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Gardyn Economics: Gardyn vs. the Grocery Store

At Gardyn, we want our Hybriponic™ growing system in more homes, so we can achieve our ongoing mission – to eliminate food insecurity and remain focused on increasing the availability of nutritious and tasty produce. As we continue on our journey, we’ve made a few changes. We are excited to announce that we have dropped the price of the Gardyn Home Kit by $100 and will continue to press forward until our small, collective efforts allow the planet to replenish and heal – and most importantly – everyone has access to fresh, nutritious food.

 

When we set out to reinvent the food supply chain in America with Gardyn, we were focused on increasing the availability of quality produce while simultaneously reducing the impact of industrial farming on the environment. It turns out that food security is a main value we are offering families today. We hear from many Gardyners that obtaining access was the motivation for them to start growing their own fresh produce at home.

Inflation - on the up and up

Food prices have increased for the last 12 months and with food optimized for transport, every time there’s a hiccup in the supply chain, consumers are affected.

 

As the world emerges from lock down, the overwhelming demand for goods and services causes a rift in accessibility to basic necessities like food. Inflation, the rise in prices for consumer goods, increased by 5.4 % in June 2021, the largest gain since August 2008 as the country inevitably segued into financial crisis.

 

The combination of shipping costs, supply-chain bottlenecks, and extreme high demand adds to price increases – making the effect of inflation closer to home.

Climate change - how weather and drought affect our food supply

Most people aren’t aware that drought has affected more people worldwide than any other natural hazard. A quiet takeover, drought is caused by extremely dry conditions in certain geographic areas and is one of the most serious consequences of climate change.

 

And while drought is natural and unpredictable, it’s the chronic overuse of water that puts us in a position of unpreparedness when drought arises. Crops die, soil erodes, and forest fires swell. Long-term drought impacts food production making it impossible for farmers to water their crops. Chronic drought effects can include major shortages and the quality of drinking water – making it dangerous for human consumption.

 

In addition to overconsumption, wind, evaporation, and water runoff accounts for 50 percent of the water wasted for irrigation methods for agriculture according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

 

While the big picture of climate change is a daunting task, together we can make small changes that positively impact this mission.

 

It starts with the decision we make every day – so let’s start at home.

 

American consumers throw away $1600 of produce per year (source), and one question we commonly receive from consumers is:

 

“How much money will I save with Gardyn compared to shopping at the grocery store? 

 

Well, there’s one simple and one complex answer.

The Simple Answer:

Gardyn vs. the Grocery Store by the Numbers

If we’re comparing Gardyn to Grocery Store Produce savings, let’s do a side by side based on the yield of one yCube versus one head of lettuce bought at the grocery store.

The Complex Answer:

The Value of Gardyn vs. the Grocery Store by Taste, Waste, and Nutrition

Taste

Gardyn on Taste

We hear a lot about the freshness of our plants, and we can’t deny eating straight from the vine, so to speak, is always the best way to experience a biodiverse diet. 

 

“The flavor in the leaves! I have never tasted that kind of flavorful salad before. And all we do is harvest the leaves, mix them together and add a little bit of olive oil and some balsamic vinegar and it’s ready to go.” 

 

“The lettuce is absolutely delicious! It is way better than the lettuce we were purchasing at the grocery store and it is always fresh!”

 

At the height of nutritional value, Gardyn is pure produce, created as nature intended. And forget seasonal offerings – with Garydn, everything’s in season.

 

Grocery Store on Taste

Harvested weeks, if not months before, grocery store produce unfortunately loses so much of its flavor and nutrition by the time it reaches your dinner plate.

 

The intent of mass production, while valuable for the life of fruits and vegetables, is a huge loss for consumers – leaving flavorless, bland, and often tough results.

Waste

Gardyn Waste: 

With Gardyn, there’s little to no waste. Since everything is grown locally in the comfort of your own home, the impact on the environment is minimal.

 

Here’s the impact growing with Gardyn:

 

CO2 emissions: None

Packaging: None

Water: Gardyn recirculates water in a closed loop, reducing consumption by 95% versus traditional watering methods.

Energy: Gardyn LED lights use as much energy annually as a single desktop computer.

 

Growing with Gardyn for one year makes quite an impact! See how in the graphic below…

Waste continued...

Grocery Waste:

Waste runs rampant in the fresh produce supply chain, and it’s difficult to assign a cost for the magnitude of associated loss.

 

Food loss, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture is defined as representing “the edible amount of food, post-harvest, available for human consumption but not consumed for any reason.”

 

Food loss pre-dinner table can include:

  • Loss from mold, pests, or inadequate climate control
  • During transport
  • Processing problems
  • Weather delays
  • Overbuying and mishandling at the store level

Now ask yourself: “How often do I eat every single scrap of produce?”

After a few days you might end up throwing away soggy lettuce or go out of town to return to a spoiled mess. This waste is not considered in most studies when considering cost.

Other waste pain points to consider:

CO2 Emissions: CO2 emissions from farm equipment and transporting produce to distant markets are a threat to our health and ecosystems. According to the EPA, 10 percent of 2019 greenhouse gas emissions is from agriculture production.

 

Water waste: Nationally, agriculture accounts for approximately 80 percent of consumptive water use. Current irrigation systems critically lack efficiency.

 

Packaging: The EPA reports that an “estimated 14.5 million tons of plastic containers and packaging were generated in 2018”.

 

Fast Fact: According to The Water Footprint Network, it takes 21 gallons of water to produce a single salad containing lettuce, tomato, and cucumbers.

Nutrition

Gardyn Nutrition:

A high yield combined with a diverse portfolio, Gardyn harvests don’t contain pesticides or herbicides. Consumed immediately after clipping from the Gardyn Home device, you benefit from 100% of the intended nutrition of the plant. It’s as simple as that.

Grocery Nutrition:

The moment vegetables are harvested they start to lose nutritional value, and some fruits and vegetables take weeks and months to arrive at your local grocery store. Most produce loses 30% of its nutrients 3 days after harvest.

 

Because the food system is grown for transport (to last a long time before it even hits the grocery store shelves) and not for optimal nutrition, studies show that vegetables can lose 15 – 55 percent of vitamin C within a week. 

 

“Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly,” reports Donald Davis in his study about changes in USDA nutrient content in produce, “but their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.”

 

Chemicals:

Let’s consider chemicals that are added to our food through production. While heavy metals, ortho-phthalates, perchlorate, and per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances are not intentionally added to the food we consume, they are traced during harvesting, processing, and packaging. 

 

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, “The Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) loophole allows companies to secretly decide on the safety of chemicals in our food — without FDA’s review or the public’s knowledge. Congress needs to create a more streamlined, public process for FDA to make safety decisions and encourage innovation.”

Pesticides:

“Nearly 70 percent of the non-organic fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of potentially harmful chemical pesticides, according to EWG’s analysis of the latest test data from the federal Department of Agriculture,” states the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

 

“This year, along with the items on our Dirty Dozen™ and Clean Fifteen™ lists, EWG is highlighting harmful fungicides detected on citrus fruits tested by USDA, as well as in tests we commissioned.”

 

Now, the USDA is reporting a fungicide that can change hormone levels called Imazalil. 

 

Known by the EPA as a likely human carcinogen, “90 percent of citrus samples tested by EWG in 2020, and over 95 percent of tangerine samples tested by the USDA in 2019.” (source)

What else is on the Dirty Dozen list?

Kale 

Collard and mustard greens (highest pesticide load reported)

Strawberries

Spinach

Bell peppers 

Hot peppers

The combination of waste and potential exposure to elements like chemicals and pesticides is alarming, isn’t it? Growing your food at home reduces the chance of exposure to pesticide runoff and carbon emissions, allowing families to eat healthy and delicious meals with complete peace of mind. While everyone’s experience with Gardyn is different, there is one aspect that remains constant – the data.

 

Don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper and empower yourself with knowledge about where your food comes from. Value looks different when we look at the big picture of the food paradigm – and it’s beyond cost and pounds harvested.

 

The bottom line?

 

Taste, waste, and nutrition play just an integral part in how we feed our families as dollars spent. Gardyn is simply better for you, your family, and better for the planet.

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