Why Buy Fresh Hydroponic Lettuce In Alaska

by Lila Barry

For long periods of the year it can be quite difficult to find good quality lettuce in Alaska. Fruits and vegetables have to travel long distances to get to the Alaskan market which can be detrimental. There are therefore a number of reasons to buy fresh hydroponic lettuce in Alaska.

For a short period in the summer there are lots of great local fruit and vegetables available throughout Alaska but for the other nine months of the year it is not possible to grow them. Lettuce is especially sensitive to a cold climate and so is transported from other places and so is not fresh. Now there is a solution in the form of hydroponic farming.

This is a tried and tested method of growing plants in nutrient rich water. Some countries such as Israel have been cultivating crops for decades using hydroponics. The system uses only ten percent of the water used by regular farming and is normally carried out in a greenhouse. This means the people have access to fresh produce all year round despite the hot and arid conditions.

There are no obvious differences between products grown hydroponically. Researchers have tested people on whether they can tell the difference between lettuce grown in the regular way, organic lettuce or hydroponic lettuce. The subjects reported that in terms of taste, texture and appearance all the lettuces were pretty much the same.

Buying hydroponic produce in Alaska has a number of advantages. Firstly, it is often cheaper than products from far away. This is because it is local and has not travelled long distances incurring high transport costs. This is also better for the environment as there is less vehicle pollution.

Most people realize that a healthy diet contains a high proportion of fresh foods. Fresh lettuce contains many of the vitamins and minerals the human body needs to stay healthy. If the lettuce has travelled a long distance it will have reduced levels of nutrients as they start to break down as soon as the plants are harvested. This breaking down of nutrients also leads to loss of flavor and a less crunchy texture. Local and fresh means better taste and better for health.

Hydroponic farming uses fewer chemicals. The systems are basically self-contained and so the crops are exposed to fewer insects and pests and do not need much pest control. Hydroponics also do not need many chemical fertilizers. Most of the fertilizers used in regular farming do not enter the plants themselves but are carried away by the water used for irrigation. This is a major source of pollution in many countries and is causing a number of environmental problems. Whereas in hydroponic systems the plants grow in water augmented with mineral solutions rather than unnatural chemicals.

There are several ways in which fresh hydroponic lettuce in Alaska is better for consumers: it is healthier because it contains higher levels of nutrients than lettuce which has been shipped in, fresher lettuce tastes better, it uses lower levels of chemicals and so is better for the environment and human health, it can be cheaper due to reduced transport costs.

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