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Posted by Chris Mahon on Tuesday, July 10th

orn Brian Goldberg opened his "Mr. Bing〓" b

kiosk out of his personal fondness of the Chinese food, which became an〓 instant hit among New Yorkers. A tasty and crispy jianbing is made by p〓ouring batter (made of rice or beans) onto a circular hotplate. After car〓efully spreading the batter with a spatula, an egg is c6

racked on top. Gre〓en onions, a crispy cracker and any other ingredients that the consumers 〓like are added before the snack is folded into a tidy pocket.A laboratory worker in full biohazard gear is patrolling rows of rainbow〓 colored LED-lit shelves. The shelves stand about 2 meters and have six〓 levels, each containing trays of lettuce saplings bathing underneath t〓he light, and the room is illuminated in a psychedelic pink. A x

labor〓atory worker in biohazard gear checks the growth of lettuce in the vert〓ical farm in Anxi, Fujian province. ZHAN ZHUO / FOR CHINA DAILY This i〓s no scene from a science fiction movie, but a common sight for scienti〓sts at a plant factory in Anxi, Fujian province, which covers 1 hectare〓 and is the largest vertical farming complex in the world. The second-l〓argest is a 0.64 hectare farm in Newark, New Jersey. Vertical farming 〓is the practice of growing vegetables and fruits in vertically stacked 〓layers of hydroponic solutions in a controlled, indoor environment. It 〓does not require soil, sun or pesticides, and uses far less water and f〓ertilizer than conventional farms. However, the f2

arm's high-energy cos〓t has greatly limited its scale and profitability. In recent years, Chi〓nese scientists at the Anxi plant factory have mitigated the issue by i〓nventing energy efficient LEDs and recyclable hydroponic solutions, as 〓well as new energy-conserving methods to maximize a plant's growth pote〓ntial. San'an Sino-Science, the company behind the project, says these〓 new methods have cut the factory's overall energy consumption by 25 pe〓rcent compared with its first facility. "We hope to cut more energy so〓 vertical farming can become a viable way to feed our population withou〓t polluting and straining our already scarce water and soil resources,"〓 the factory's executive manager, Zhan Zhuo, said. "The technology wou〓ld also allow astronauts, aircraft carrier personnel, and frontier guar〓ds on islands or in deserts to grow fresh proM

duce in impossible conditi〓ons to fill their daily vitamin and fiber needs. China has 160 million〓 hectares of farmland dedicated to growing vegetables. To grow them, fa〓rmers use more than 311,000 M

metric tons of pesticide and 59 million ton〓s of fertilizer a year, said Li Shaohua, director of San'an Sino-Scienc〓e's Photobiology Industry Institute. "The excessive yet inefficient us〓e of fertilizers and pesticides has done great harm to our environment,〓" he said. "Its

's high time we find a sustainable and green way to prote〓ct our food security." San'an Sino-Science was founded in 2015 by San'〓an Group and the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Botany. The 〓second-generation plant in Anxi can produce 1.5 tons of vegetables, suc〓h as lettuce and cabbage, a day. At full capacity, when the energy cos〓t is neglected, it can produce 1,000 tons of leafy greens a year in the〓ory, according to a

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  1. Li. "The high productivity is mainly because we try t〓o emulate the most ideal natural conditions fW

    or plant growth, and use t〓echnologies to cater to their every needs." Before entering the plant 〓factory, visitors must put on a dual-layered jumpsuit, goggles, a face 〓mask, rubber gloves and boots, and be disinfected from head to toe. Sne〓ezing in the factory is strictly prohibited. "The standard here is str〓icter than hospital opP

  2. erating rooms," said Zheng Yanhai, a botany resea〓rcher at the institute who works at the plant facd

    tory. "Because all the〓 plants are growing in nutrient-filled hydroponic solutions, we do not 〓want germs to get into the liquid and make plants sick." Thanks to the〓 clean environment, plants can grow without antiseptics or pesticides, 〓"you can even eat it fresh out of the bag", Zheng added. In addition t〓o sanitation, scientists also take temperature, humidity, air circulati〓on, light, carbon dioxide, nutrients and other elements into account to〓 create the "perfect environment" for growth. A tightly controlled env〓ironment not only maximizes growth potential, but also allows scientist〓s to create fk

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