A quick trip to San Francisco yielded a couple of beautiful images: a double rainbow over the Giants-Padres game (only one showed up in the photograph) and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish at the new Academy of Sciences. We didn't hit our usual restaurants, so had only one great meal: sashimi at the Sanraku in the Moscone Center. The sashimi appetizer was only $7, with four huge slices of fresh tuna and yellow tail. The only other culinary exclamation point was at the AT&T ballpark--not really health food, but it tasted great--an enormous pile of Gilroy garlic fries, piled high with chopped garlic and parsley and washed down with a glass of DeLoach Syrah. With the sunset illuminating the bay and rainbows arching overhead, it was worth every calorie.
The Academy of Sciences is sustainably designed and operated. They hand out a pamphlet outlining ways to cut our carbon footprint; the section "On The Menu" lists ways to bring awareness into our food shopping and consuming.
The Academy of Sciences suggestions are in italics below, I've added a few other ideas:
Meat and Dairy:
Industrial farming of livestock is very energy-intensive, and is responsible for more global warming emissions than the entire transportation industry.
1 Look for free-range, grass-fed beef and organic dairy products.
2 Eat less beef by substituting chicken or seafood—it’s the easiest and fastest way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. The average 150 lb. individual needs about 55 grams of protein per day--that's about 8 oz. or two hamburger patties. Remember, grains, legumes, and soy contain protein, so you probably only need one 4 oz. serving per day, IF you eat meat.
3 Eat more vegetarian meals. This saves money as well as helps our planet.
1 Purchase seafood that has been harvested sustainably from the ocean. A good resource is the Seafood Watch guide.
2 Bring the Seafood Watch guide to restaurants you frequent and ask the staff to consider sourcing only sustainable seafood.
3 Ask the government to pass legislation protecting fisheries from overfishing.
4 Eat from the bottom of the ocean food chain: small fish like anchovies, clams, and rockfish and less of the top of the food chain such as tuna and shark which are overfished.
1 Cut down on processed foods.
2 Look for local, seasonal, organic foods. Shipping foods that are locally out of season from overseas creates carbon emissions from boats and planes.
3 Subscribe to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program—CSA members receive regular baskets of organic produce from a local farmer, in return for helping to fund the farm.
4 Bring your own reusable bags for shopping.
5 Buy things in bulk, using your reusable containers. For example, find freshly ground peanut butter and reuse your container.
6 Try to choose items with the least packaging. The production of plastic and paper wrapping uses a lot of energy and fresh water.
7 Make a list before you shop and plan your meals so you don't throw away extra food that goes bad before you have the chance to use it.
8 Eat your leftovers! A 2004 USDA study found 14% of food in the US was thrown away--that's about $600 wasted per household.
1 Choose local restaurants over chains. They are more likely to operate sustainably.
2 Patronize those local restaurants which source local, seasonal and organic ingredients.
3 Bring your own reusable take-out containers from home.
4 Have a coffee thermos in your car and use it when you buy a latte or other beverage.
5 Ask your server not to bring water, unless you want it. The world is facing a freshwater crisis.
at 9:27 PM