This Is Why Hydroponics Are Good For You
Because not all leafy greens are created equal!
They say we should be eating the rainbow. And included in the rainbow, as you know, is the color green. Now have you been having your regular serving of greens lately? If you think that shopping for leafy greens only means lettuce or cabbage, then you're missing out! There are a ton of other kinds to try, from arugula, to spinach, to basil—all delicious and nutritious in their own right. But then again, not all leafy greens are created equal!
Some are grown traditionally in outdoor farms, some still use pesticides, some are organic, and some are called 'hydroponics'. This indoor type of farming has been making waves in the health scene, as it claims to have a ton of benefits for your body, and makes city dwelling a lot healthier! Read on to find out why...
We spoke with Eleanor Tolentino of Future Fresh, a hydroponics brand based in Manila, to find out what exactly hydroponics are, and why it's advantageous for our health, especially for city dwellers like us.
Metro.Style: Tell us about Future Fresh and how this brand came about.
Eleanor Tolentino: Future Fresh is the brand of NXTLVL Farms. We believe Filipinos, especially those living in the city, should have access to the freshest and highest quality produce. We wanted to innovate and bring next-generation farming to the Philippines. We decided on building our own controlled-environment agriculture urban farms.
Fresh produce sold in traditional ways touch 8 pairs of hands before reaching the end-customer. With Future Fresh, it only passes through 2 hands. Manila’s climate and infrastructure leads to more than 40% of the product being lost, with up to 70% being damaged upon arrival to the end-customer. We wanted to reduce the food waste and increase food security while building resilience in agriculture. In the way we farm and deliver - urban & indoors - that number is zero wastage.
From seed-to-harvest our vegetables grow hydroponically indoors. Our farm systems are placed in urban areas to be as close to the end-customer. From harvest to arriving at your doorstep will only take a few hours with Future Fresh. It truly is the freshest possible product. You will receive the most nutrient-rich, top quality and longest lasting produce.
MS: What are your current offerings?
ET: It is not our intention to compete with our local farmers. With that in mind, we focus on vegetables that are high in value and hard to grow locally all year round due to tropical weather and high temperature. Remember that our product is also grown in a sterile environment with zero use of pesticides.
We offer leafy greens like baby kale, roquette arugula and savoy spinach. We also have specialty herbs like Genovese basil, coriander also known as wansoy, and Italian flat-leaf parsley. Recently, we introduced Salanova lettuce varieties. This type of lettuce has more leaves and is very easy to work with. It tastes great and only requires one cut or a twist-off at the end and it’s ready to serve.
MS: Why are hydroponics and indoor farming a good option for consumers these days? What are the advantages of choosing this over traditional farming?
ET: Using hydroponics, we can grow produce without the use of soil. A large benefit of growing indoors hydroponically is we don’t require pesticides. Even farmers who grow organic produce will need to spray something on their crops as they grow outside. We can also control our nutrient mixes and check the growth of the plants using our internal data systems, sensors, monitors built for our NFT and ebb & flow systems. Growing indoors allows us to grow top-quality fresh produce 365 days a year using 95% less water than traditional farms. Since we are located at the heart of Metro Manila, we shorten the food supply chain by delivering from our farm directly to the consumers’ home within hours after harvest. This guarantees they’ll get the freshest produce.
MS: Do you offer your goods in supermarkets or do you only sell online?
ET: You can order online via our website. If you order by 8:00pm, it will be delivered to you the next day. We accept credit and debit card payments as well as cash on delivery, with no minimum order We also offer a weekly subscription to customers who want to receive fresh greens regularly and hassle-free. All do I need to do is send us a message at email@example.com or through our Instagram @gofuturefresh. We are also available in retail supermarkets across S&R, Rustan's, Robinsons stores and soon Unimart.