours per week

CORE Electric, FarmBox Foods announce partnership to grow trees for reforestation​

CORE Electric, FarmBox Foods announce partnership to grow trees for reforestation

A groundbreaking reforestation program launched by CORE Electric Cooperative and FarmBox Foods is using innovation to achieve a new form of environmental stewardship.


On Nov. 17, the electricity provider finalized a contract with FarmBox Foods, a Colorado-based manufacturer of controlled-climate farms, to grow trees in a Vertical Hydroponic Farm housed inside an upcycled, insulated shipping container.  CORE plans to use the trees to rehabilitate forests within its service area, which covers 5,000 square miles along Colorado’s Front Range.


“CORE’s partnership with FarmBox to support reforestation efforts in our service territory advances our work to be responsible stewards of the environment,” said Jeff Baudier, CORE Electric Cooperative CEO. “As a member-owned cooperative, protecting the natural resources of the communities where we live and serve is a cornerstone of our mission.”


In the first three years of the initiative, CORE plans to plant 15,000 blue spruces and ponderosa pines, both native species in Colorado.FarmBox Foods began successfully growing tree seedlings and saplings in the controlled-climate container farm in 2021, but the Vertical Hydroponic Farm purchased by CORE is the first to be solely dedicated to tree propagation.  Under the terms of the agreement, FarmBox Foods will operate the indoor tree farm at its home base in Sedalia and conduct research on drought resistance, nutrient dosing, lighting and other growing parameters.  The trees will then be transferred to hoop houses to allow the root systems to grow out before being planted.


“We’re really excited to see the positive impacts that will come from this unique partnership,” said Rusty Walker, CEO of FarmBox Foods. “CORE recognizes its role in helping to maintain healthy forests and I think this is going to be a model for other electric cooperatives going forward.”


The partnership allows CORE to “play its part in keeping its service territory beautiful for generations of future members,” the cooperative said in a statement.  To keep powerline corridors safe and free of potential hazards, CORE responsibly removes vegetation.  It’s putting a renewed focus on rehabilitating areas that have been damaged by wildfires.


“This first-of-its-kind program exemplifies how CORE is leading the way to a more sustainable future and our mission of innovation,” said Amber King, communications manager for CORE.


CORE Electric, which supplies the energy that powers FarmBox Foods’ operating farms that grow nutritious produce in Sedalia, will work with local partners to identify areas in need of reforestation.

What makes FarmBox Foods a green-oriented company?

What makes FarmBox Foods a green-oriented company?

A cow eating hydroponic fodder

We use only upcycled shipping containers.
We give used, insulated shipping containers a new life: growing food at scale in areas that struggle with reliable cultivation and/or access. By outfitting them with the components to grow produce, the repurposed containers are kept out of landfills and scrap heaps.
The farms we build are designed to promote efficient water usage.
We capture, filter and reuse water in both our Hydroponic Fodder Farm and our Vertical Hydroponic Farm, which requires only about 5 gallons of water per day. Water is often lost to evaporation and transpiration in traditional farm settings. By recycling the water, our farms get the most out of every drop. In times of severe drought and diminishing water supplies, this efficiency is critically important. 
The farms were built to reduce energy usage associated with agricultural production.
Our Vertical Hydroponic Farm uses around 190 kwh per day, the energy equivalent of two loads of laundry. The Gourmet Mushroom Farm uses even less, drawing an average of only 80 kilowatt-hours of electricity each day. High-efficiency, low-energy LED lights are used in FarmBox containers to reduce energy consumption.
Reduced need for fossil fuels.
Every kilogram/pound of food waste has a corresponding waste factor for energy, labor, water, carbon emissions, etc. It takes a lot to get produce from point A to point B, including diesel fuel to power trucks and trains. Transporting goods across long distances could be a thing of the past, as our portable container farms enable people to grow food near the consumer, thereby reducing emissions and expenses. Hyper-local growing almost entirely removes the supply chain — and its ongoing issues — from the equation.
Indoor farms don’t require the use of pesticides.
Because our farms are enclosed, they’re protected from many of the variables that keep traditional farmers up at night, like drought, flooding, heat waves and hail. But it also prevents impacts from pests, and therefore, pesticides are not required in our farms. As a result, the water discharged from the Vertical Hydroponic Farms and Hydroponic Fodder Farms we build does not contribute to groundwater contamination.
Fodder consumption by livestock reduces methane output.
Barley fodder is easier to digest than traditional alfalfa hay and other nutritional supplements, and because of this, less methane is emitted into the atmosphere. We’re in the process of gathering more specific data to quantify the reduction of methane from different types of animals, and how that reduction corresponds with their respective intake of protein-rich fodder.
Growing near the consumer reduces the likelihood of food waste.
After being harvested, produce grown in traditional outdoor settings often spends a few days on trucks and in distribution centers before it arrives at the store. Hyperlocal growing helps fresh veggies arrive on consumers’ plates and in their refrigerators much sooner — often within 24 hours of being harvested. The produce maintains its shelf life, which provides a longer period of time to eat the food. This results in less food waste at the consumer level.
Our farms can run off solar power.
Anyone who wants to grow nutrient-dense food off-grid can do so by hooking their farm up to a small solar grid. 
Compost from our Gourmet Mushroom Farms helps promote soil health.
The spent substrate from FarmBox Foods’ GMF showroom model is donated to the local community to be used as nutrient-rich compost. The seedling pods and spent mushroom substrate can be used for further plant-growing compost once they are removed from the farms. The spent mushroom substrate, in particular, is quite sought after for this purpose. These eco-friendly by-products can also be incorporated into the soil, and the substrate will continue to grow mushrooms if properly managed.
Soil rejuvenation and less need for agricultural acreage.
Millions of acres of America’s traditionally fertile soil have been stripped of vital nutrients, and farmers are compelled to implement crop rotation and remediation steps like composting to regenerate agricultural land. A FarmBox occupies only 320 square-feet of space (they can also be stacked), does not need soil, and allows farmers to revitalize oft-used ag soil.
Furthermore, clear-cutting forests to make room for agriculture is not necessary for some crops. Farmers can utilize available vertical space to grow more food on a smaller footprint.

Rising food prices influenced by several factors

What is influencing the increase in food prices and what can be done about it?

Rising food prices influenced by several factors

a wall of hydroponically grown lettuce

A confluence of global events and circumstances have some experts painting a grim picture for populations that already face food insecurity.

Recent spikes in food, fuel and fertilizer prices could lead to “destabilization, starvation and mass migration on an unprecedented scale,” said David Beasley, head of the U.N. World Food Program.

A recent U.N. analysis shows that “a record 345 million acutely hungry people are marching to the brink of starvation.” That’s a 25-percent increase from 276 million at the start of 2022, before Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. The number stood at 135 million people before the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, according to an ABC News article.

The war in Ukraine is having a continuing ripple effect on the global food supply. Russia and Ukraine together export 28 percent of fertilizers made from nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, according to Morgan Stanley. The limited global supply has sent prices into the stratosphere — in some cases doubling the cost — and there are fears that high costs or the lack of availability will result in farmers using less fertilizer, leading to lower yields of commodities that are already constrained. 

In early July, the Consumer Price Index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that food prices in the U.S. increased 10.4 percent from June 2021 to June 2022.

Rising costs for any critical ingredient for running a farm — water, labor, fuel or fertilizer — translate to higher food prices. And when all four hit at the same time, disruption ensues, to the detriment of consumers, especially those who were already hanging on by a thread.

In all, worldwide experts fear crop yields will drop by 10-30 percent, and developing countries will be hardest hit.

The prevalence of “undernourishment” — when food consumption is insufficient to maintain an active and healthy life — continued to rise in 2021. The U.N.-commissioned report, “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World,” estimates that between 702 million and 828 million people faced hunger last year.

A grain shortage stemming from the Ukraine conflict is also driving up the cost of basic foods and other commodities, and corn and wheat are not getting out to the market because the Black Sea is closed. To top it off, drought conditions are crippling agricultural operations in several regions known for high output. 

There’s a dearth of issues to navigate. But as The Shelby Report points out, crises stoke innovation. Agricultural adaptation is being employed, including the use of hydroponic container farms housed in upcycled shipping containers. The controlled-climate farms allow for uninterrupted, decentralized growing year-round and provide a stable environment to ensure reliable yields. Smart irrigation systems are being used more than ever, and data is driving decision-making at unprecedented levels in order to maximize available resources. Responses to climate change vary by location and commodity. Learn more about how the USDA is assisting food producers.

Fighting Back Against Hunger and Improving Food Access

“The world is at a critical juncture.”

That’s the headline of an article about the state of food security and nutrition in the world. In painstaking detail, the Food and Agriculture Organization at the United Nations uses the article to describe how the number of people affected by hunger globally increased in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It estimates that between 720 million and 811 million people faced hunger. If you go with the middle of the projected range — around 768 million — 118 million more people faced hunger in 2020 than in 2019. How does this happen and what’s being done about it?

The Food and Agriculture Organization at the United Nations says that unless bold actions are taken to accelerate progress, especially actions to address major drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition and inequalities affecting access to food, hunger will not be eradicated by 2030, as the U.N. had hoped.

After remaining virtually unchanged from 2014 to 2019, the prevalence of undernourishment climbed to around 9.9 percent in 2020, from 8.4 percent a year earlier, the article says.

According to, all of this activity is happening against a backdrop of heightened emphasis on nutrition from the USDA, which in mid-March released a report outlining its commitment to nutrition security (in addition to food security). The USDA noted the importance of nutrition in fighting diet-related disease, which is a leading cause of illness in the U.S., accounting for more than 600,000 deaths each year, or more than 40,000 each month.

Sadly, the pandemic continues to expose weaknesses in our food systems, especially when it comes to access. New farming practices, including controlled-environment agriculture, are increasingly being recognized as a potential solution to fill the gaps and avoid supply chain delays entirely. 

Strategically placing container farms in and around population centers could have a dramatic effect on providing a sustainable and secure source of nutrient-rich food. These farms can produce 200-300 pounds of fresh food weekly and help feed people in marginalized communities. They can also be used to help train the next generation of urban farmers and create jobs, providing ancillary benefits that can reverberate for years to come.

Container Farms on School Campuses – Community Supported Agriculture

With a foundation in technology and science, there’s greater interest in container farming among students of all ages. Controlled-climate farming enables people to grow food almost anywhere in the world, helping to eliminate food deserts.

Container Farms on School Campuses – School districts and teachers are always looking for new and innovative tools to capture their students’ attention and promote enthusiasm for learning.

Teaching students how their education is interwoven into later professional success just might bring purpose to those who currently find none in a traditional classroom.  When you place students in a setting with engaging hands-on projects that give them practical experience, the potential for future success is limitless.

An operating container farm has a unique ability to touch multiple subjects and areas of interest for young students, especially those who want to find ways to better our world through science and tech.  A container farm shows the next generations how to do more with fewer resources by engineering concrete solutions that promote sustainability.  These applications have positive real-world implications, including improving our ability to feed people in food deserts and reducing the use of fossil fuels for shipping food over long distances.

Emerging technologies, including those that rely on sensors, have opened up new avenues and ideas and solutions for longstanding problems.  This is an exciting prospect for a generation that increasingly is looking to eschew the typical 9-to-5 office grind and, for lack of a better term, get their hands dirty.

From using cultivation methods that require less energy and water, to developing a solid business plan, to maintaining the mechanisms that enable containerized farms to thrive, to demonstrating and quantifying the sustainability of such operations, there are many skill sets needed to make the endeavor a success.  

Adding a container farm to a school campus offers high-level learning opportunities in perpetuity and equips students with expertise and experience that few other young professionals or college applicants can claim.  It’s a tech-driven differentiator for schools and districts that pride themselves on thinking outside the educational box, and it could produce a wave of future entrepreneurs.

Today, container farming is a glimpse into the future.  Soon, it will be the new normal, and it’s time that students of all ages get introduced to concepts that can help achieve progress that will benefit humankind.

What are the benefits to schools?

  1. Equipping future generations with the ability to use science and technology to grow food for underserved populations.
  2. Feeding students fresh, nutrient-dense foods. 
  3. Reducing costs associated with purchasing transported foods while enabling schools to cheaply grow their own.
  4. Providing foods for students in need to take home with them so they will have quality food they grew themselves.
  5. Create revenue streams for the school through school farmers markets all year long.
Container Farms on School Campuses
An operating container farm has applications to almost every school subject imaginable, from math to science to engineering.

View The FarmBox Gourmet Mushroom Container Farm

View Mushroom Farm

Food Waste Could Soon Be a Thing of the Past

Container farming near the consumer can help reduce food waste.

A 2010 assessment by the USDA’s Economic Research Service put food waste at the retail and consumer levels at 31 percent of the food supply, equaling approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food. It’s mind-boggling stats like this that leave us with one burning question: Why?

Given our integrated systems and ability to identify efficiencies in the supply chain, it’s hard to fathom how this has come to be. How can this much food be wasted, when there are so many who struggle for access to nutritious food?

Communities are starting to learn that they can take control of their own food supply. Farming year-round in upcycled shipping containers has vegetables growing right in the community they serve, so instead of lettuce (for example) withering away on a truck or in a distribution center, it’s being put on a plate the day it’s harvested. 

Talk about decentralization has ramped up in the face of a global supply chain break that has companies and shoppers scrambling. Those who struggled with access to farm-fresh produce prior to the pandemic are much worse off, and there are few signs that the issues are relenting. Meanwhile, food is being wasted at record levels in American homes and restaurants.

So what can be done to reduce the amount of food waste in America? It’s going to take collaboration, innovation and a new way of thinking about how food is sourced. Grocery stores can take a cue from Natural Grocers, which is now placing vertical hydroponic containers right behind their stores, cutting out transportation altogether.

Now, imagine if five businesses in an underserved community came together to buy a container farm: what would the impact be, and how many generations would be affected by a decrease in food insecurity? What if the city government helped facilitate this venture by revamping its code and permitting system to allow for more container farms? What if grant money could help pay for year-round growing operations in low-income areas?

Slowly but surely, it’s happening. The opportunity for further improvement is there for the taking, and assembling the right partners is key. 

The Natural Resources Defense Council is using its national Save the Food campaign to try and instill daily behaviors in consumers to put a dent in food waste. Go to to learn more.

Likewise, the Environmental Protection Agency has planning, storage and prep tips on its website to reduce food waste at home, which saves money, reduces methane emissions from landfills, and lowers one’s carbon footprint. Go to for more information.

Are We Approaching Global Warming and Climate Change Wrong?

Exploring a way around the unsustainable trend of clearing forests for agricultural purposes

Global Warming - Plant A Tree


There is a battle going on today over global warming and climate change and what to do about it. One side believes that increasingly abnormal weather patterns are a natural occurrence whether there is an increase in carbon emissions or not. They believe there is evidence that suggests that climate is cyclical and not really impacted by environmental changes or that the environmental changes are not significant enough to alter what has been unpredictable patterns in earth’s weather patterns.

The other side believes that increasing CO2 emissions have altered and continue to alter the weather patterns, and has ultimately been responsible for the increase in hurricanes, tornados, heat waves, cold spells, excessive rain, droughts, and pretty much any increase or decrease in weather patterns. This line of thinking says that the carbon emission increases are permanently destroying the earth’s ice caps, water security, food security, and ultimately the ability to sustain life.


The argument revolves around carbon emissions and our inability to regulate the human impact on said levels. The push is to regulate transportation, population, consumption of water and food, production of goods, or pretty much every facet of our daily life as we now know it. Here in the United States, there are those who believe that we cannot alone make a difference if other countries are not following the same path. Others believe that we must take the lead in order for others to follow. This is the conundrum we all find ourselves in. However, maybe we’re looking at this the wrong way. What if both sides have validity? What if there was a solution that both sides of the argument could agree on 100%?


There has been a decrease in forest land around the world for decades now. There have been warnings for as long as this has been happening, yet we have forgotten about the decimation of these natural habitats. Deforestation is the leading cause of 15% of carbon emissions. (The World Counts)

According to some estimates, tropical rainforests store more than 210 gigatons of CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere.

Trees absorb greenhouse gases, and they produce oxygen and water vapor that they then release into the atmosphere. However, after deforestation, these gases are left unchecked in the atmosphere, creating a layer of ozone that traps heat, leading to global warming.

Arguably, our carbon emissions have been going up as the natural forests have been increasingly eliminated, therefore making it close to impossible to get control of. If we were to concentrate on replenishing forests at an equal rate by which they are being destroyed, at minimum our carbon levels might remain relatively the same. Imagine if we could start to build back the forest to levels seen in previous decades, we might actually lower carbon emissions naturally rather than fighting over how to get it done and who has to give up what in order to save our planet. Consider this:

*The world lost 20 million acres of primary forest between 1990 and 2020. (FAO)

*Even though the loss rate slowed down by half from 2010 to 2020, we’re still losing too much primary forest, according to the rainforest destruction figures.

*Trees absorb the carbon dioxide that humans exhale, but they also trap the greenhouse gases we create every day.

*Deforestation leaves animals without homes. But it also allows these gasses to go into the atmosphere, increasing global warming. For these reasons, our focus is on the wrong area. Consider these staggering statistics; *Deforestation is the leading cause of 15% of carbon emissions. (The World Counts)

*According to deforestation and climate change stats published by Al Jazeera, Amazon’s carbon emissions rose by 9.6% in 2019.

*More than 20% of the world’s primary forest loss occurred in Canada. (ThoughtCo.)

*About 1,740 square miles of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest were destroyed between 2017 and 2019. (Mongabay)

*According to Haiti deforestation facts from Pacific Standard, the country may completely lose its rainforests in just 20 years. ()

*Bolivia is the fifth leading country in deforestation. (Mighty Earth)

*From 2001 to 2019, Indonesia lost 93% of tree cover in areas where deforestation is predominant. (Global Forest Watch)

*Deforestation affects Africa at twice the world rate. (Sustainable Food Systems)

*Africa is losing 3.9 million hectares of forest every year. (Ressources Magazine)

*Deforestation brings new diseases, such as COVID-19. When habitats are disrupted, animals come in contact with people and spread new diseases onto the human race. Many believe this is how HIV and the Ebola virus spread. (FutureLearn)

The data above is not really in dispute. If it were, the argument would not be about whether or not it was happening. What is clearly not in dispute is that these are disastrous figures and information that should shake us at our very core. While there are efforts to reverse this, the Amazon decreasing deforestation by two thirds is simply not enough. What is the United States doing about it? Is there really enough awareness among the citizens to gain support for solutions? What are the potential solutions for the U.S. as well as other countries that need our assistance and leadership?

If it is the belief that the U.S. should lead the way, then the U.S. is going to have to put pressure on other countries and resource providers to assist them, as well as take care of its own backyard. Since we can all agree that this is one of the main culprits of climate change and global warming, it should not be so difficult to garner the political capital in order to make a difference. We are arguably putting billions of dollars in assistance to other programs that are not producing a dollar’s worth of results.

We can all agree that losing our forests ultimately will be our demise if not altered. Yet, we battle politically on an argument where two sides are dug in and will not budge. Meanwhile, we are wasting valuable time as the forests are vanishing right in front of our very eyes.

The problem is not just found in the U.S. Read the alarming statistics that impact us all.

*In 2019, the world lost more than 8.9 million acres of tropical rainforests. (Bloomberg)

*By 2030, there may be only 10% of the rainforests left. (The World Counts)

*Since the 1600s, the U.S. has destroyed 75% of virgin forests. (LoveToKnow)

This is the common hurdle that makes it as difficult as the climate change argument. However, this is where the U.S. can really lead the way by providing assistance, and other countries might be more accepting of the help. We need to have a “Forests for Life” program.


Solutions exist! Once the United States acknowledges that building and replenishing forests is a priority, other countries will follow if given some guidance and assistance. We have to remember that while the main issue may not exist within our country solely, the impact of other countries where the impact is larger impacts us entirely. It alters what we can and cannot do. It means that we have to ration our freedom and our way of life in order to minimize what is not being done somewhere else. Once that has been established, a plan needs to be put in place to help foster the replenishment of forests and or start new ones where they once existed. FarmBox Foods, a hydroponic growing company, has come up with a means to propagate tree seedlings. The farms can simultaneously propagate more than 9,000 tree plants within a 320 sq. foot container. It is a controlled-environment unit that can grow trees anywhere and operate off grid in areas that do not have a secure or reliable source of electricity. The farms operate with minimal water usage, and the fact that they are transportable is a significant characteristic.

A FarmBox Foods farm can be deployed in the areas where the program will be implemented. Once the farms have done their job, they can be deployed to another location. An even greater impact would be having the farms working in other countries. Imagine Africa creating forests in areas where its sustainable. Imagine Bolivia being able to replenish its devastated forests. Imagine Haiti being able to regrow its forested lands. Imagine countries that could have the ability to harvest and restore, generating revenues and saving the planet. Once the plants have reached planting maturity, they can be placed into areas to begin creating growth of trees that will slow and eventually turn around the carbon problem the world is experiencing.


It is a little-known fact that agricultural lands are often acquired through forest devastation. Consider these facts:

*Illegal logging and agriculture are some of the main culprits for deforestation. Sadly, having fewer forests isn’t the only consequence of land clearing. The aftermath is causing disastrous effects on the entire ecosystem.

*Some 80% of the tropical rainforests are destroyed due to agriculture. (Greenpeace USA)

If the forests are being turned into agriculture, then you have to take away the incentive for why this is happening and provide agriculture that’s sustainable and does not need the space in order to grow. FarmBox Foods also can provide some solutions to curb the need to acquire huge amounts of land in order to provide the same amount of food. FarmBox Foods farms can be stacked and fill unused warehouses while providing massive amounts of food for the population in need. They can be operated in any climate and have a controlled environment, unlike traditional farming.

With a company like FarmBox Foods, you eliminate the need to clear forests, and introduce sustainability and food security with a more efficient, lower use of resources, and without pesticides and fertilizers that poison the food and the earth.


FarmBox Foods provides a means to propagate trees to be planted in order to save, replenish, or start forests that have been lost or devastated. FarmBox Foods can use the same farm to help diminish the need to clear forests to provide for lands in order to feed an ever-growing population and supply wood for the ever-increasing demand for housing and other construction. If we really want to make a change, then we need to take out the politics and turn words into action before it really is too late. As we debate the validity of climate change, time is ticking by and it could be too late. If we can really take back our forests and institute good forest management, we can begin to settle the other things that may or may not be affecting our climate and the health of our planet. If the politicians in the U.S. really want to make a difference, then they will implement sustainable container farming now and make history as the group that saved the planet. It’s clear that when the forests are gone, our planet goes with it. Then it won’t matter who was right or who was wrong.