SEP 30, 2021 6:13 AM PDT

You Can Take Food Security Into Your Own Hands by Growing Microgreens

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Microgreens might seem like a passing food trend to some, but to others they could be a way for individuals and families to help secure their food supply. Microgreens are rich in antioxidents and nutrients, and are easy to grow indoors with minimal supplies. Research has suggested that some nutrients are four to forty time more abundant in microgreens. The nutrients they supply can also be absorbed and used by the body to influence health - they are bioactive. Writing in Acta Horticulturae, researchers suggested that people who live in food deserts could grow microgreens in their home to get a fresh supply of good food.

Image credit: Pixabay

“The current COVID-19 pandemic revealed the vulnerability of our food system and the need to address malnutrition issues and nutrition-security inequality, which could be exacerbated by potential future emergencies or catastrophes,” said team leader Francesco Di Gioia, assistant professor of vegetable crop science, College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State. “Nutrient-dense microgreens have great potential as an efficient food-resilience resource.”

The basics for micro green cultivation at home: 1) seeds, 2) small cups to soak seeds in water, 3) growth trays, 4) growing medium, 5) measuring cups for seeds, 6) colander, 7) pitcher, and 8) spray bottle. / Credit: Francesco Di Gioia, Penn State

The growth cycle of microgreens is short; they can be harvested in as little as fourteen days, and they don't need much fertilizer or a ton of light. Growers only need a tray, peat or some type of growth medium or mix, and seeds. Microgreens could be selected for specific nutrients they can provide.

NASA and the European Space Agency have proposed that these plants also have the potential to feed astronauts that are on lengthy missions in space. It might be possible to create simple kits that can be prepared in advance, stored, and used with minimal effort,  suggested Di Gioia.

“Under such circumstances, a variety of fresh and nutrient-rich microgreens could be grown providing a source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants in a relatively short time,” he said. “Or alternatively, kits could be distributed to vulnerable segments of the population as a short-term nutrition-security resource.”

Sources: Penn State, Acta Horticulturae

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
AUG 18, 2021
Microbiology
Researchers Learn How a 'Crop-Killing' Bacterium Infects Plant Cells
AUG 18, 2021
Researchers Learn How a 'Crop-Killing' Bacterium Infects Plant Cells
In a world with a growing population and a changing environment, food security is an important issue. Scientists have be ...
SEP 07, 2021
Plants & Animals
All dogs may be descended from the same 23,000-year-old Siberian ancestor
SEP 07, 2021
All dogs may be descended from the same 23,000-year-old Siberian ancestor
New research suggests that all modern dogs are descended from the same 23,000-year-old Siberian ancestor
SEP 08, 2021
Plants & Animals
Are the skeletons of macaque hybrids distinct?
SEP 08, 2021
Are the skeletons of macaque hybrids distinct?
New research sheds insight into the evolution of the human pelvis by using macaque hybrid models.
SEP 28, 2021
Plants & Animals
Eating Foods High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids Could Help People With Bipolar Disorder
SEP 28, 2021
Eating Foods High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids Could Help People With Bipolar Disorder
Diet can affect your health in many ways, both physically and mentally. For example, some research suggests that diets h ...
SEP 28, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Using UAVs to Study the Environment
SEP 28, 2021
Using UAVs to Study the Environment
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, are a relatively new technology for the general public at an affordable cost ...
OCT 06, 2021
Plants & Animals
Ubirajara Ownership Dispute Leads to Retraction of Dino Paper
OCT 06, 2021
Ubirajara Ownership Dispute Leads to Retraction of Dino Paper
Late last year, researchers reported the discovery of an unusual dinosaur fossil called Ubirajara in Brazil / Artwork © ...
Loading Comments...