Umami Driven Farm To Plane Food Has Arrived On Singapore Airlines

Posted: Oct 11, 2019

Newark CNN — Farm-to-table dining may now be a ubiquitous food concept, but farm-to-plane cuisine is just taking off.

Singapore Airlines' new produce-heavy meal service, which launched on October 1, allows business class passengers on the 19-hour Newark to Singapore route to enjoy a fresh treat.
Partnering with AeroFarms -- an indoor farm where food is produced in vertically stacked layers that's located just miles from Newark-Liberty International Airport -- Singapore Airlines is delivering a high-quality dining experience that's also the absolute freshest it can be.

Passengers won't find any limp, tasteless produce on board this carrier.

Singapore Airlines introduced the farm-to-plane idea internally almost two years ago with a two-fold purpose, according to the airline's food and beverage director, Antony McNeil.

"We wanted to be more sustainable and reduce our carbon footprint by using hyper-local produce, and we wanted the in-flight food to taste as vibrant as possible," he says. "We're always trying to innovate when it comes to on-board dining so AeroFarms was a great fit."

Vertical farming
The indoor farming practice utilizes 95% less water than field-farmed food, and boasts a much higher yield.

AeroFarms, founded in 2004, isn't new, but its agricultural approach is pioneering. Greens are managed from seed to package and sold to select retailers and restaurant groups under the brand name Dream Greens. The indoor farming practice utilizes 95% less water than field-farmed food, and boasts a much higher yield.

The Singapore Airlines partnership is the latest venture for the environmentally responsible farm.
Marc Oshima, co-founder and AeroFarms' chief marketing officer, explains how the companies connected: "The partnership with Singapore Airlines came out first and foremost around a shared vision and values in terms of the kind of impact, the kind of responsibility we want to have."

Spanning more than 70,000 square feet and spread among three-and-a-half acres on a plot of land that's less than five miles from the airport, AeroFarms, set in an industrial part of town, claims to be the world's largest vertical farm.
"We don't need to use pesticides, herbicides or fungicides," adds Oshima.

Instead of relying on sun and soil like a traditional farm, AeroFarms grows its produce year-round in rooms with 40-foot-tall ceilings using LED lights and cloth made from recycled water bottles.

In place of the watering that's required with field-farmed food, AeroFarms' farmers mist the roots of everything that grows. It's a technique that allows around 700 varieties of fruits and vegetables to harvest in 10 to 14 days, compared with the 30 to 45 days of traditional farming methods.

By Shivani Vora and Stacey Lastoe
October 10, 2019
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