Friday, September 05, 2008

Eat At Green Restaurants

Earlier this summer I learned about the efforts of Dean Zanella and 312 Chicago restaurant to run a zero waste kitchen. Chef Zanella suceeded so far that his cooking oil went back to fuel the tractors of the farmer's who supplied him. I knew of some other chefs who clamored to emulate Zanella. One who is now suceeding is future Iron Chef, Paul Virant of Vie. Paul graciously allowed me to re-print some news he has:
The first newsletter of the 2008, I spoke about minimizing "landfill" waste. As of Saturday August 23rd, we are doing it! Harry Carr from Mint Creek Farm picks up our food waste every Wednesday after the Green City Market. The Resource Center (which operates City Farm) picks up our recyclables (glass, plastic containers and aluminum). BFI continues to pick up our cardboard/paper (which is hopefully recycled, though I'm very skeptical). This leaves only a small amount of true trash. I was proud to be one of Food & Wine magazines "Best New Chefs" in 2007, but this accomplishment makes me prouder...If every individual, family, corporation and business would begin to, and continue to make these types of changes, the ecological health of the world will be preserved for generations to come...
I plan on being at Vie tonight. I also plan on celebrating this great news the best way I know, with a great meal.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

More Beet - How Can You Eat Local All Year

Is this blog simply the repository of posts leading to the Local Beet? Dunno, but in the meantime, keep track of our latest visit to a farmer's market + our weekly CSA here. More importantly, the Local Beet has published its guide to Fall/Winter CSAs. Michael's first mission when he launched the Local Beet was to offer practical advice on eating local. In other words, he did not aim for a lofty see how we do it standard, rather he wanted us to be in it together. One of the first steps towards practical local, towards always eating local, is the ability to eat local beyond the months when farmer's markets exist. One way for people to do that is to subscribe to Fall/Winter CSAs. The Local Beet's newly published guide should help.

On the same vein, practical, eating local more, I will soon be publishing something on the Local Beet on making your harvest last. My wife and I answer the question, "how can eat local all year, in Chicago by saying we do two things. We keep food around--canned, frozen and "cellar-ed"), and we shop for local via our Spring and Fall Genesis Growers CSA, Robin's Winter markets, Irv and Shelly and Cassie's Green Grocer (as well as where ever else we find local). There is no right answer as to which is more important stored vs. buying, but I can say for sure, that which matters more depends on your individual circumstances. My hunch is that most local eaters have limited root cellars, no extra freezer and little experience canning. So, regardless of how much they learn to put-aside, sources for buying remain, well, vital. We got you covered.