Show: Sustainable Today

Episode: 1005-Eating Out


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Total Episode Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:58:30

File Size of Episode Video: 2,889,991,035 Bytes

Episode Description:

While many of us strive for sustainability in our daily lives, what about when we leave home and visit a restaurant. There are sustainable ways to eat out as well. Our guest is the Chief Cultural Officer for a fast food restaurant chain in Oregon that does everything it can to be socially and environmentally sustainable. Below is a synopsis of the show's contents.

NEWS: Saudi Arabia has begun a 3 part project to generate power from the sun. Desert tech will generate power through a field of mirrors that focus the suns energy. That energy will heat water that comes from the ocean via the world’s largest desalinization plant. After the steam generates power through the plant’s turbines, part 3 will utilize the water to irrigate agricultural crops. ... Sacramento river salmon stocks are on the rise which is good news for Oregon fishermen who rely on the California river system. The fishing season has been sharply curtailed allowing stocks to regenerate but it is unlikely we will return to the 3000 plus commercial fishing fleet of the 1980's. ... Sprint/Nextel has expanded it’s wireless phone recycling program. The company has developed a score card to track it’s environmentally friendly products from manufacture to disposal. The score card allows the company to gauge how well manufacturers are complying with the company’s environmental standards. They expect recycling to increase by giving consumers a cash or store credit incentive to do so..... Quiznos goes green by offering greeener packaging made of renewable or recyclable content. The move was inspired by the movie Walle. Employee uniforms will be made from recycled soda pop bottles.

INTERVIEW: Jack Graves, the Chief Cultural Officer for Burgerville USA, talks about his position and it’s importance in furthering Burgerville’s policy of sustainable food service. “Served with Love.” is the mission overall and sustainable initiatives in particular so that the company actually makes a difference in the communities they serve. He describes how the company evolved out of the fast food rat race to a more sustainable and culturally responsible position in the industry. The move focuses on local sourcing and improving the quality of the food. 70% of ingredients are sourced from the Northwest. In the 90's the company switched from buying hamburger on the commodity market to a fixed price local source. That decision made a large difference in their business even before Jack had ever heard the word “sustainable.” It was just the right thing to do.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Salt Fire and Time is a “Community Supported Kitchen,” taking the concept of community supported agriculture to the next level. SF&T sells shares in prepared food. The kitchen uses local and seasonal supplies to offer meal components to busy families so they can eat high quality, nutritional meals with minimal effort. Customers also learn about nutrition through weekly “table talk” meals where members gather to eat and talk to nutritionists about the why and how of what they eat.

INTERVIEW Part 2: Jack Graves talks about the specifics of the company’s sustainable practices. The “Ecotainer” is the first of it’s kind. It’s a completely compostable drink cup that brings Burgerville’s packaging to 95% compostable. Composting is cheaper than hauling the discarded packaging to a landfill. But commercial composting needs more development to increase capacity and level of service. Through the example of the Pumpkin Shake, Jack describes how Burgerville strives to source seasonal, natural and local ingredients. Food Alliance partners with the company to certify the products.

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Bamboo Sushi, Portland’s first and only certified sustainable restaurant. Seafood is chosen according to the Seafood Watch list from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Blue Ocean Institute then certified by The Marine Stewardship Council. Owner Kristofor Lofgren has a background in environmental science. He describes how he thought he could make a difference by transforming the sushi business into a socially and environmentally conscious operation. Green practices and components abound and many awards and certifications captued including “B” corporation status.

FOLLOW UP and CALL TO ACTION: Jack Graves talks about Burgerville’s commitment to paying 95% of employees health care cost, another unique feature that boosts morale and pride in employment. The practice has reduced turnover and saved money in employment and training cost. 100% of electricity purchased is from renewable sources. Jack recommends: Follow your values and your heart. Do your homework and know where your food comes from. Ask the hard questions when you buy at a restaurant or a market.

File Name of Episode: 1005-Eating Out show edit.mpg

Date Episode Uploaded: Saturday, December 25, 2010 - 19:30

Downloads of This Episode: 3