More Restaurants are Aiming for Climate-Friendliness

Panera Breads menu featuring their Coolfood meals

Panera Bread’s menu featuring their Coolfood meals

Annabelle Clawson, Editor

For years, it’s probably only been the mouth-watering photos of your favorite foods that have caught your attention when browsing menus. Recently, however, restaurants have been working towards implementing their customer’s consciousness towards an additional feature on their catalogs, one more important than tasty visuals and calories: Mother Earth.

An example of this is the popular bakery chain Panera Bread, which has partnered with the World Resources Institute this year to certify over half of their menu with “Coolfood Meals,” which signifies that the meal equates to less than 20 or 30 percent of an individual’s recommended daily food-derived portion of their carbon footprint. Foods that mark as high-carbon are often those that are palm oil filled, highly processed, meat and dairy products, and/or offset a lot of smoke when being transported and packaged. Low-carbon alternatives are typically fruits, legumes, grains, vegetables, and some proteins sourced locally and ethically.

The high climb of carbon in our atmosphere is incredibly harmful and contributes to global warming, and an increase of restaurants like Panera Bread adding low-carbon certified cuisine to their inventories can have a massive positive impact on making our Earth a better, greener place one bite at a time.