So we know that our food system is broken. Every day, another headline tells us that the FDA has changed its mind (trans fats), that food companies have changed their minds (dumping GMOs, artificial dyes, etc.), that consumers are changing their buying habits due to an increase in the rates of food allergies, diabetes, cancer and so much more.
As a result, companies, consumers and organizations are rethinking food. They are rethinking how we finance it and how we produce it. They are using the wisdom that we’ve acquired and marrying it with technology we’ve invented to create 21st century solutions.
The Plant is a great example of rethinking the financial and functional models of our food system.
Americans are quickly learning that industrial agriculture is not only not sustainable, but also increasingly responsible for a host of environmental problems. Meanwhile, urban farms are taking root in a big way.
We are reinventing the food system, dumping the junk, rethinking how food is formed and financed.
In Chicago, “The Plant” is located in a 93,500 square foot former pork packing facility. Built in 1925, the buildng was owned by Peer Foods, who operated onsite until 2006. Bubbly Dynamics, LLC purchased the building in 2010, and The Plant was born!
Bubbly Dynamics purchased the property for an extremely low price – about $5.00 per square foot. It was assumed that the new owner would simply strip the facility of an valuable metals, tear the building down, and build something new on the property. However, part of The Plant’s mission is to show that sustainable food production can happen inside of an existing, undervalued property such as this. To that end, instead of stripping the building and tearing it down, The Plant will reuse as much as possible of the building and internal materials.
We need a new food system, one that meets the needs of 21st century families and our changing world. It’s time to not just think outside the box, but to dump the box or build a better one. Take a look.