At the Subway across the street from Tokyo Station, the catchphrase "Eat Fresh" has taken on new meaning. The store recently installed a hydroponic lettuce garden that produces the ultimate fresh ingredient, grown without any agrochemicals. As a member of the world's largest single-brand restaurant chain, this Subway's move could signal a shift toward support for local, sustainable food. However, it's more of a symbolic gesture than a large-scale transformation. For now, the garden can only accommodate about 5 percent of the store's lettuce needs, and produces lettuce twice the price of trucked-in produce. But, as Jeymi Heimbuch argues on Treehugger:
Clearly, it's not a terribly practical move for providing all locally grown ingredients. More than anything, it is a small experiment and statement to show that sustainable, fresh food can be created just about anywhere...even if it's in micro-amounts. And sitting around watching lettuce grow can actually make a Subway a slightly more appetizing place to eat.