ROI of an ‘Aquaponics’ Endless Food System

Food is a commodity, linked directly to the value of the US dollar. Our country produces enough food to nourish every single person who lives here twice over. The most affordable foods are at fast food restaurants and big box grocery chains full of food containing genetically modified organisms and a plethora of chemicals and pesticides.

Time is now proving the devastation these tainted foods are causing to our health and has spawned a movement toward local, organic and clean foods. The problem is that often the price of eating organic, clean food is quite expensive, not to mention the fact that the big food corporations are latching onto the “organic” theme and already beginning to pervert it. This has led to a backyard garden “revolution” where many are taking back the power and growing their own food.

“Buy Out” of the Food Market & Eat Healthy!

Return on Investment (ROI) - Endless Food Systems

Efforts to make small-scale farming operations more productive and cost-effective have led to modern aquaponic systems that are capable of sustainably producing enough food to meet the nutritional requirements of a family. For example, our Sanctuary 128 System, with a price tag of $6,495, can feed 3-4 people. These systems do require an upfront investment, but when you consider the initial cost as the price of “buying out” of the global food market, the value quickly becomes apparent. 

In all likelihood, you’re spending a lot on groceries. For most people, food costs account for a sizable chunk of their take-home wages. The median household income in the United States for 2011 was around $50,100 and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average family of four spends $861-$1,024 on groceries each month. This means that grocery bills consume up to 20-25 percent of total household income for the average family.

These statistics are easily verified and true, but they do not actually tell the whole story. In most families, both spouses work and yet the bills are still barely paid. This should shed light on a greater underlying problem. 

Consider the following:

Average Gross Income        $50,100
Average Income Tax     (           $9,075 (after the std ded; 6,250 income tax & 2,825 payroll)
Amount Lost to Inflation (       $3,006 (calculated at 6% real inflation)
Avg Mortgage Interest Paid ( $5,282 (Interest only on a 140K loan at 6%)
Avg Interest on Other Loans (                $3,778 (Interest only for avg car loan & credit card debt)
 Total of these expenses = $21,141

Thus, a total of $21,141 is going to income tax, inflation and only the interest payments for a mortgage, automobiles and average credit card debt. That’s not counting the principal amounts due on the loans! Add in another $4,414 for the principal portion, and you can then start deducting your normal expenses (all are based on the annual average for Americans):

Principle Portion of Loans         $4,414 (mortgage, auto & credit cards)
Gasoline                                         $4,416 ($368 per month for 2 working adults)
 Health                                    $15,745 (family of 3     
 Auto                                         $1,800 (for 3 automobiles)
 Home                                          $800
 Life                                             $350 (40 yr old male in good health)
Electricity                                     $1,147 (avg,
Water, Trash, Sewage                   $840 (
Phone                                             $1,128 (for 2 people,
FOOD $861-$1,024                    $11,310 (avg annual per USDA)
Total                                             $41,950

Since the $41,950 + $21,141 is much more than the gross amount earned of $50,100 we can easily see that something has to give.  Many Americans do not have health insurance (or it is free to them through their employer), so let’s deduct that from the mix. It leaves us with:
Gross Income           $50,100
Total Expenses         $47,346
Net                              $2,754

According to the average real data, the American family earning $50,100 per year actually has $2,754 per year (that’s $230 per month) left over to pay for everything, including clothes, auto maintenance, home maintenance, savings, school, childcare, gifts, entertainment and lawn care—and that’s if they do not have to pay for healthcare. What if the food expense could be taken out of the equation or greatly reduced? That would be a lot more real dollars left over on an annual basis! 

For families hovering closer to the poverty line, groceries can easily account for all disposable monthly income. Is there any question why so many people are on food stamps? The same amount of money the average family of four spends on groceries over a six-month to nine-month span is enough to pay for our largest aquaponics system, which is capable of feeding them indefinitely. 

Even at 20-25 percent of the annual household income, food isn’t cheap, but at least it’s affordable. The real threat facing American families is when the price of food and the average income start trending in opposite directions. Right now, nearly 50 million Americans are living in poverty and food insecurity is at an unprecedented high.

A Threat To Us All

Aquaponics protection against inflation

A sudden spike in inflation would be enough to send most Americans over the edge to a position in which food may become simply unaffordable. The United States recently experienced a bout of heavy inflation in 2008, but what most Americans don’t know is just how close the country came to the experiencing a nation-destroying fit of hyperinflation.

On September 17, 2008, a sudden investor panic caused the immediate withdrawal of $140 billion from the money market. Banks stopped lending money to businesses and each other, which meant that the flow of cash that keeps the economy functioning suddenly dried up. A huge “banker bailout” came from our Congress and Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy. This monetary stimulus didn’t stop there, but has continued ever since—called Quantitative Easing. The Federal Reserve has vowed to pour $40 billion per month into our economy until it deems that things have improved. What this really does is dilute the value of our dollar faster, and at some point many believe a tidal wave of dollars will return to the U.S., creating hyperinflation and a collapse of our currency.

It would be wise to have some food stored up, but much better to be able to supply your own food. Because food prices are tied to the dollar, an economic collapse could easily make eating unaffordable for the vast majority of American families. A person controlling his or her own means of food production is free from the threat of collapse. In the right climate, an aquaponics system could even help you earn money.

A Potential Source of Income

aquaponics as a source of income

Many people are already using aquaponics systems as a source of supplemental income. By cultivating hard-to-find produce and high-profit crops, aquaponics farmers are setting themselves up as niche suppliers for local markets and restaurants. It is often more economical for these types of businesses to purchase produce from local sources, as large retailers often have much more overhead that gets factored into their prices, not to mention the hazards of GMOs and pesticides.

In the best-case scenario, an aquaponics system can eliminate your monthly grocery bill and potentially serve as a source of income. In the worst-case scenario, it can keep you and your family from enduring the hardships that can accompany dire economic situations. Anytime an investment can be returned in less than one year, it’s a great deal and the money saved thereafter is just as real as working a second job.

This practice is already at the heart of many of the small urban agriculture operations that are springing up all across the country. With more and more people falling through the cracks of today’s society, local, small-scale farming is becoming recognized as the best means of producing inexpensive, nutritious organic food. It makes incredible financial sense today to invest in a system, and depending on what happens in our future, it could become the difference between life and death.

Return on Investment – A Recap

     The good thing about an Endless Food System is that it’s not something you throw in a closet & hope you never need.  It has practical application immediately allowing you to profit from it in several ways:

Food Bill–   The most obvious savings is on the money that you will not have to spend at your local food store.  This can vary depending on if you currently buy organic non-GMO only or not.  It also depends on if you juice or not.  The health benefits are incredible- if you have not yet seen the documentary Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, it is a must.  According to that film, the average cost for 1 person to juice organically per month is around $450.  So how much will an Endless Food System save you on your over-all food bill?  That depends entirely on how much of your diet is fish & vegetables and if you are currently buying organic or not.  Another consideration is the American dollar.  The dollar is guaranteed to continue to fall in value over time, that is not even up for debate (just look at the last 100 years!). So with your cash buying less & less, food automatically becomes more & more expensive.   Over time, buying an Endless Food System with today’s dollars & then not having to spend tomorrow’s dollars at the local retail food store will save a tremendous amount of money.

Food Crisis-    Just imagine what life might be like in a post American collapse?  A collapse of our currency, natural disasters or droughts in high food production areas of the US, or a number of other events could leave our very fragile food delivery & production industry in shambles.  What if you did not have to worry about feeding your family?  What if it did not matter that there was no food to buy at the local food store?  How about if the tables were turned…..and YOU have extra food to SELL to others in need?  Now what would a tomato be worth?  Catch my drift?!  

Specialty Foods-    There are a number of individuals that have used Aquaponics to grow a very specific type of plant that they then retail out to a niche market.  One person in Wisconsin grows basil & they produce a specialty salad dressing & sell it directly to a handful of restaurants.  Another Aquapon grows a variety of peppers and tomatoes to make a fantastic salsa.  They can it & retail it to local food stores.  Maybe you have an awesome recipe handed down or some other idea that could empower you to generate an income off of your backyard system….

Commercial Produce-   Maybe you are interested in producing the more profitable vegetables and herbs & sell them to local restaurants or food stores.  There has been quite a boom of small farmers markets coming onto the scene in most American cities.  With a little research find out what is in high demand and grow it!