Cancel OK

Indoor vs. field-grown romaine: a comparison

Indoor farming, especially for leafy greens, is expanding rapidly in North America. Is it a threat to field-grown lettuce?

Historically, indoor lettuces have trended toward rooted butter heads, premium blends of tender baby leaves like kale, spring mix, and arugula, or whole head oak leaf varieties — “fancy lettuce” — while the workhorses of the category — romaine and iceberg — remain in the field.

I’m comparing a head of baby romaine* from Kalera Farms to a heart of romaine from the crisper drawer of my refrigerator to see how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go.

*I know baby romaine is not a heart of romaine, but we’re here to see what the difference is between what’s available indoors and what’s the market standard.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.