What's the deal with aeroplane food? If Singapore Airlines has anything to say about it, that classic stand-up joke will soon be a thing of the past. The airline made headlines in 2017 when it announced a new “farm-to-plane” dining service coming to its long-haul flights, and again this spring when it announced its first sourcing partner. [Normally, while catering in the winter] the greens for our flights from Newark had to be flown in from 3,000 miles away, from California, Mexico, or Florida. This allows us to instead source our greens from less than five miles away, cutting down on shipping waste James Boyd, Singapore Airlines’ head of US communications Now, the locally-sourced, fine-dining initiative is about to launch on the world’s longest flight. After months of planning and preparation, the farm-to-plane service begins on the airline’s flight between the New York City-area Newark airport and Singapore in October. The airline will work with AeroFarms, a unique indoor vertical farming company based in Newark, New Jersey, to source leafy greens and vegetables for several of the appetisers in its business class cabin. Meals made with the local greens will eventually be expanded to other courses and other cabins – the plane operating the flight is entirely business class and premium economy. While the novelty of the “farm-to-table” concept in the sky, coupled with the fresh taste of the meals has an obvious appeal, the airline also touts the sustainability of sourcing ingredients locally, and supporting eco-efficient businesses like AeroFarms with its business. It could be easy to dismiss that – the airline, after all, is an airline, and relies on fossil fuels to fly emission-generating planes around the world – but there’s a twofold benefit that sourcing crops from a company like AeroFarms can provide. What can you eat in first class on Asia’s best airlines? Normally, while catering in the winter, “the greens for our flights from Newark had to be flown in from 3,000 miles away, from California, Mexico, or Florida,” said James Boyd, Singapore Airlines’ head of US communications. “This allows us to instead source our greens from less than five miles away, cutting down on shipping waste.” Singapore is also looking to expand the farm-to-plane initiative with similar sustainable urban farms around the world, giving a boost to growing eco-friendly businesses – for instance, AeroFarms, which said it plans to add more facilities, is a certified B-Corp, a designation given to businesses that meet certain environmental and ethical standards. If you’re interested in trying AeroFarms’ produce and you’re in the New York City metropolitan area, the farm sells packaged goods in local grocery stores under the brand name Dream Greens Business Insider recently toured the AeroFarms facility at Newark to see how everything works. Take a look below for our walk-through of the facility, and the process of getting the greens from the farm to the skies. Welcome to AeroFarms. This hi-tech, one-acre vertical farm can be found at an old steel plant in Newark, New Jersey. The farm grows a variety of leafy greens and vegetables that will be used in dishes prepared by Singapore Airlines for its flight from Newark Airport to Singapore – the longest flight in the world. Despite its small size, the farm can grow roughly 390 times as much output as a normal farm with the same acreage. That incredible output isn’t just because the crops are grown on trays stacked to the ceiling – it’s because of a unique and proprietary method that AeroFarms uses, based on a technology called “aeroponics”. Aeroponics is a seemingly simple but cutting-edge growing process. A peek inside a first-class amenities bag on Emirates – video It uses a mist of water and air to help crops grow in an environment without soil, pesticides, sunlight or weeds. Aeroponics farms can grow crops year-round, regardless of season. It starts with a cloth-like material on which seeds are placed, and where the roots will eventually take hold. The material is laid across trays, which are placed into the farm’s growing racks. From there, the farm uses a mist of water, coupled with nutrients, to start the seeds’ growth. Instead of sunlight, the farm uses LED bulbs emitting specific light spectra, designed to discourage pests, optimise the nutrients the plants get, and control the flavour of the plants. With this method, AeroFarms can grow mature, ready-to-harvest plants in a fraction of the time a normal farm would take. While baby leafy greens would normally take 30-45 days to reach maturity, AeroFarms said that it only takes AeroFarms 12-14 days. KLM, Singapore Airlines and Emirates are all flying green That faster growth means that food can be supplied faster, keeping up with demand while using a fraction of the energy. Within a few days, the farm will see its seeds begin to germinate … … Begin to grow … … Take hold in the cloth medium … … And grow … … And grow … … And grow. The farm has a variety of hi-tech solutions to optimise plant growth, including computer-controlled misting … … Temperature controls … … And systems that help manage the growth environment, ranging from fans, controlled air pressure between different rooms, and more. The racks of trays resembled a server room in an office, except that each row had plants growing on it … … Something you typically wouldn’t see around computer servers. Inside Singapore Airlines’ new Boeing 787-10 ‘Dreamliner’ Sensors, controls and backups help ensure that the plants can grow in the best conditions possible … … And make it easier to keep track of different crops and growing cycles. Employees and visitors take a number of precautions to avoid accidentally interfering with the growth or contaminating the food-bound plants … … Including removing jewellery, entering through a series of pressurised rooms and doorways, and wearing hair nets, gowns and gloves. The farm employs about 150 people. Once plants reach a certain point … … They’re ready to go into the food supply – including in Singapore Airlines’ dishes. Growing trays can be taken individually to the harvest room, whenever they’re ready – unfortunately, we weren’t able to take photos of the process … … And then to the packaging room … … Where they’re packaged either for bulk delivery to clients like Singapore Airlines, or for retail. The growing, harvesting and packaging operation may be unique … Inside Singapore Airlines’ new luxury suites … But AeroFarms is planning to expand, hoping to open additional locations. Business Insider sampled a few different harvested greens, including baby kale, and spicy watercress. After being packaged, the sky-bound greens are trucked to nearby Flying Food Group – the caterer that supplies Singapore’s Newark flight, which is about four miles away – where they’re used for the day’s dishes. The airline said it would start with three appetisers, including a garden green salad, heirloom tomato ceviche and a soy poached chicken, pictured here. Then, the dishes are brought from Flying Food Group just down the road to Newark Airport, where they’re loaded onto the plane. Singapore Airlines’ new double beds are about to make you a travel brat If you’re interested in trying AeroFarms’ produce and you’re in the New York City metropolitan area, the farm sells packaged goods in local grocery stores under the brand name Dream Greens. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter This article originally appeared on Business Insider .