Chances are, if you're reading this, you love food. Many of us could spend hours looking at pictures of it, cooking it, eating it, and learning about it. 

But we too often turn a blind-eye to issues surrounding our food: like where it comes from, it's ecological impact, and what it is doing to our bodies. 

Square Roots, a startup based in Brooklyn, NY, is launching a platform to help "empower 1,000s of millennials to become #realfood entrepreneurs" through a process known as vertical farming. 

I interviewed Tobias Peggs of Square Roots to learn more about the company, it's mission, goals, and it's potential to make a positive impact in Brooklyn and beyond. 

His passion is infectious, and it's clear Tobias's model has the potential to increase urban farming accessibility for thousands around the country. Holy #inspo.

Read on for some Q&A with the Square Roots founder, and check out their website here for more info. 

KB: What inspired you to start the company?

TP: I've worked closely with Kimbal Musk for over a decade, and his vision is "to bring real food to everyone." We define "real food" as local food you can trust to nourish your body, the planet, the farmer, and the local community.

A big part of bringing real food to everyone is to activate as many people as possible to work together towards that vision. So we set up Square Roots to do exactly that.

Our goal is to empower the next generation of real food entrepreneurs, helping them get ready to build thriving, responsible food businesses. We coach new entrepreneurs to grow fresh, tasty, real food all year round, and sell locally.

And we coach them to create forward-thinking companies that work towards bringing real food to everyone.

SHQ: Why do you think this is important?

Many people, especially in our biggest cities, are at the mercy of industrial food. The industrial food system ships in high-calorie, low-nutrient, processed food from thousands of miles away. It leaves us disconnected from our food and the people who grow it.

The results are awful— from childhood obesity and diabetes to a total loss of community in our food. But the good news is that a real food revolution is coming.

The data is everywhere you care to look. The next generation especially are turning away from the likes of McDonald’s towards healthy, locally-sourced options like Next Door and Sweetgreen.

Organic food is now a $40b sector. Local food is the fast growing within that. There’s no doubt about it: people want local, real food. But as young entrepreneur, it can be hard to get started to play your part.

I meet people every day who can articulate issues with the industrial food system better than me or Kimbal or even Michael Pollan!

But they are frustrated by their perceived inability to do anything about it. It's relatively easy to set up a tech company, join an accelerator, and progress down a pathway towards success. It's more complex to do that with food.

Seeing this frustration—and pent up energy—was a big part of the original inspiration for founding Square Roots.

It's obvious that the next generation wants to drive a real food revolution, and shape the future. Square Roots exists to give people a platform and an outlet to do exactly that.

KB: What positive impact do you think this can have?

TP: As a company, we believe in taking an impact-first approach. It's a similar philosophy to "conscious capitalism"—doing well by doing good.

We firmly believe that by focusing on impact first we will end up building a better company—on any measure. So we think about impact daily, and specifically we think about three major categories.

1) Enabling year-round availability of locally-grown food. We've deliberately chosen to do that in New York City first because it's a blue print for future living.

By 2050 there will be 9bn people on the planet, and 70% of them will live in cities. They will need feeding, and they will want locally-grown food. So we have to figure out solutions quickly, and there's no better testing ground than New York.

2) Empowering a whole new generation of "real food" entrepreneurs. As I said above, the more of us working on the real food revolution the better. If Square Roots can play a part in unleashing a new generation of real food entrepreneurs, then that will be huge.

3) Growing a lot of food using very few resources. That's why we give Square Roots entrepreneurs vertical farms literally built inside shipping containers. They essentially enable "three-dimensional growing," giving farmers the annual yield equivalent of two acres of outdoor farmland inside a climate-controlled module with a footprint of barely 320 sq. ft.

These systems also use 80% less water than outdoor farms. That’s the potential for a lot of real food grown in a very small space using very few resources.

We focus on these three things every day. How do we get more people growing more local food using less resources. Basically, how do we create more impact? The more of that we do, the better the business we will end up building. 

KB: What can people do in their daily lives to help solve issues your company aims to solve?

TP: There's a lot to be said in the phrase "know your farmer." If you have a relationship with your farmer, you'll likely be more connected with your food, and you'll certainly be more supportive of your local community.

At the end of the day, we believe that communities can be strengthened by real food, and that all starts with relationships. We built the Square Roots farm in Brooklyn to make it easy to visit and get to know your farmer.

We host weekly tours to make it easy to do exactly that. So if you're in NYC, sign up for tour! We'd love to see you.