Friday, November 19, 2010

Chef on Call: A Green Initiative

Congratulations to Chef on Call for making the change to being environmentally responsible!  From bio-degradable packaging to recycling oil, Chef on Call only goes to show that being environmentally sustainable is also economically beneficial! 
Please see below for a form filled out by one of their executives

Name:Nathan Gannage

The item(s) that intrigued me the most::From the start of our business, we planned to be environmentally friendly.  Since we are mostly a delivery restaurant, we knew we would be using a lot of packaging.  Therefore, we researched the most economical supplier ( And, although it is more expensive to use bio packaging, we thought it would, not only be a better look, but also better for the environment! We also do use it as a marketing tool when we advertised our brand.
The steps that I have already taken::We use bio-degradable packaging for all of our items. (Milkshake cups, straws, salad bowls, as well as sandwich containers)

We also recycle everything. including our deep fryer oil.

Additional comments::One thing i have noticed is that some of our food suppliers are not very environmentally friendly. When we order our dry goods they come in over sized cardboard boxes that are too big for what is actually in them. It's wasteful and we end up having to recycle a ridiculous amount of boxes in a week.

Please visit their site for some delicious and environmentally friendly options!

Stay bright!

-Dining in the Dark

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Free trading, not free for everyone

Free trade was meant to promote mutual gains for traders without the interference of governmental regulations.  Through comparative advantage, both parties within the trade agreement were meant to benefit.  Throughout high school, we have been taught that free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, have been some of the greatest things for countries.  However, as the turn of the 21st century passed us, the gap in the distribution of wealth has become even more dramatic.  For example, according to, India, which as 16 % of the world's population owns less than 2% of the world's wealth.  With only a small percentage of the world holding a majority of the wealth and the majority of the world holding a small amount of wealth, one begins to wonder if past globalization agreements have actually been beneficial.

In less developed countries, the introduction of trade and globalization has been devastating to the economy.  Trade was originally meant to allow for traders to focus on a specific task that he/she excelled at, allowing for equal gains by all.  However, in recent years, more developed countries have been exploiting the desperation of workers in less developed countries to produce high priced products for pitiful wages.  The exploitation of desperation was never the intention of free trade or globalization, but it seems to have been the consequence.  And there needs to be something done.  

Fair Trade Certifying Logo
In 1998, Fair Trade USA, and more recently TransFair Canada, have launched a fair trade certification.  This is the only company that correctly ensures that workers at all levels are treated fairly.
Now what is the difference between fair trade and free trade?  Fair trade ensures that desperate workers are NOT exploited by greedy conglomerates but certifying that fair wages and good working conditions are provided.  From coffee to clothes to vodka, fair trade has begun certifying all sorts of products and it is up to YOU to become the socially conscious consumer that you are and support these causes.

So, how does this relate to dining out?  Next time you go to your favourite coffee shop, ask if they are serving fair trade coffee.  Even better, make sure that they are certified by the Transfair logo.  If they are not, inform that they Transfair is the only company that can guarantee fair trade certification and encourage them to change suppliers!  Your opinions DO matter and CAN make a difference!

For more information of the benefits of fair trade, please visit the fair trade website or watch the following video.

Till then, stay bright (and fair)!

-Dining in the Dark

Friday, October 22, 2010


Hello and welcome to Dining in the Dark!

We are extremely excited to start this awareness initiative about the ways in which restaurants can improve their ecological footprint.  Every week, we will be bringing you information about our progress, ways that you can help out, and restaurant initiatives.
            So, to get started, we would like to give you all a bit of facts about the restaurant environment so that you all can understand the gravity of the situation. 

Here are a few statistics:

An average of 50, 000 lbs of trash are produced by ONE restaurant every year, with 20% of all food produced being wasted.
The average fresh food item travels 1,500 miles before being consumed.  This is equal to 14 tons of carbon emissions, which is equal to 71 trees!
The U.S. population tosses out enough paper bags, plastic cups, forks, and spoons each year to circle the equator 300 times! (Cleanair org)
 A single restaurant meal uses around 6-29 gallons of water/meal, which relates to 5,800 gallons of water a day.

Now, we understand that many of us have the tendency to not consider all these negative ecological impacts that we cause by eating out.  But as the environmental situation that we face becomes a pressing matter, we, as consumers, must begin to demand green restaurants.  Through demanding that restaurants cut back on their enormous carbon footprint, we can really make a difference! 

So, please think about this next time you are eating out!  You can do this several ways:
a)    When getting take out, ask the restaurant to exclude plastic utensils and paper napkins with your order in favour of using your own metal utensils
      at home.
b)   Recycle your waste when possible!  If the restaurant does not have a recycling bin, tell them that they should provide one.  Through recycling, restaurants can cut back on their waste by 95%
c)    Ask for locally grown food!  Through cutting back on transportation and production costs of mass produced crops, you are really helping to
      decrease carbon emissions.  Plus locally grown food just tastes better!
d)   Tell the restaurant about our initiative!!  Any restaurant can contact us at and we can help them get on their way to a greener future!

Thank you all for reading and expect to hear from us soon! 

Till then, stay bright!
-Dining in the Dark