Schnucks Partners with BrightFarms to Build Hydroponic Greenhouse

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We asked Ray Massey, an extension economist at the commercial agriculture program at the University of Missouri, what he thinks of the plan. Massey says he can't speak specifically on BrightFarms, but says he's come across some similar ideas.

"The question about greenhouse gasses is quite disputable," he says generally about the purported benefits of locally-grown produce. "The transportation is only like four or five percent of the greenhouse gasses from crop [production]."

Another greenhouse rendering. - BRIGHTFARMS
Another greenhouse rendering.

He also says that while the crops would be locally grown, the company itself is not local, which is another tenet of the locavore philosophy.

But Massey also admits he's never heard of a hydroponic greenhouse of this size and can't say whether or not the project could save on emissions.

"That's a new one," he says.

Lightfoot, on the other hand, speaks with total confidence about the project.

"This is all about, essentially, bringing better produce to a market that doesn't cost more and that's better for the planet," he says. "Schnucks is a little bit ahead of the curve in embracing that."

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