Government and grocers have gotten together to hold a press conference regarding the rapid rise in food costs yet have offered very little comfort in the way of solutions or signs that costs will abate in the future. The good news? High food costs will come down in the coming months thanks to dropping oil and commodity prices. The bad news? Those in the position to mitigate the rise and fall of cost of living are behind the curve and missing what can be done today to reduce our exposure to fluctuations in oil and commodity prices.
Let’s offer a few tangible solutions that could be investigated day to help provide a more sustainable future for Bermuda. The first involves understanding that a major factor in the rising price of food on island has been soaring electricity bills for grocers. A potential solution? Grocers can cut lighting costs substantially by investigating the introduction of solar light distributed through fibre optics such as Sunlight Direct’s Hybrid Solar Lighting or Parans’ fibre optic solar lighting, both of which track the sun to capture the most amount of sunlight, transmit it through fibre optics and use that light to supplement florescent lighting systems.
Another major factor in rising food costs is that Bermuda relies heavily on importing food that could be produced locally. The problem? Bermuda’s high costs of real estate have left farming a less than viable option for many, resulting in our need to import the bulk of our food. One possible solution? A technique referred to as hydroponics, or the growing of plants using a mineral nutrient solution rather than soil, could be used to produce greater yields of local crops while utilizing much smaller spaces. Legislation could be implemented to make such farming more viable or even still, individuals could take it upon themselves to investigate hobby hydroponics as an alternative to the costly grocery aisles.
Finally, to take things to a whole other level, one could consider the combination of fibre optic solar lighting and hydroponics as a possible solution for maximizing the the amount of light available for a hydroponics farm such that you could not only expedite growth rates but also place farms in venues far removed from the typical greenhouse.