The FoodMachine Foundation is a registered non-profit organisation operating since April 2006 that aims to provide training for their revolutionary aquaponics system capable of sustainably producing a balanced diet of food. The premise of the FoodMachine is simple, yet the potential for improving worldwide malnourishment is massive.

The FoodMachine consists of an aquaculture of fish, tilapia in this case, which is connected to a hydroponic bed of edible plants. Normally, aquaculture requires the water to be regularly replaced in order to prevent the accumulation of toxic waste from fish – which can halt growth and cause deaths. However, in the FoodMachine aquaponics system, nutrient rich ‘waste’ water is fed into the hydroponic plant beds. Nitrifying bacteria in the roots of the plants break down nitrates and nitrites which are used by the plants as nutrients, and clean ‘filtered’ water is recirculated back into the aquaculture system.

Based on the starting FoodMachine design of one 4’x4’x10’ fish tank connected to two 4’x50’ grow-beds the FoodMachine can provide vegetables for up to 50 people eating two meals per day. In addition the meat from the fish which may be harvested after around 8 months when the fish are over a pound in weight.

Initial set up of the food machine can cost as little as $5000 depending on the availability of local materials or as much as $15000. However this cost includes hiring of additional labor as well as for two FoodMachine staff to fly over and help set up. Following this, maintenance can be covered by as little as one person full time or shared by several people cooperatively. Daily labour includes feeding of fish, checking of water quality, monitoring for vegetable pests, seed planting and plant harvesting. All else that is required is a a source of electricity and enough land to house a FoodMachine which can be as little as 20’x65’.