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NBA Superstar Ray Allen to Open Organic Fast-Food Restaurant

Food

Ray Allen and his wife, Shannon Allen, are launching an organic fast-food restaurant in Miami called Grown.

The Allens were inspired to open the environmentally-friendly space because they wanted to find healthy options for their son Walker, who was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when he was only 17 months old, the Miami Herald reported.

“People want to be healthier, eat cleaner and feel better about what they’re putting in their bodies,” the former Miami Heat player told the Herald. “I know this from personal experience, and when Grown opens it will very much be a concept unlike anything else, designed to be accessible by everyone, from the weekend warrior to the soccer mom and anyone in between.”

Grown, set to open in March, will feature healthy, gluten-free and low-cost fare such as juices, smoothies, soups, sandwiches, wraps, baked goods and coffee with prices ranging from $4-18. It will also have a drive-through, carry-out and grab-and-go options.

The co-founder standing in front of his newly installed drive thru signage. Allen played for several NBA teams including two seasons for the Miami Heat.  Photo credit: Pre-Game Meal Facebook

Shannon told the Herald that the Allen family decided to open their restaurant because they were searching for healthy yet convenient food for her now 9-year-old son.

"I had an aha moment where I realized I couldn’t sit around helpless waiting for someone else to create a fast-food option that met our family’s dietary needs, and as we did our research it became obvious that this wasn’t a struggle unique to us, families everywhere are looking for convenience without compromise,” she said.

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Shannon, who is the creator and executive producer of the cooking show The Pre-Game Meal, told CBS Miami that she carefully monitors what Walker, and the rest of the family, eats: “We’re so diligent about everything we put in our mouths.”

Grown's Santa Fe Salad comes with organic greens, avocado, fresh corn and tomato salsa, grilled shrimp and plantain strips. Photo credit: Grown Instagram

The Allen family has done a number of public appearance and public service announcements to advocate for more diabetes research. Three million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

As for the restaurant itself, "every inch" of the 1,900-square-foot space will be environmentally friendly, according to the Miami Herald.

Its host of green building elements include a rooftop garden where vegetables and herbs will be harvested for use in the restaurant’s kitchen. The building’s facade will be built from 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood.

To inspire a healthy eating lifestyle for kids, the restaurant's interactive iPad bar will have nutritional- and fitness-themed games. Not only that, the menus and food packaging will be plantable.

The restaurant will use plantable and compostable take-out boxes. Photo credit: Grown Instagram

Shannon wrote on her Facebook page that the flagship came after six years of conceptualizing, planning, assembling their team, scouting locations and building the restaurant.

Grown will be located at 8211 S. Dixie HWY, Miami, Fl 33143.

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Aerial view of Ruropolis, Para state, northen Brazil, on Sept. 6, 2019. Tthe world's biggest rainforest is under threat from wildfires and rampant deforestation. JOHANNES MYBURGH / AFP via Getty Images

By Kate Martyr

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest last month jumped to the highest level since records began in 2015, according to government data.

A total of 563 square kilometers (217.38 square miles) of the world's largest rainforest was destroyed in November, 103% more than in the same month last year, according to Brazil's space research agency.

From January to November this year an area almost the size of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico was destroyed — an 83% overall increase in destruction when compared with the same period last year.

The figures were released on Friday by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and collected through the DETER database, which uses satellite images to monitor forest fires, forest destruction and other developments affecting the rainforest.

What's Behind the Rise?

Overall, deforestation in 2019 has jumped 30% compared to last year — 9,762 square kilometers (approximately 3769 square miles) have been destroyed, despite deforestation usually slowing during November and December.

Environmental groups, researchers and activists blamed the policies of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro for the increase.

They say that Bolosonaro's calls for the Amazon to be developed and his weakening support for Ibama, the government's environmental agency, have led to loggers and ranchers feeling safer and braver in destroying the expansive rainforest.

His government hit back at these claims, pointing out that previous governments also cut budgets to environment agencies such as Ibama.

The report comes as Brazil came to loggerheads with the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) over climate goals during the UN climate conference in Madrid.

AOSIS blasted Brazil, among other nations, for "a lack of ambition that also undermines ours."

Last month, a group of Brazilian lawyers called for Bolsonaro to be investigated by the International Criminal Court over his environmental policies.

Reposted with permission from DW.

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