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On Sustainable Restaurants and Dubious "Green" Claims

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A restaurant in question: DC's Founding Farmers.
A restaurant in question: DC's Founding Farmers.

Nowadays, it's no secret that menus—and things like press releases and mission statements—across America are full of buzzwords such as sustainable, local green, organic, small farms and the like. But, in an interesting piece that proves how easily those buzzwords can be manipulated (or made up completely) by conniving restaurants, the Washington Post shines the spotlight on DC's Founding Farmers, and in the process, pretty much calls bullshit on the entire "super-green" restaurant. Apparently, three of the small farms on the menu hadn't sold to the restaurant in months, farmed Atlantic salmon is forbidden by seafood watch groups, and once upon a time, the restaurant got its beef from a scorned industrial facility all the way in California.

San Francisco Magazine restaurant critic Josh Sens recently suggested that prominent Bay Area restaurants might be pulling similar stunts, discretely swapping crap ingredients for ones that are billed as procured from farms right in Michael Pollan's backyard. His advice? "One way to search for answers is to ask for a peek at the walk-ins of your favorite restaurant that pushes its organic cred. At very least, it might be interesting to see how they respond."
· 'Green' cuisine not always as ordered [WaPo]
· Organic... or is it? [SFM]

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