Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Googles Organic Employee Cafeteria

Among Google's progressive list of employee benefits is the option to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at one of their many cafes -- for free. One of the many options is Cafe 150.

In an effort to reduce Google's carbon footprint while simultaneously providing employees with the freshest of foods, global food service manager, John Dickman, came up with the innovative concepts behind Cafe 150. The "150" in the name stands for the fact that the produce and meats served up in the dishes come from no further away than 150 miles. Though the concept provides some menu challenges, it definitely cuts down on the fuel used in transporting the ingredients to the California headquarters.

Head chef, Nate Keller, keeps the menu from being anything but bland. With entrees like stir-fried, thin-sliced lamb loin or barbecued five-spice free-range Cornish game hen as well as other ingredients including ostrich and buffalo, employees flock to the eatery. There are more challenges with serving only local food including last minute menu changes due to inclement weather and choosing only from what is in season. It's a new way of thinking for a society that demands bananas and grapes year round.

Green Roof Provides Food for Restaurant

The sinuous project, located on top of The Flat, a new downtown residential building, is made of a folding and torqued galvanized sheet metal surface, prefabricated off site. This forms a series of platforms or “grow channels” filled with engineered soil that’s light enough not to weigh the project down. The tiered structure, supported by an armature of steel tubes and a plywood substructure, wraps around the building’s existing mechanical rooftop equipment, offering maximum solar exposure, maximum growing room, and efficient irrigation.
But this is LA, with lots of sun year round, so you don't just plant it and forget it, you can actually grow food on it.

Over 20 types of plants are grown here, rotated by season. This spring’s crop includes thyme, kale, artichokes, tomatoes, chard, Thai basil, four types of mint, and Walla Walla onions. Check out the video below for a more in depth tour..

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Omnivores Dillema

BōKU™ Unleashes the Super Foods

Packed with naturally occurring vitamins, trace minerals, anti-oxidantsand probiotics, BōKU™ is a proprietary blend of the most powerfulSuperfoods on earth, all derived from natural plants with no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The concentrated powder formula is certifiedOrganic and Kosher.

According to BōKU™ Master Formulator, Dr. BJ Adrezin, “When people consume a diet filled with super nutrient-dense foods, they start to feel better, and can maximize their genetic potential for health and well-being. I formulated BōKU™ Super Food to give people a potent boost in the right direction.”
For more information, go to

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Organic Food 101

The truth about organic foods

The organic-food business is booming: About 70 percent of Americans buy organic food occasionally, and nearly one quarter buy it every week, according to The Hartman Group, a market research firm. For most of us, the reason is simple: We want natural food that's better for us and for the environment, says Samuel Fromartz, author of Organic, Inc. But buying organic can cost you — as much as 50 percent more — so read on to know when it's worth it.
continue reading...

Do you know what your eating?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Feel Great Fast Food

These guys drove around for hours trying to find something healthy and fast to eat. When they couldn't find anything they opened their own place. Now EVOS is growing across the country. Check out their site for some locations....

The Green Burger Joint of the Northwest

If healthy, quick food seems like an oxymoron, you haven’t been to Burgerville, a chain of 39 Pacific Northwest quick-service restaurants. Burgers here are made from pastured vegetarian-fed and antibiotic-free beef. The eggs on our breakfast biscuits are from cage-free hens that have never been treated with antibiotics. Salads offer mixed greens topped with smoked salmon and Oregon hazelnuts. Even desserts and sides rely on seasonal, local ingredients—blackberry milkshakes are only available in season, as are the hand-prepared buttermilk-battered onion rings made from Walla Walla sweet onions grown in Washington and Oregon. Burgerville purchases wind power credits equal to 100 percent of their electricity use and recycles used canola oil into biodiesel.

Checkout their site...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Green Restaurant IN D.C.

Imagine if every restaurant did more of any of their green initiatives. It would be great!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Snola Yogurt Stepping Up

Frozen yoghurt is a topic we've already covered on a few different occasions: first the Korean-style frozen yoghurt trend, as exemplified by shops like Pinkberry and Red Mango, and then the arrival of self-serve contender Yogurtland. Now adding further differentiation to the industry is Sno:la, a Beverly Hills-based shop that bills itself as a socially conscious alternative.

Sno:la's shops—it just opened one in Kyoto as well, with another due to launch in Santa Monica soon—are designed to be eco-minded and plastic-free. All containers are biodegradable and compostable, with yoghurt cups made of sugar cane, verrine cups made of corn, and spoons made from wood and potatoes. Sno:la's countertops are crafted from recycled computer chips, and tabletops are based on eucalyptus, a fast-growing and sustainable tree. Wall decorations are made from recycled wood, and the concrete floors are soy-painted. Then too there's Sno:la's support of social causes: It gives 1 percent of its gross proceeds to Slow Food USA, which supports sustainable farming, and 1 percent of proceeds from its Chocolate Cremita flavour to the United Nations World Food Program, which helps children worldwide. All that on top of a range of seasonally flavoured yoghurt treats made with organic dairy products, "sweetened only by nature" and accompanied by a choice of some 40 toppings.

Need further proof that the frozen yoghurt industry is maturing? Red Mango recently launched Club Mango, a loyalty program that rewards customers for their purchases. Make no mistake: the era of differentiation has begun. Something to keep in mind for your own next big, yoghurty venture....?


Eat Local

There's no doubt eating locally grown food benefits both the community and the environment, but without regular visits to a farmers' market, it can be difficult for consumers to make that happen. We've already covered a few innovative ways companies are helping homegrown produce get into consumers' hands—delivery by bicycle, to name just one—and recently we learned of another: Washington state's Ferry Farm Stand.

Beginning June 25, the Ferry Farm Stand will open every Wednesday evening at the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal, offering Seattle commuters a variety of locally grown produce in convenient USD 5 bags. Commuters arriving on the island via the busy 4:40 pm and 5:30 pm ferries will then be able to grab a bag of fresh local lettuce, some crisp sugar snap peas or a box of sweet, island-grown strawberries before they get in their car or board their bus or bike. The effort is a project of local nonprofit group Sound Food in partnership with Sustainable Bainbridge and the Chamber of Commerce, and is designed to encourage local residents to eat more food grown close to home. All of the food sold at the Ferry Farm Stand will be picked fresh at farms on Bainbridge Island and nearby North Kitsap. Sound Food is providing all of the staffing, organization and promotional support, allowing 100 percent of the proceeds to go directly to the farmers.

Sound Food founder Sallie Maron explains: “We wanted to find a way to make it easy for people to buy local food—especially those who can’t make it to the Farmers' Market on Saturday. What better place than right where they get off the boat on their way home to dinner?”

Indeed, bringing the produce to consumers—rather than expecting them to find it themselves—and then pricing it for a speedy transaction is a clever approach that looks ripe for emulation anywhere local produce is grown. Imagine the response in the subways of New York City, London or Singapore! Seems to us bringing *enough* produce would then become the real challenge.

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

Disney will plant a tree for every ticket purchased until 4/28/2009. Buy a ticket and enjoy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Green Fast Food

Pizza Fusion was born in February of 2006 out of the (not so) genius minds of Michael Gordon and Vaughan Lazar. Weeks prior to Lazar getting married, the two college mates began brainstorming how they could do something different that would not only spark their creative juices, but start a business that would make a difference in people's lives. After a few meetings and several 'not so genius ideas' later, Pizza Fusion was born. They realized that there was a huge void in the restaurant sector that prevented people from eating out organically. Sure, it was simple to go to the nearest Whole Foods or Wild Oats, but where could you go to eat this type of food on the run or, better yet, have it delivered to your door?

Check out a location near you...

Get yourself a re-usable bottle!

Bottled Water Harms You and the Planet

Earth is very fortunate to have ample water resources to supply its soaring number of inhabitants. Water is essential to one's existence thus it is recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. In addition to the food we take, we need water to fuel our body. Unfortunately, the planet has been suffering from water pollution and now we are facing the consequences.

Alarming reports have been made saying that tap water is no longer safe to drink so various kinds of water filters have been available in the market. However, there are many of us who don't trust the effectiveness of water filters and still choose to go for the other alternative- bottled water.

Many of us are easily deceived by the TV and print ads that we see about bottled water. Bottled water companies claim that their products are free from impurities and safe for drinking. Are their claims true?

Continue Reading...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Earth day is approaching quickly.  What will you be doing on that day?  Check out for a list of all activities going on in your neighborhood.  Spread the word!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Downtown Atlanta recycles self into a Zero Waste Zone


Last year, downtown Atlanta lost a convention to another Southern city because the visiting group perceived the other city as "greener" than Atlanta. The loss propelled Holly Elmore into action.  Environmental practices are fast becoming a strong consideration in business decisions," explains the Green Foodservice Alliance founder. Elmore teamed up with Atlanta Recycles and Laura Turner Seydel -- eco-awareness consultant and an Atlanta native -- to create the South's first Zero Waste Zone.

First stop: The downtown Atlanta convention district, where the EPA estimates hundreds of thousands of tons of "waste" are sent to landfills -- "waste" that could be recycled into reusable products.

If it grows, it goes

In 2008, the Hyatt Regency Atlanta served an average of 8,143 meals per week, a total of 423,433 meals in a single year. Imagine the "waste" that was sent to rot and pollute the overflowing landfill. 

Continue reading...

Great Site for Green Restaurants

The Green Restaurant Association℠ (GRA), a national non-profit organization, provides services in research, consulting, education, marketing and community organizing. The GRA utilizes a collaborative strategy that involves restaurants, manufacturers, vendors, grassroots organizations, government, media, and restaurant customers. The GRA's model provides a convenient way for all sectors of the restaurant industry, which represents 10% of the U.S. economy, to become more environmentally sustainable. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What not to Eat

Surprise Nutritionist No-Nos

Posted Tue, Apr 07, 2009, 2:21 pm PDT

Ya, ya, we know what foods nutritionists want us to avoid -- bacon, coffee, hamburgers, fried stuff... But a good number of friendly-looking foods also fall into that category. Instead of fearing all foods, I asked Today Show nutritionist and bestselling author of Joy's LIFE DietJoy Bauer to determine her top picks for seemingly safe foods that actually do not do a body good...


2% Milk The FDA allows 2% milk to be labeled reduced-fat, but that's a relative term (whole milk is 3.25% fat). Calorically speaking, the difference between whole and 2% milk isn't all that impressive: 150 calories for a cup of whole milk vs. 120 for a cup of 2%. Skim milk, on the other hand, has the same protein and calcium content as whole and 2%, but weighs in at 80 fat-free calories per cup. Assuming you drink a cup a day, switching to skim will save you more than 14,000 calories in a year's time. That simple substitution translates to a four-pound yearly weight loss! 

Whole Wheat Bagels While it's true that whole grains, and products made from whole grains, are much healthier than their refined flour counterparts, some whole grain foods are not worth the calories. Take bagels, for instance. A big, New York-style whole wheat bagel has just as many calories (350 or more) as one made with white flour. Definitely stick with whole grains when it comes to bread products, but instead of your Sunday morning bagel and lox ritual, try a toasted whole grain English muffin (130 calories) and lox instead. You'll save at least 200 calories, and who doesn't love all those nooks and crannies?!

Chicken Caesar Salad It's easy to see why our next trickster, Chicken Caesar salad, leads people astray. After all, aren't we constantly being told to eat more vegetables, and to choose lean sources of protein? But McDonald's Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken contains 410 calories and 24 grams of fat, while their Quarter Pounder has the same number of calories, and even less fat. And that's nothing compared to the classic Chicken Caesar salad recipes you'll find at local restaurants and chains, which contain approximately 1,100 calories and 96 grams of fat.

The culprits, of course, are the creamy Caesar dressing and oil-soaked croutons. Nearly half the calories in McDonald's salad comes from the dressing, so if you switch to their low-fat balsamic vinaigrette, you save 150 calories, as well as 15 grams of fat. The calories in a classic Chicken Caesar almost anywhere can be nearly slashed in half if you lose the croutons and substitute a teaspoon of olive oil (two dashes) and unlimited vinegar for the dressing.  Can't live without the Caesar dressing? Request it on the side and go easy!

Granola This cereal was invented in 1863, and then revived 100 years later in the "crunchy granola" 1960's. Originally a simple mixture of rolled oats, nuts, and honey, granola has morphed into a product its 19th century creator would hardly recognize. Bear Naked's latest "all natural" flavor contains 21 ingredients, including four types of sweeteners, chocolate, and peanut butter. It's also 140 calories per ¼ cup (that's a whopping 280 per serving!). Even low-fat granola packs a caloric punch. One serving of Health Valley's Real Oat Bran Almond Crunch clocks in at 200 calories. Consider that the average breakfast bowl holds about two cups of cereal, and you see why granola spells "trouble."

TIP: If you really like starting your day with granola, stick with ¼ cup, and mix it with a less caloric cereal, like Bran Flakes or plain Cheerios. Another option is to sprinkle one to two tablespoons on low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese.

Fruit Smoothies Sure, all that fruit makes smoothies healthier than a milk shake, but your waist doesn't know the difference between the calories in berries, bananas, soy milk, and antioxidant "boosts," and those in ice cream, whole milk, and chocolate syrup. In fact, Jamba Juice's original size Peanut Butter Moo'd® smoothie contains an astounding 840 calories. That's 160 calories more than a medium chocolate shake at Burger King!

You can still enjoy smoothies, just order smart or make your own. "Jamba Light" options contain 150-160 calories per 16-ounce serving, and the same size "All Fruit" selections are 200-220 calories. If you have a blender, try pureeing a sliced banana, one cup of strawberries, one cup of skim milk, and ice to taste. This healthy homemade concoction contains about 230 calories, and will save you lots of dough (smoothies can be pricey!).

The Super Foods

Experts say dozens of easy-to-find 'superfoods' can help ward off heart disease, cancer, cholesterol, and more.

Imagine a superfood -- not a drug -- powerful enough to help you lower yourcholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and, for an added bonus, put you in a better mood. Did we mention that there are no side effects? You'd surely stock up on a lifetime supply. Guess what? These life-altering superfoods are available right now in your local supermarket.

"The effect that diet can have on how you feel today and in the future is astounding," says nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, author of Nutrition for aHealthyPregnancyFood & Mood, and The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals.

"Even people who are healthy can make a few tweaks and the impact will be amazing," Somer says. "I'd say that 50% to 70% of suffering could be eliminated by what people eat and how they move: heart disease, diabetes, cancer,hypertension can all be impacted."

You don't need specific foods for specific ailments. A healthy diet incorporating a variety of the following superfoods will help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live longer. One thing they all have in common: "Every superfood is going to be a 'real' (unprocessed) food," Somer points out. "You don't find fortified potato chips in the superfood category."

Top Superfoods Offering Super Health Protection

  • Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Oats
  • Oranges
  • Pumpkin
  • Salmon
  • Soy
  • Spinach
  • Tea (green or black)
  • Tomatoes
  • Turkey
  • Walnuts
  • Yogurt

Blueberries -- Antioxidant Superfood

Packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, these berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists. Not only can they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory.

"Inflammation is a key driver of all chronic diseases, so blueberries have a host of benefits," says Ann Kulze, MD, of Charleston, S.C., author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet, A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss & Lifelong Vitality. When selecting berries, note that the darker they are, the more anti-oxidants they have. "I tell everyone to have a serving (about 1/2 cup) every day," Dr. Kulze says. "Frozen are just as good as fresh." Be sure to include lots of other fruits and vegetables in your diet as well. Remember too that, in general, the more color they have, the more antioxidants.

Omega 3-Rich Fish -- Superfoods for the Heart, Joints, and Memory

"We know that the omega 3s you get in fish lower heart disease risk, help arthritis, and may possibly help with memory loss and Alzheimer's," Somer says. "There is some evidence to show that it reduces depression as well."

Omega-3s are most prevalent in fatty, cold-water fish: Look for wild (not farmed) salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. Aim for two-to-three servings a week. Other forms of omega 3s are available in fortified eggs, flax seed, and walnuts. These superfoods have the added benefit of being high in monounsaturated fats, which can lower cholesterol.

Soy -- Superfood to Lower Cholesterol

A study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association (2003) showed that a diet of soy fiber, protein from oats and barley, almonds, and margarine from plant sterols lowered cholesterol as much as statins, the most widely prescribed cholesterol medicine. "Look for tofu, soy milk, or edamame -- not soy powder," says Somer. In other words, soy sauce won't do the trick. One caveat: If you have a family history of breast cancer it is not recommended that you eat extra soy.

Fiber -- Superfood Aids Weight Loss and Checks Cholesterol

A diet high in fiber will help you maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. As a bonus, because fiber helps you feel full longer, it's a great tool in weight management. Whole grains, beans, fruit, and vegetables are all good sources. Try throwing some beans in your salad, recommends Kulze. "Fresh, frozen, or dried are the best. You can use canned, but they tend to be higher in sodium," Kulze warns.

Tea -- Superfood for Lowering Cholesterol and Inhibiting Cancer

"The overall antioxidant power of black tea is the same as green tea," says Kulze, "but green tea does have ECGC, a powerful antioxidant that we really do think is quite special." A recent Japanese study on green tea found that men who drank green tea regularly had lower cholesterol than those who didn't. Researchers in Spain and the United Kingdom have also shown that ECGC can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. For a double health whammy, replace sugary sodas with tea.


OK, OK, you know the drill: Calcium helps build strong bones and prevents osteoporosis. Look for it in dairy products or supplements. Added bonus: Some studies show that calcium helps with weight loss. Here are the calcium levels recommended for adults by the USDA:

  • Age 9 to 18 -- 1,300 mg
  • Age 19 to 50 -- 1,000 mg
  • Age 51 and over -- 1,200 mg

And Finally, the Yummiest Superfood Yet ... Dark Chocolate

New research has shown that dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and can lower blood pressure. Kulze recommends that you look for chocolate with 60% or higher cocoa content; the darker, the better. In addition, the darker it is, the lower the fat and sugar content. Now that's our kind of health food!

Published February 2007. WEBMD.COM

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mars cocoa to go sustainable – Mars Inc. announced intentions to get its entire cocoa supply certified as sustainable by the Rainforest Alliance by 2020, beginning next year with Galaxy Chocolate in the UK. The Organic Consumers Association called the move an improvement over current practices, but said Rainforest Alliance does not have the strongest standards. Mars’ announcement came a month after rival chocolatierCadbury said it would seek Fair Trade certification for its own cocoa products. 

Eating Better than Organic

Not long ago I had an apple problem. Wavering in the produce section of a Manhattan grocery store, I was unable to decide between an organic apple and a nonorganic apple (which was labeled conventional, since that sounds better than "sprayed with pesticides that might kill you"). It shouldn't have been a tough choice--who wants to eat pesticide residue?--but the organic apples had been grown in California. The conventional ones were from right here in New York State. I know I've been listening to too much npr because I started wondering: How much Middle Eastern oil did it take to get that California apple to me? Which farmer should I support--the one who rejected pesticides in California or the one who was, in some romantic sense, a neighbor? Most important, didn't the apple's taste suffer after the fruit was crated and refrigerated and jostled for thousands of miles?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Solar Power to Infinity and Beyond

Go Organic on your IPhone

Finding out how to go organic for Earth Day is right at your fingertips, thanks to Go Organic!(TM) for Earth Day, the major national collaboration of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), ( ), Earth Day Network (, and MusicMatters ( ).

"Go Organic!(TM) for Earth Day's new iPhone application offers everything consumers need to go organic for Earth Day this April 22nd," said Christine Bushway, Executive Director of the OTA.

"Consumers can download the application for FREE and just enter their zip code to get a list of nearby stores where they can pick up free coupon books full of savings on favorite items from CLIF Bar, Van's, R.W. Knudsen Family and other leading organic brands," explained Michael Martin, Prez, MusicMatters. "Each coupon book is more than a $12 value!"

"The iPhone Application also provides a complete, up-to-date list of events consumers can participate in during Earth Day on April 22," said Sean Miller, Director of Education at Earth Day Network. "It's easier than ever for consumers to make a difference this Earth Day."

Leading national retailers in ten major markets are participating in "Go Organic!(TM) for Earth Day," which is now in its fifth year. In the west, retailers include: Ralph's in Los Angeles; King Soopers and City Market in Denver; Kroger, Brookshire's and Market Street in Dallas-Ft. Worth; and Fry's in Phoenix. In the southern states, participating retailers include: Kroger in Atlanta, Publix in Miami and Tampa, and Nutrition S'Mart in Tampa. In the Midwest and east, participating stores include Kroger in Cincinnati and Detroit, and ShopRite in the New York-New Jersey metro area.

For information about nearby stores giving out Go Organic!(TM) for Earth Day coupon books and Earth Day events, enter your zip code on the new iPhone application, or visit the Go Organic!(TM) for Earth Day website at

Wines Carbon Footprint

There's no link yet for the online version, but the print version May issue of National Geographic features a cool article on the carbon footprint of wine.

Transporting that nice wine to you by truck or ship really changes the carbon footprint of your glass of Pinot. Breaking it down by wines from Australia, California, Chile, and France, and sending them to Los Angeles, Chicago or New York City yielded these carbon footprints for each 750 ml glass bottle.

French Wine Best for East Coast USA
If you live in New York your options, best to worst, are:
Bordeaux, France (which are shipped via ship) = 0.3 pounds of CO2 equivalent
Santiago, Chile (also sent by ship) = 0.4 pounds
Sydney, Australia (ship, again) = 0.9 pounds
Napa, California (driven by truck) = 4.4 pounds

Claret or Chileans Top Chicago Choice
In Chicago here's how wine's carbon footprint breaks down (it's ship and then truck for all of them, except California which is all truck):
French wines = 1.5 pounds of CO2 equivalent
Chilean wines = 1.6 pounds
Australian wines = 2.1 pounds
Californian wines = 3.2 pounds

California's Conundrum
Chilean wines (very) slightly better than Californian:
Chilean wines = 0.5 pounds of CO2 equivalent
Californian or Australian wines = 0.6 pounds
French wines = 3.0 pounds

There are one thing I take away from this: Sending things by ship over long distances is pretty darn efficient (even if still quite polluting)—to the degree that sending a bottle of wine from Chile or Australia to Los Angeles by ship has similar emissions that driving it in a truck the 430 miles from Napa to Southern California.

I even imagine that sending that California wine to New York via ship, by way of the Panama canal may very well beat out driving it in a truck. Though perhaps sending it by train across the US would beat both.

An even better option: Drinking wine made even more locally to you than Napa is to Los Angeles.