Category: Sustainable Practices

Earth Day 2013: Support Our Environment And Our Future

Each April 22nd more than a billion (yes, a billion!) people around the world participate in Earth Day events, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Designed to broaden global support for environmental programs and education, rekindle public and policy commitment, and build community activism through a broad range of events and activities, Earth Day brings people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities together with one common interest: A commitment to protecting our environment and building a better future. This year marks the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. Over the years as global coverage of environmental issues, such… read more

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Foods of a Generation: The Importance of Offering Healthy Kids’ Meals

“Lead by example” … An excellent mantra for families to live by, especially at mealtimes. Adults who eat healthy foods and make good culinary choices can set children on a path for eating well for the rest of their lives. As restaurant consultants who care about our kids’ eating habits, and of the habits of the children eating in our client’s restaurants, VSAG believes strongly in offering fresh, flavorful and nutritious kid-friendly (and parent-approved) menu options. And we’re not alone. With such successful initiatives as First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to end childhood obesity through exercise and healthy… read more

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Cooking Oil and Your Carbon Footprint. What’s the Connection?

As we watch oil prices and concern over greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels increase by the hour it seems, the recycling of cooking oil is a hot restaurant industry topic. So, on the heels of our recent blog post Go Green … and Your Restaurant’s Bottom Line will Thank you, we wanted to dig deeper. Our findings: recycling cooking oil and turning it into biofuel (which produces near zero emissions) to replace coal and other fossil fuels for heat generation and powering equipment has become a driving force for restaurants to up their sustainable practices ante and reduce their… read more

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Bon Appétit Management Co. to Buy Humanely Raised Beef

Food service giant Bon Appétit Management Co. recently announced that it will be sourcing all its ground beef from suppliers that meet strict animal-welfare standards.  Amounting to over one million pounds of beef each year, this decision will have a significant impact on the industry.  And it’s no coincidence. Bon Appétit Management Co. CEO and co-founder Fedele Bauccio declared, “I’m out to change the industry, and I want to be able to influence the big players to change their practices.” To which we say, bravo! Humanely raised meat ensures animals have ample space, shelter and are handled gently to limit… read more

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VSAG Loves Farmers Markets

It’s no secret that our VSAG team of food & beverage consultants are huge farmers markets fans!  Not only is visiting a local market an enjoyable way to spend a weekend morning, celebrating the best of what the season has to offer, we love supporting the local community, the inherent suitability and the farmers who work so hard! Whether your chefs drive an hour to the nearest farmers market or walk across the street, it’s always worth the trip to add fresh, farm-to-table fare to any season’s menu development. The possibilities and inspirations are seemingly endless: From fresh fruit and… read more

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Battling Common Pollutants: Keeping Our Oceans Safe

Eco-minded Founding Farmers patron Meika Jensen sent us this powerful infographic that she created with her team at Masters Degree.  It’s an eye-catching and eloquent reminder that each of us needs to be mindful when purchasing and disposing everyday materials.  Keeping our oceans safe and clean is a responsibility we shouldn’t take lightly. Our planet is good to us, it would behoove us to return the favor.  

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A Petition for Transparency in Food Labeling

Healthy, safe, sustainable food is something we always keep in mind, whether we’re advising a green restaurant like Founding Farmers, a mom-and-pop eatery like Shoals, or a mobile dining destination like the Sauça food trucks. No matter what your favorite restaurant might be, VSAG believes that everyone has the right to know where their food comes from and how it got onto their plate. That’s why we are asking the Food and Drug Administration to require producers of genetically engineered animals (such as salmon) and crops (such as sugar beets) to clearly label them as such. Greater transparency and more information is always better… read more

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What is Sustainability?

As our culture has moved towards healthier food practices and lifestyles, there seems to be more and more talk about sustainability. But, what exactly is sustainability, especially when it comes to food? Well, we’re here to define it for you. In 1990, when the Farm Bill, which governs farm and food policy, made its way to Congress, the definition of Sustainable Agriculture was: “An integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that over the long term will: (1) satisfy human food and fiber needs, (2) enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which… read more

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Organic Food vs. Local Food

The complex debate of organic vs. local can leave restaurant owners scratching their heads. Of course, when given the option, most restaurant owners would like both local and organic foods. But sometimes there’s a choice to be made. At VSAG our restaurant consultants can help define the difference between organic and local and what you should pick. Organic food became popular in the 1970s when people developed concern about harmful chemicals and pesticides that farmers were using following WWII. Many of these petroleum-based products can cause a lot of damage to not only the human body but the environment around… read more

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World Farmers Organization President Robert Carlson Featured Speaker at National Food Services Conference

The University of North Dakota welcomes World Farmers Organization President Robert Carlson as the general session featured speaker at the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) 2012 Continental Regional Conference. This year’s NACUFS conference, Whole Dining – Harvest the Essentials!, will focus on providing college and university students and faculty with the best available food services, from harvest to table.   President Carlson will give the keynote address, speaking much about Founding Farmers’ green initiatives such as its LEED Accreditation, apiary project, sustainability and on-going projects such as purchasing carbon offsets and continuing to be an advocate for… read more

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