A new restaurant that recently opened in San Francisco claims to be the most sustainable of its kind in the world. The Perennial has taken every step possible to ensure its dishes are both delicious and create as little waste as possible. For instance, rather than throwing food scraps in the trash, the restaurant saves them, sending them to Oakland where they’re composted by worms that are used as fish food. The fish in turn help fertilize the greens used by the restaurant.
This attention to detail extends well beyond how The Perennial sources its food, however. The paper menus have been printed with a worm-friendly ink that allows them to be composted once they’ve worn out. Drinking straws are made from actual straw, rather than plastic. The kitchen uses energy-efficient appliances, and the materials used during construction are recycled. The chefs are even using an ancient variety of wheat in their dishes, a grain called Kernza, which develops thick roots that prevent soil erosion and pull CO2 out of the atmosphere.
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Despite the focus on the environment, diners might be surprised to hear that the restaurant isn’t vegan or vegetarian — a fact that might not sit well with people concerned about the impact of meat on climate change. The owners claim this is part of an effort to reach food-lovers who might not be willing to venture into a meat-free establishment. The meat and milk served both come from free-range local sources using a process called “carbon farming,” which allows cattle to graze on perennial grasses that store carbon in their roots. At the end of the day, The Perennial is still focused on attracting as wide a customer base as possible.
+ The Perennial
Via Fast Company
Photos via The Perennial