Green new meal: restaurants can charge diners to reduce their carbon food-print

California program will add an optional 1% surcharge to diners checks to help fight climate change

Dining out isnt the most eco-friendly activity, thanks to the carbon footprint of food brought in and the waste inherent in running a restaurant. Now, an effort by California restaurants wants diners to help fight climate change by paying more.

Concerned eateries can join the Restore California Renewable Restaurant Program and add an optional 1% surcharge to diners checks. The money will go towards a public fund to help farmers reduce carbon in their food production practices.

The program pays farmers $10 per ton of carbon removed from the atmosphere. The idea is to shift farming production to healthier soils. By tilling the earth more gently, composting and rotating crops on the same land, farmers can improve the soils ability to absorb carbon.

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So far, more than 25 restaurants have signed on to the program and more are expected to join.

According to the Perennial Farming Initiative, which created the program, payments will be gathered by the California Air Resources Board (Carb) and spent on implementing carbon plans on farms and ranches across California, boosting healthy soil, which not only fights climate change but also leads to better, healthier, tastier food. Restaurants can bill themselves as carbon-friendly, and farmers get extra money to invest in the most climate-helpful production practices, in a process known as carbon farming.

California has been hard hit by a changing climate already, most visibly through devastating wildfires in fall of 2018, but also through persistent drought and flooding.

The state aims to be completely carbon-neutral by 2045, and farming practices play an important role in pulling carbon from the air and keeping it safely stored. The Perennial Farming Initiative, started by the San Francisco chef Anthony Myint, says a 2% increase in the carbon content of the planets soils could offset all greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere.

Farmers and ranchers have long been at the forefront of the battle against climate change, said the California department of food and agriculture (CDFA) secretary, Karen Ross, in a press release. This partnership is an opportunity for eaters and buyers to share in land-based solutions.

While diners have been interested in local farm-to-table options for years, the initiative expects that climate-friendly meals will be the next big trend. They point out that if 1% of Californias nearly 100,000 restaurants were to successfully adopt the new climate change surcharge, they would raise $10m a year.Were excited to be working with CARB and CDFA on a program that will engage chefs, producers and diners across the state in a transition to a renewable economy that is not only resilient and renewable, but also delicious, healthy and prosperous.

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

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This post was curated & Posted using : RealSpecific

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