Being obsessive about food just got that little bit more interesting thanks to Fujitsu. Last year, the Japanese semiconductor company repurposed one of its factories to the production of lettuce, and this month it's begun selling the special produce for around ¥500 ($4.90) per 90 grams. That's a significant premium over conventionally grown greens, but then Fujitsu's lettuce is being cultivated in the same sterile clean room environment as is demanded for silicon chip manufacturing. That means total control over airborne contaminants, an array of sensors monitoring all aspects of production, and an overarching cloud-based system that calculates factors like the ideal harvesting time.
Starting off with a focus on low-potassium lettuce for sufferers of kidney disease, Fujitsu anticipates it will be making ¥400 million ($4 million) per year from factory-grown vegetables by April 2017. The Japan Times also reports that, while Fujitsu's converted factory is the biggest so far, it is not alone. Other Japanese companies, such as Olympus, are similarly converting idle high-tech fabs into exceptionally clean plant-growing facilities.