A New Startup Wants to Grow More Nutritious Food

March 20, 2018, 12:26 AM UTC

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif.—Agriculture has been slow to digitize but that is beginning to change, with McKinsey recently reporting that $3 billion was invested in the industry last year.

One area experiencing a boom is hydroponic farming, in which plants are grown in water rather than soil, often in a controlled environment. Because plants can be grown inside, year round, and in optimal conditions, proponents of the method tout its efficiency in being able to help feed a ballooning world population, predicted to reach 10 billion people by 2050.

“Quantity of food is important, but it’s not the full picture,” said Daniel Gruneberg, president of Sensei, at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference here on Monday.

Sensei is a new company using hydroponics and precision data to create the ideal environment for plants to thrive. Interestingly, it views itself as a healthcare startup rather than a food business. Instead of focusing on a traditional metric of success like yield per acre, the company is interested in optimizing nutrition per acre.

Says Gruneberg: “You deserve to know what you’re eating.”

For more coverage of Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference, click here.

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