This an open source agriculture initiative and build indoor


This computer will grow your food in the future

Ricky Chhear

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California State
University Long Beach

CAFF 388: Consumers vs Technology

December 4, 2017















foods such as fruits and vegetable are not as fresh as it may seem in the
supermarkets. Most of them are picked out from at least a month to year before
they enter the supermarkets. Why do they seem fresh? It is because they put gas
in cold storage to slow down the process of the food. These gases are toxic to
human if consumed, which in fact, has killed several in the past. I am choosing
the topic about a computer that will grow food in the future because it seems
very interesting and the example that the apple is eleven months old has caught
my attention.


computer that will grow your food in the future was created by Caleb Harper. It
is a computer that uses data to provide knowledge about how to properly grow
plants in a controlled environment (Arora, 2017).
Everyone in Harper’s family is a farmer or has farmed, but his father wanted
him to focus his future on something else other than farming. In 2011, Harper
had visited Japan after their Fukushima nuclear disaster and witness the
reality that many people were unable to feed themselves. He then realized that
technology could be the thing to save a growing global agricultural crisis. In
2012, Harper started the open Agriculture Initiative at MIT’s Media Lab where
he and his team developed a platform for sensor-controlled agriculture systems
(Arora, 2017). The platform uses hardware and software system meant for
experimentation, education, and production of food. Harper launched this
project to solve world food crisis through an open source agriculture
initiative and build indoor food server farm without the need of farming




            The food computer technology is
manufactured to look a lot like a personal computer or 3D-printer. It also
looks like a fish tank, but with no water inside and is controlled by a glowing
purple LED lights (Hansman, 2015). It is a tiny, low-water, climate-controlled
agriculture system designed for growing food in cramped city quarters. The food
computer is plugged into a network that all the environmental information runs
into a database. So, other food computers and farmers can research how much
water and light the plants need and use those data to grow their own crops
(Hansman, 2015). The food computer is manufactured at the MIT’s Media Lab where
it is not yet released to the public to be able to purchase. The company is
still doing research on the food computers.


food computer consumers are focused on students and farmers for the future of
growing food. But, this innovative technology is not ready to be able to purchase.
To date, there are fewer than 10 food computers worldwide: six personal food
computers at MIT and Boston-area public schools, two food servers at MIT and
Cinvestav in Mexico. The first food data center is scheduled to be built later
(Anderson, 2016). While the consumer profile data is not using this technology
at the moment, it will be expected to grow once the food computer is ready to
release their technology.


            OpenAG is
targeting schools as pioneers in the world of food computing because education
will be a key factor in inspiring a technology-driven generation (Harper,
2015). The company most important mission is to create more farmers and
students are the best examples to market towards. Harper
brought the food computers with him and dropped them off at schools where
students can experience the food computer personally. Harper taught the
students how to use the food computer and to grow their own food themselves. There
is a 3D environment where students can access the program through their smart
phone and access recipe that has already been created or create a new one
themselves. Then the students will follow the steps and grow the plant on the
food computers. Harper want kids to see agriculture as an exciting field where
they can innovate, explore, and make real impact on their communities and on
the world (Harper, 2015).


            There are
no other countries using this technology at the moment because there are only a
few produced and they are located at the MIT’s Lab, Boston, and Mexico. Many
countries can benefit from this technology because there are many countries
that are starting to vertical farm indoors. There are 145 vertical farms in
Japan, 45 in Taiwan, 20 in China, and more than a dozen in the United States
(Anderson, 2016). The results of vertical farming are the cost savings that the
newest lights yield is enough to make vertical farming increasingly
economically viable for indoor farming expenses.


             I see the future of food computer to be rising
in the future, that many people will start using this to grow their own food
locally. The downside of food computer is using a lot of electricity and water,
but there are always advantages and disadvantages to many things. OpenAg sees
the solution to food computers as a problem of high food miles, climate change,
growing urbanization, and a reducing number of food producers worldwide to be found
in an open-source, networked, and computerized agricultural system (Shah,
2016). Overall, I feel that the future of food computing will continue to rise not
as a replacement to farming, but a possible substitution.


REFERENCES – centered, bold and listed on separate page

The reference list is alphabetical, double spaced. Keyboard
shortcut of CTRL + T will correctly indent reference list, list below is for
example only


Anderson, M. (2016). MIT’s Food
Computer: The Future of Urban Agriculture? Retrieved from

Arora, R. (2017). Caleb Harper: Teaching
the World to Farm with Technology. Retrieved from

Hansman, H. (2015). What Is a Personal Food
Computer? Retrieved from

Harper, C. (2015). Food Production in a
Technology-driven Economy. Retrieved from

Shah, N. (2016). Is digital farming the
future of food? Retrieved from