From the massive carbon footprint of typical corn and beef based fast food fare to one-time-use serving ware and garbage-pail-bound packaging, fast food isn’t the likely candidate for the title of planet friendly eats. Still, our global economy is built on a foundation of instant gratification sustenance and while there are many lifestyle adjustments that we’re willing to make on behalf of Mother Nature, giving up drive-through chow isn’t quite one of them.
There are new additions to the fast food landscape that are considerably greener than their brethren, such as carbon footprint-measured, veggie-based Otarian and Chipotle (which was owned by McDonald’s for 8 years) with their commitment to recycled packaging, naturally raised meats and renewable power-fired ovens…but they’re admittedly few and far between. Two former McDonald’s execs – one who was singlehandedly responsible for launching the golden arches’ transparent nutritional information policy — have identified this ripe green niche market and are planning to open a “fast casual” chain potentially called “Stephanie’s” that offers affordable, healthy and delicious fare reflecting elements of social responsibility as soon as 2011.
Quite unlike the Burger Kings and Wendy’s of the world, this new green concept is contemplating the following eco-features:
- Grass covered parking lots
- Rooftop herb gardens
- Biodegradable cutlery
- Electric car powered home delivery
- Healthier menu items such as steel cut oats, pita pockets, homemade soups and kebabs.
Tapping into the current trend of offering “food with integrity” that is “organic, fresh and healthy”, “Stephanie’s” could very well hit gold, but naturally time will tell. They still have to compete with our culture’s Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde dietary approach which is a resounding ‘yes’ in the eating healthfully department but a ‘what the huh?’ when it comes to standing on the scale at the doctor’s office