Farm-to-Tray Table – JetBlue Changing the Future of Airport and Airplane Food?

When JetBlue was launched in 1998, they were the first domestic airline to put seat-back televisions with satellite TV as standard on their planes. Now they are trying to re-define “green” by opening their own “farm” at New York City’s JFK Airport, after a three year approval process.

Initially, the goal is to try and teach people about farming and to improve the appearance of the terminal’s exterior.

“We know people like green space. It’s what they have at home. Why not put that at an airport if that’s what they love and want?” says Sophia Leonora Mendelsohn, the New York-based airline’s head of sustainability. “Your flying experience starts on the ground.”

Although the initial goal is education, eventually the airline would like to serve items grown there in JFK’s terminal restaurants, and use the potatoes to make some blue potato Terra Chips to be served on their flights. Due to concerns about certain vegetables and animals, there certainly is no shortage of potatoes:

Airports are concerned about anything that would attract wildlife, especially birds. That means no growing tomatoes, corn, berries, seeds or sunflowers in its new garden. (The airline originally wanted to grow wheat and use it to make its own JetBlue JFK beer.) So instead, JetBlue is focusing on potatoes, chives, basil, carrots and other plants deemed safe.

The airline expects to grow 1,000 potato plants, yielding more than 1,000 pounds of spuds every four to six months, along with an additional 1,100 plants such as mint, arugula, beets, garlic, onions and spinach.

You can read the CBS News article here.

What do you think of JetBlue’s new airport farm, and their farm-to-tray table idea? Do you think this will change the way airports (and airlines) look at food?

Michael Prodanovich is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, and author of The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel.

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