I hope everyone did something earth-friendly.
I attended a presentation by the executive director of Green Table – an amazing organization in Vancouver that has started to green the food services industry. They help restaurants connect to local food producers, reduce their electricity and water usage, and divert waste from landfills. They’ve only been around for 2 years, but the results they’ve had are pretty phenomenal. It was really interesting hearing their founder, André LaRivière, talk about the restaurant industry – how nothing is recycled (except maybe cardboard), how most ingredients are shipped from across the continent via big distributors like Sysco, and how restaurants are the most energy intensive businesses with their stoves, fridges, lights, and air filtration systems. There’s lots of room for improvement, and most of the time it’s easily accomplished by making restaurateurs aware of the options. In addition to their work with individual restaurants, they’re also working with the Granville Island food court to get a centralized plate deposit system worked out so that the kiosks could sell food on real dishes that could be washed and reused, instead of disposable takeout containers. That alone would prevent the creation of tons of garbage. The talk was very inspiring.
For dinner, Emily and I prepared (no cooking involved) Kale Wraps, which were chalk full of raw, stress-reducing, alkaline-forming, organic ingredients. I’ve started to get food ideas from the Thrive Diet – a diet developed by Vancouverite, Ironman triathalete, and vegan Brendan Brazier. My parents introduced me to it, and I’m liking it so far. It involves a lot of whole foods and is designed for endurance athletes, although he claims it will help anyone because the food is designed to help your body heal and reduce food stress. My favourite recipe so far is the sunflower seed beet pizza, which is surprisingly yummy (even though it’s missing the conventional pizza ingredients like dough, cheese, and tomato sauce).
I’ve always been a big fan of smoothies, and the Thrive Diet takes them to a new level. I made an energy smoothy before the Sun Run last weekend and it did give me lots of energy. However, I was a bit over-zealous and drank way too much. At km 7 half of it started to bubble its way up. I kept it down until the finish line, even though it was all I could think of for the last kilometre. As soon as I hit the finish line and my body stopped moving, I promptly threw up. Luckily for the 43624 runners who came after me, I did most of my spewing off the side and out of the main walking path.
The run itself was really good. The snow stayed away and the sun was glorious, but it was a bit nipply especially at the beginning. It was amazing seeing so many people lined up to start a road race. It took so long to get everyone going that half of the 59,179 registered runners (only 44168 finished) hadn’t even started their run yet when I was finishing. I managed to run 10km in 40:58, which was 2 seconds faster then my goal, but a minute slower then my PB. Because there were so many people, it took 3 km before I cleared the crowds and felt like I could run without constantly dodging people, so that slowed me down a bit (and of course the extra smoothy).
Photo from BigA888. Some more Sun Run photos: Aerial View and Start Line
I also joined the The Big Wild, a joint initiative by CPAWS and MEC to protect wild space in Canada. Check it out and add your name to the cause.
Lastly, some good environmental reading for you:
Why Bother? by Michael Pollen
Alberta town moves to ban polystyrene
Calgary rolling out plan for cyclists
Beef is out; wheat is in: farmers
I read that first piece, “Why Bother?”, over the weekend and I was thinking of letting you know about it.
I think the author does a very good job of convincing people, including me, who are unwilling to do much because they feel like their efforts will be in vain. I really liked his arguments.
Michael Pollen is amazing. He’s the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which I haven’t read but I’ve heard a lot of people rave about. His 7 word summary of his book was: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
Its amazing how good raw food can be. I like almost all the Thrive recipes I have tried, except for the pancakes. Have you tried any of the burgers yet? Best is a zuccini pasta with red pepper sauce and small chunks of nut burger. And I love the nut burger with his mango chutney.
I find we eat much less quantity of food when more of it is raw.
Salsa and Agave and Green Table
I *love* Green Table (I just wish they offered me a job, hehehe!) … I’ve reviewed their work several times on my blog.
On a side note – you TOTALLY should have introduced yourself. I was very much focused on the conversation with Rebecca, but we both tend to be very friendly and it would’ve been nice meeting another fellow blogger in real life (in addition, someone whose blog I’ve read before, and who is also interested in environmental issues!). Next time that happens (e.g. that you see me at any social event) please come say hi.
And for the record, I’ll be at Vancouver’s Third Tuesday meetup, so if you’re interested in coming (March 20th), Darren Barefoot will be speaking.