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Some food products have been grown in artificial environments to increase productivity. Examples include growing tomatoes in glasshouses and salmon in fish farms. The benefits of this method are that the growing conditions can be monitored and controlled to improve productivity.

Tomatoes grown by hydroponics

Tomatoes grown by hydroponics

An extreme form of growing crops in glasshouses is called hydroponics. Soil is replaced by a mineral solution pumped around the plant roots.

Removing the soil means there's no risk of soil organisms causing disease but the plants have to be supported.

Monitoring and adjusting the concentrations of minerals in the solution enable the grower to control growth.

It allows crops to be grown in regions where there's no soil. Due to the costs involved, hydroponics is used only for high-value crops.

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