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Japanese High-Tech Factories Turn to Agriculture

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发表于 7-7-2014 18:25:59 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Eric Pfanner and Kana Inagaki, In Japan, High-Tech Plants Now Include Vegetables; Idled factories find new life in farming; Swapping computers chips for lettuce. all Street Journal, July 7, 2014 (front page).
online.wsj.com/articles/in-japan-idled-electronics-factories-find-new-life-in-farming-1404700202

Quote:

(a) “At the Fujitsu plant, workers dress in lab coats and face masks to preserve the sterile environment in which the lettuce is grown. Instead of soil, the plants mature in water that is drip-fed with fertilizer and nutrients.

“Growing the lettuce in this way lets Fujitsu reduce the level of potassium, making it palatable to the growing number of elderly Japanese who have kidney ailments that prevent them from processing the metal, Fujitsu says.

(b) “But high-tech lettuce comes at a price. At a supermarket near Tokyo, a small bag of Fujitsu lettuce was selling for $3, about $1 more than a whole head of ordinary lettuce. Toshiba says it needs production scale to make a profit in the business. It will aim to grow three million heads of lettuce a year and annual sales are estimated at $2.9 million by fiscal 2015 [or ~$1 a head].

Note:
(a) Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima  福島県会津若松市en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aizuwakamatsu,_Fukushima

That is the same Fukushima that suffered in Mar 11, 20122 tsunami.
(b) Japanese surnames:
(i) Inagaki 稲垣
(ii) Miyabe 宮部
(iii) Tanizawa 谷沢

(c) “Mr Miyabe and Fujitsu aren't alone in this circuit-boards-to-plowshares transition.”

plowshare
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plowshare

Please note in the above Wiki page, the plow moves to the RIGHT.
(d) “Because the lettuce is grown in a bacteria-free space, it keeps much longer than ordinary produce—up to two months if refrigerated, the company says.”

Of course it is not bacteria-free, or sterile in biologists’ jargon. To do that, water, air and fertilizer must be sterilized, increasing costs exponentially.
(e) “Adding to his delight, he [Takayoshi Tanizawa, a 40-year-old Panasonic employee] found vegetables aren't as persnickety as, say, people are when they try out a massage chair. "Massage chairs are difficult.”

persnickety (adj)
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/persnickety
(f) This report does not say anything new (but ratehr a summary of the trends in Japan). Maybe because of this, there is no Japanese translation (or original) in Wall Street Journal of Japanese edition.
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