How Disney’s Epcot makes theme park food sustainable
Imagine if your city was self-sufficient in every way possible. All the electricity came from green energy that your city created. Locals are supported above anyone else. Even the food was farmed straight from your home town. In a way, this is Walt Disney’s Epcot.
Many people believe that big corporations such as Disney do more to harm the environment than they do to help it. For some companies, this can be true, but Disney makes sure to show the good they’re doing for the future of our planet.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at how Walt Disney World’s Epcot was, and still is, ahead of its time.
Believe it or not, Disney World is a place of innovation and technology, and not just regarding theme park attractions either. Epcot is home to about 2.5 million square feet of greenhouses where scientists develop new farming techniques for higher yields.
In the park, you’ll find techniques such as vertical farms being used and even tomatoes hanging from the veins on the ceiling in what cast members call a “tomato tree”. They even grow different crops using hydroponics and aeroponics! With hydroponics, Disney farmers hang their plants such as lettuce with their roots in a stream of water to gain all their nutrients. Similarly, aeroponics features plants dangling directly in the air which are sprayed with a mist containing nutrients for the crops. Both of these techniques help maximise space efficiency and don’t take up soil that can be used elsewhere.
Another form of farming practised at Epcot is aquaponics. At first, you might mistake this for hydroponics, but this is leagues beyond that. Aquaponics is where crops are grown directly above a fish tank. The fish provide natural fertilisation for the plants, and in return, the plants filter the water for the fish. Talk about efficiency! What makes this even more impressive is that by creating an environment for fish to flourish, Disney is also combatting overfishing.
The best part of this whole scientific agricultural endeavour is the final part. The eating. Disney use up to 30 tonnes of their own food in Disney World restaurants every year, making them massively sustainable! And if you’re interested in seeing where the food you eat comes from, take a seat on the Living With The Land attraction. There, you can see all the farming techniques in action and look out for hidden Mickies!
Epcot doesn’t just do the food world good. Many of the cast members that work in the World Showcase are actually from their respective countries!
The World Showcase is a section of the park dedicated to different countries across the world. From France to Morocco and even the UK, you can taste authentic dishes and immerse yourself in the culture.
By hiring people from those countries, not only is the experience realistic, but Disney is making the world that more sustainable.
And once again, if you’re interested in learning more about the dishes served from the different countries around World Showcase, you can easily ask cast members about their home country. It’s also worth noting that as we previously mentioned, many of the dishes served here are made using the produce farmed at Disney World.
Disney’s Epcot does a lot more than that to do their part for the Earth’s future, such as green energy from solar panels and nests and gardens for birds and insects. The work put into the park’s image is far greater than many would assume, and for that, we should all be grateful.
If you’re interested in learning more about food technology, take a look at our other blogs on Food Tech Digest. We’ve got a number of blogs on food sustainability, including Fairtrade and Too Good To Go.
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