Inunnguat - Food
Food supply is a problem in the north. The current practice is for perishables to be flown in, and non-perishables to arrive by sea freight in summer, or ice road in winter. This results in food prices up to an order of magnitude greater than in the south. Food security is also a major concern, since supply chain interruptions can happen due to weather or, in the case of ice roads, the warming climate. Obviously a major city can’t be supported by imported food.
It is a central assumption of this Proposal that all basic food be produced on-site. Only luxury items would be imported, as they are in any other location. Since food must be produced locally, the most efficient possible methods must be used. This has a number of immediate implications. The first is that the average diet would be largely vegetarian. Small amounts of chicken, fish, and possibly pork wold be raised, but beef would be an imported luxury. The second implication is that food production would be very intensive, using the best techniques to reduce land area required. Options would include hydroponics and vertical farming. Fish farming, particularly with Tilapia, would be able to use low-level waste heat from the power plant. The water could then be a feedstock for vegetable gardening, reducing the need for external fertilizer sources.
On-site food production in a controlled environment also creates significant advantages. The first is the opportunity of simulating all growing seasons and conditions. With twelve individual agricultural domes, each would operate on its own annual cycle, thereby providing fresh produce and other crops year-round. Another advantage is due to the isolated nature of the agricultural domes. Pests and diseases would not be a problem, since they would not be imported in the first place. If any infestation did occur, that particular dome would be brought to the arctic ambient temperature, which would freeze and hopefully kill the infestation. Therefore pesticides would be unnecessary, leading to healthier food and less loss.
As food technology progresses, new options will become available. One of these is Soylent, a food product designed for use as a staple meal. Another is “in vitro meat”, with related products such as Muufri (since renamed as Perfect Day), milk created using yeast. Adoption of such advanced foods will probably involve more changes in cultural patterns than in technology. Being part of the related research and development will help adoption of new foods, and foods produced in new ways.
New Harvest: http://www.new-harvest.org/
Perfect Day: http://www.perfectdayfoods.com/