Monday, April 22, 2013

Atlanta Restaurants Take Going Green Beyond Salads on Earth Day and Every Day

We're happy to be celebrating Earth Day today, but why on earth would we limit it to one day out of 365 when Atlanta restaurants have already made the commitment to going green year round? 
At Midtown's Ansley Mall, Bantam + Biddy minimizes pasture to plate time by gathering its pastured poultry from regional sources. Their "honey do" list includes raising their own bees to produce honey for the eatery.

BurgerFi® takes the "better burger" movement beyond the kitchen's 100 percent hormone and antibiotic free beef from humanely and sustainably farmed cattle. The Emory Point location follows green practices and kitchen oil recycling to minimize environmental impact. The soon-to-be EarthCraft certified restaurant uses energy, water and resource-efficient building design practices including using sustainably harvested wood, LED lighting, low-flow water fixtures and low-VOC paints and finishes. And your bottom's perched on a bottle. Those chairs you're sitting on while enjoying your burger are made from recycled Coca-Cola bottles.

The sky's the limit for green practices at Midtown's popular Ecco. The Fifth Group Restaurant is the state's first dumpster-free restaurant and the first Georgia restaurant to receive Green Foodservice Alliance certification. Ecco's rooftop garden incorporates cold frame structures covered with Agribon, a material that guards plants from wind, frost, cold and insects, allowing earlier planting dates and a wider variety of produce to be grown. Cedar beds, custom-built by Farmer D Organics, use a drip irrigation system harnessing air conditioning condensation and timer-managed watering. Produce raised goes directly into the restaurant's seasonally inspired menu.

The largest solar barn in the Southeast resides on the largest Certified Organic farm in Georgia -- White Oak Pastures, 2,000 acres strong in Bluffton, Georgia. Owner and fourth-generation cattleman Will Harris follows sustainable practices all around, from the pasturelands' 100 percent Georgia native sweet grasses to the zero-waste processing plant that follows Dr. Temple Grandin's humane animal handling process. Harris' determination to farm a better way is an inspiration to farmers, restaurants and food producers. The farm is Certified Grassfed, Certified Humane, Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Organic and follows Good Management Practices approved by Silliker, Inc. Recognitions for setting farming standards and being dedicated to the sustainability of organic farming in Georgia are many, including 2012 Distinguished Conservationist and the 2012 Les Dames d'Escoffier International Green Ribbon.

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