This #$!% Has Got to Stop: Part Seven, Local Gone Stupid


– mb & Kerri Conan

A greenhouse, a real greenhouse – with sun and soil – this makes all the sense in the world. But hi-tech lettuce? Dumb. Yet a Subway in Tokyo is growing five percent of its lettuce hydroponically, in the shop. This is local? This is junk. No soil, no sun means hi-energy input (lights) and hi-nutrient input (fertilizer). A complete waste, and tasteless no doubt to boot – flavor comes from sun and soil, not from water and lightbulbs. Sheesh.




Posted in Behind The Scenes


  1. Ellen Malloy said...

    Hear, freaking, hear!

  2. Anonymous said...

    I abhor indoor, hydro medical marijuana for the same reason… Just use the freakin’ sun and elements, for godsake.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Goodhart’s Law applies here: Now that we use localness as one (usually meaningful) measure of a food’s worth, those who sell food will try to game it by making food that’s technically local but achieves none of the original goals.Thanks for the info!

  4. houselions said...

    Come on, this is downtown Tokyo. There is no soil or sun for 50 miles in any direction. Considering that most of the lettuce eaten in Japan comes drenched in pesticides from China, I’d say this is a vast improvement.

  5. houselions said...

    Good job applying American standards to another country with zero understanding of the food issues of that country. Japan quite simply doesn’t have enough land to grow enough food to feed its people (most of the land is too mountainous for agriculture), and relies heavily on food imports (70%!) Food imports from China have long been regarded as unsafe because of heavy pesticide usage. Many people have become sick and even died from eating vegetables from China. Hydroponic gardens are one way for city dwellers who are concerned about food safety to at least know where their food is coming from, and they now sell home versions for growing salad greens. When the Japanese, especially in the city, want to eat safe, local, organic food, they have to get creative. Those of us living in the countryside can buy our vegetables straight from the farm, but that option doesn’t exist for more than half of the population.

  6. Anonymous said...

    I’m trying to decide if that is as bad as the McDonald’s billboard I saw today: (Picture of potato) Grown in (local location) —-> (picture of fries) Served here. It was something to that effect. What kills me is that McDonald’s finally found a way for me to remember its billboards.

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