We all know the benefits of growing and eating chemical-free food. It’s better for the planet, our bodies, and at the end of the day, it produces healthier, prettier and tastier crops. But pesky insects often make the mass production of organic produce a challenge…that is, until now. Farmers in Korea are reaping the benefits of vegetable crops protected from insects not by pesticides but by a specific wavelength of LED light. According to Arirang.com, “These LED-powered lights emit a finely tuned wavelength that is specifically aimed at eradicating pests and disrupting their breeding patterns. The energy efficient lights can also be programmed to other color-specific functions that inhibit mold, all without any pesticides being dropped.”
Officials monitoring the new LED farming system have established that it yields a 53 percent effectiveness rating in pest control. An added bonus is that these wavelength-specific LED light kits don’t inhibit plant growth the way similar pest-preventing incandescent light systems do. The overall effectiveness of chemical pesticides is up for debate. While it’s true that they reduce loss of crops to pests, many insect populations are gaining resistance to the poisons. For instance, Sweden has not seen any crop lost at all, after reducing its pesticide use by half, according to Sustaining the Earth by Miller GT (2004). And it’s alternatives like this one that are helping them do it. We have yet to see this LED pesticide system used outside of Korea, but initial findings are positive and point towards international implementation in the future.