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No Soil, No Sunshine, No Problem! Indoor Farming and the Future of Real Food With Rob Laing

This episode features Rob Laing of Farm.One. Laing is perhaps best described as a farmer of the future.


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About Rob Laing

Rob Laing, CEO of Farm.One, began his entrepreneurial journey when he founded the translation tech start-up in 2008 in Tokyo. After having a transformative experience around whole plant food, he decided to found Farm.One to source specialty herbs, edible flowers and microgreens year-round to chefs. Only a 30-minute bike ride from their Michelin-starred restaurant customers, Farm.One makes it possible for restaurants to serve food made from ingredients picked only minutes beforehand, and use re-usable packaging to eliminate waste.

Why You Should Listen

In this episode, I talk to Rob about the future of farming as we know it. It’s been well established that our current system is broken, about 50 percent of the world’s arable land is devoted to animal agriculture, in either growing feed or grazing cattle, and as such, humans never directly consume the bulk of what we grow. On top of the inefficiencies of this system, agriculture is also traditionally water intensive and creates a lot of pollution. So what if we could do better? 

Rob is pioneering the world of hydroponics, a system of growing plants without many of the traditional inputs. Basically, using just a finely tuned solution of water, Farm.One can grow crops without soil or even sunlight. In fact, Farm.One is a unique indoor farm in downtown Manhattan, which uses hydroponics to reduce water use by around 95 percent, and advanced climate control technology to grow a wide variety of plants year-round without pesticides, pollution, soil contamination, herbicides, manure or waiting in cold storage.

His specialty is microgreens and specialty herbs, which he grows on demand for some of New York City’s top rated chefs, but he sees the future of farming as going far beyond this. Listen in to hear how Rob thinks technology can transform the food system and help to create a more sustainable, healthy world. 

People/Companies/Resources Mentioned in This Episode

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