Context

In the last few decades the consumption of fossil fuels has contributed seriously to the degradation of our environment. Global warming is the term used to describe an increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and its oceans. The increased volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing and agriculture are the primary reasons why global warming is occurring. Global warming is affecting the planet in a number of ways, here are a few:

  • Ozone layer depletion – more skin cancer among humans and animals.
  • Air pollution – respiratory diseases
  • Wildlife species extinction – more than one million species have become extinct due to disappearing habitats.
  • Climate change – the Arctic ice is melting rapidly and by 2040, or even earlier, the region is expected to have a completely ice free summer.

Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment and human health.

We need to change our way of living NOW.

Aquaponics is one response to this problem. By producing food where it is consumed and on very limited surface it avoids the problems associated with transporting foods such as enormous quantities of carbon dioxide pollution. Aquaponics also uses less water and energy than traditional methods of agriculture and gardening. By now you have certainly heard of the famous saying “you are what you eat”, but do you really know what is in the food that you put on your child’s plate?

Supermarkets are turning into giant fast food stores. Fruit and vegetables arrive by boat from the other side of the planet contributing enormously to air pollution. They are now picked weeks early and ripened artificially with chemicals such as calcium carbide which contains traces of arsenic and phosphorus which makes it a human health concern. These supposedly “healthy” and “fresh” fruits may not be as healthy and fresh as you think. Fruit and vegetables which used to provide our bodies with healthy vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids are now providing us with less and less. Don’t even get me started on the meat industry and the animal abuse that goes along with it.

The whole food system is corrupted by wealth and greed. No longer are supermarkets and food corporations worried about the taste and nutritional benefits, it is now all about profit and savings. For you, the consumer, “cheap food” is only an illusion. It is becoming increasingly expensive on the planet’s health and human health.

Nowadays, one of the very few ways to get natural and healthy food is to produce it yourself. Aquaponics is one option of growing food, it is one step toward food sustainability, human health and planet health. Vegetables are grown in a real ecosystem and get a full blend of nutrients that are not only essential to grow nicely but also to develop all the necessary vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids that are essential to good health and tasty food.. and with aquaponics, you also get to raise fish at the same time!

What is aquaponics?

Aquaponics is a fascinating way to grow plants and raise fish. It is the combination of two food producing technics, aquaculture and hydroponics. Aquaculture is the raising of aquatic animals and hydroponics is the growing of plants in water. When you bring these two methods together you get aquaponics.

How does aquaponics work?

Aquaponics takes the advantages of both systems to provide a more efficient method of growing food. The process is based on the nitrogen cycle. Fish waste in the water is composed of ammonia and with the help of nitrifying bacteria this ammonia is turned to nitrate or “plant food”. The water is pumped through to the plants, the plants, acting as a filter, absorb the nitrates and the clean water is recycled back to the fish. The fish waste feeds the plants, and the plants filter the water for the fish. This is a naturally occurring cycle on which all life is based on.

Why aquaponics?

Aquaponics is good for the planet, there are no fertilizers involved and it uses only around 10% of the water that traditional farming uses. It’s also good for your body as there is no back breaking labor involved, aquaponic systems are easy to care for all you have to do is feed your fish. Aquaponics not only grow delicious, organic vegetables faster than traditional gardening but they also raise fish at the same time.