Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - 19

vertical farming

The food industry is no longer
about supply and demand, Griffin
says. "Cities control the demand, so
it's demand and supply," he explains.
"We are talking to the city council
about how much money they spend
on prison, schools, hospitals - places the city runs - and how much
money it spends on food in those
areas. It's an enormous amount of
money. When they buy food locally
it creates jobs and opportunity. I'm
building the infrastructure to create
control over the supply and green
collar jobs. That's what makes this
important for cities."

A New Food Culture
As vertical farmers continue to overcome the challenges they face today,
they are developing a new food culture for tomorrow as they continue to
innovate and push boundaries. "Food
is the great equalizer," Herbert says.
"Food is that which levels all of us
to our basic needs. We have to think
about how to bring healthy food to the
food deserts or to people in areas that
are underserved. Where are people
living? In city clusters, and you have
to grow near urban settings. In climates like ours, we can't grow yearround so we have to take it under
glass. This is the future."
"We want a better world where
everyone is fed and to get everyone
a job as farmers or building farms,"
Griffin says. To help address the issue of getting healthy, local food in
food deserts, Metropolis Farms will
operate two buses year-round as food
trucks that offer prepared meals in

those areas. "I am talking to top chefs
in Philadelphia and asking them to
develop a menu of prepared foods
that cost the same amount of money
as the junk food they can buy," Griffin says. "I want to compete against
hoagies with a wholesome vegan lasagna that's more nutritional than they
would otherwise get."
Calling it Grandma's Mobile
Market, Griffin is pulling into the
most-challenged neighborhoods in
Philadelphia this winter to make sure
people have a place to buy fresh prepared food and vegetables. "You can
talk about it or do something about
it," he says. "We are starting with two
buses to show that the model works
and will train people here in Philly to
go back home and do this."

Metropolis Farms is partnering
with the USDA to build vertical farms
inside classrooms in northern Philadelphia's disadvantaged neighborhoods. "We need to inspire more kids
to become farmers," Griffin says. "We
are putting a version of our system in
the classroom and the kids will grow
the crops, care for them, harvest them
and take them to the supermarket
to sell. It's a full life lesson. We are
getting into schools in the concrete
jungle and showing them there is a
different way and engaging them."
"People are telling us we are crazy
and that we can't do it while we are
doing it!" Griffin adds. "This is what I
want to do for the rest of my life. I'm
having the time of my life feeding and
helping people."

>> Metropolis Farms is the first indoor farm to be vegan-certified in North America.

food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

19


http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1

Contents
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - Cover1
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