So how do the greenhouses justify themselves? They have some pretty convincing points. A greenhouse can keep income and jobs local year-round. The risk of weather-related crop damage is eliminated. Backyard Farms also boasts heat blankets, rainwater harvesting, biodegradable supports, recyclable packaging, etc. They've also brought in bees to do their pollinating, and wasps to keep the pests at bay. Greenhouse farming is also a much more traceable process, which is important for food safety concerns. It is a controlled and isolated environment (less contamination) and the tomatoes can usually be traced back specifically. This is the type of control, however, that would be appealing to large corporations. I believe it's only a matter of time before these greenhouses become exploited by the CR4 to be able to control more of the market. This is an example of horizontal integration, in that a company can have ownership over more types of food production. We can also see this as vertical integration. If Heinz can start growing tomatoes year-round right next to where it makes ketchup in Pittsburgh, this cuts enormous costs for them and increases production by a tremendous margin.
From the research I've done, I'm convinced greenhouses are taking us down a slippery slope. The costs outweigh the benefits, and I feel that the current issues will only become larger and more complex in the coming years. I can wait until late summer for authentic tomatoes.
What do you think?