In this episode, I’m speaking to Travis Andren from Seedling in Philadelphia, in the United States – an organisation working on bringing efficient forms of urban-based, vertical farming and aquaponics into the mainstream.

A lot of the focus on reducing avoidable food waste is placed on the household, or changing supermarket practices, all of which are important in addressing the flaws in the current system. But what if a new agricultural system was introduced to reduce the dependency on the depleted soils of rural land – one that feeds our ever-growing cities from within the cities themselves, and essentially eliminates the potential for food waste by avoiding food losses, allowing for a diversity of secondary markets, and as a last resort – say if there is a crop failure – using the food to produce energy to sustain the system.

That’s exactly what Seedling aims to do – to create a source of locally produced food for retailers, academic institutions, and the catering and hospitality industries, with a minimal impact on the environment. The nature of this type of farming not only reduces the amount of avoidable food waste being produced, but provides a more efficient, lower-impact means of feeding cities.

I talk to Travis about the viability of vertical farming, the impact it has compared to conventional, rural-based agriculture, and much more.

Seedling –

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Chris King
I'm a documentary and portrait photographer and video producer from Ireland, but currently based in London. With the Food Is Wasted website and my exploration of the issue of avoidable food waste, I have a desire to create positive change in whatever way I can, and to whatever degree I can. You can see more of my work at