Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hot Lunch Takes on a New Meaning: Is Your Diet Contributing to Global Warming?

I found an impressive cool green cafeteria in the National City Bank building last week. The cafeteria has taken several steps to reduce its carbon footprint, including serving more organic, fresh and healthy food choices, discouraging waste, and educating customers on how to make more sustainable food decisions. The food service company, Bon Appetit Management Company's motto is "food services for a sustainable future". The company is using the site, Eat Low Carbon in it's education efforts. You drag and drop typical menu items onto a virtual pan and see how you are contributing to climate change. It's pretty cool and easy to use. For those of you that are always on the go, you can text 69866 with the letters LCD followed by the name of the food you are about to purchase and you will get a scientific assessment of your choice. Here are a few food related tips offered by the company to reduce greenhouse gas contributions:

  • Don't waste food - (are your eyes bigger than your stomach?) in landfills, food waste releases methane gas. Buy and prepare only what you expect to eat
  • Make "seasonal and regional" your mantra - greenhouse grown food uses lots of energy
  • Move away from beef and cheese - livestock creates 18% of world's greenhouse gas
  • Stop flying fish and fruit - the best quality seafood is usually processed and frozen at sea
  • If it's processed and packaged, skip it - choose fresh local fruit, small quantities of nuts and delicious homemade alternatives. Snack foods, most juices and even pre-packaged veggie burgers consume a lot of energy (Help! I'm in need of a good veggie burger recipe)

Okay, so I'm headed to Whole Paycheck, let's see if I can apply these principals in my food selections. I did go to the farmer's market this morning, so I'm off to a good start!

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