For someone looking to support responsibly produced food, I would highly encourage them to look into Vertical Roots’ product because of their transparency, marketing strategy, and business model. Their website provides transparency on the location, strategy, and packaging sourcing for their material. Furthermore, their marketing strategy is straightforward without the need to use green buzzwords. This is admirable because instead of preying on customers with trendy wording, they focus on what really matters: describing the taste. They are able to accomplish quality food because they use a distributed farming network to provide produce. Typically, leafy greens have to travel over 2000+ miles to reach consumers on the East coast, but their produce is strategically placed in local areas so it doesn’t travel as far. For these reasons, I would rate their company a 3/3 because of their forward-thinking strategies.
Vertical Root’s butter lettuce is a hydroponically grown lettuce that is characterized to have a buttery sweet flavor. It comes packaged in 100% recycled type #1 plastic.
Vertical Roots is a hydroponic farming operation servicing the Southeast region of the United States. According to their website, it takes an average of 35 days to produce their lettuce while soil grown lettuce takes 45-60 days. This is accomplished by growing the plants in a controlled environment that’s indoor with high efficiency LED lights and responsible water consumption. Growing indoors means the company does not need to spray their crop with pesticides, so it can grow more naturally. They claim to use 98% less water than traditional farming because they are able to completely recycle their water since its not lost to runoff or evaporation. Once harvested their product takes 2-3 days to arrive to its final destination.
Vertical Roots is one of the companies that makes up the AmplifiedAg network. AmplifiedAg provides multifaceted solutions to the urban ag industry because each of its 3 companies serve a different purpose such as engineering, software, and farming. Vertical Roots stands out compared to other greenhouse grown lettuce because of the high level of transparency it offers. Looking through their website, one is given clear information about their lighting, location, and chemical strategy. Additionally, they have a tab dedicated just to the sustainability of their packaging that goes into detail about their rationale behind choosing it. This is unique because rather than just providing surface level information to their consumers, they take the time to educate them. In an era fraught with false information, Vertical Roots’ supplies a product that not only feeds people, but also educates.