Whether grown in the field or in a greenhouse, lettuce requires a lot of care.
Field-grown lettuce – 80% of Canada’s total – takes 50 to 75 days to mature. During that time, farmers are busy watering, fertilizing, controlling pests and fighting weeds; then it’s back to planting again to ensure a continuous supply.
Lettuce grown in a greenhouse is no less labour-intensive. Growers follow a highly controlled process, constantly monitoring and regulating temperature, light, humidity and carbon dioxide, all while keeping careful track of the salt, oxygen and pH levels necessary for the crop to thrive in its soil-less environment.
Keeping lettuce healthy in the field takes a lot of water and maintaining optimal conditions in greenhouses means powering fans, foggers, heaters and lights. And all lettuce, once it’s picked, needs constant refrigeration. The fossil fuels needed to transport it to stores also adds to the environmental impact.
The message from lettuce farmers? Make every bite count.
Our A-Z Food Storage Guide will help you make them stay fresher for longer.
*This information on the journey of five foods was collected as part of a research project prepared for Love Food Hate Waste Canada with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change.