The Next Green Plate Special: Local Food is Top Trend for Restaurants
Let's hope that this goes beyond a trend and becomes standard practice in the restaurant industry. Consider this fact from a UK Study reported by Triple Pundit: "In many cases restaurant food produces over 100 times more CO2 than locally bought ingredients." (This is based upon restaurants that don't buy their foods locally). In general, the restaurant industry, notoriously fickle as it is based upon the whims of the palate, has a ways to go before becoming eco-friendly. A USA Today article, Can Restaurants Earn Green, Go Green?, says that the average restaurant annually consumes roughly 500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, 20,000 therms of natural gas and 800,000 gallons of water, totaling about 490 tons of CO2 a year.
Yet the fact that restaurants are seeing going green as a selling point gives them an economic incentive to shrink their carbon footprint. Many of the practices outlined in both articles have to do with things largely invisible to the consumer: faucet heads and climate control systems. How do you know if your favorite restaurant is green? It seems like nowadays the dialogue has already been started within the restaurant industry, so one would hope a restaurateur would be open to the question.