For the first time ever, a vegan restaurant in France has been awarded a coveted Michelin star.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Laurie Archbald-Pannone, Kathleen C. Brown, Ryan Huerto, Sue Mattison and Thomas A. Russo
Earlier this fall, many of the nation's restaurants opened their doors to patrons to eat inside, especially as the weather turned cold in places. Now, as COVID-19 cases surge across the country, some cities and towns have banned indoor dining while others have permitted it with restrictions. Still other geographies have no bans at all.
The Conversation / CC BY
Not an Option<p><strong>Dr. Laurie Archbald-Pannone, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Virgina</strong></p><p>No. March 12, 2020 was the last day I ate indoors at a restaurant. At the time, there was mild apprehension – but much changed that week. The COVID-19 pandemic altered many aspects of "normalcy," and for me eating inside at a restaurant is one of those activities. I loved eating out and typically would eat out three times a week (sometimes more!). But understanding how the COVID-19 infection is transmitted, I feel that being inside without a mask on – even just to eat – is not an option for me. I strongly believe that we need to support our community through these challenging times, so we still get curbside pickup or delivery from our favorite local restaurants at least three times a week – sometimes more! – but it will be a while before I'm back inside. When I do return I'm definitely getting dessert.</p>
Great Risk<p><strong>Dr. Thomas A. Russo, Chief of Infectious Disease Division, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo</strong></p><p>No. And it's been "no" right from the beginning.</p><p>We have a little more information now, but what I <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-lower-your-coronavirus-risk-while-eating-out-restaurant-advice-from-an-infectious-disease-expert-138925" target="_blank">said in the spring</a> hasn't really changed. The <a href="https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.28.20029272v2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">greatest risk</a> of getting infected with SARS-CoV-2 is being indoors with people who aren't using masks at all times. The concern isn't just big respiratory droplets when close to someone talking; it's also the <a href="https://theconversation.com/when-covid-19-superspreaders-are-talking-where-you-sit-in-the-room-matters-145966" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">tiny aerosols</a> that linger in the air.</p><p>Making it even riskier is the generally poor ventilation in many restaurants. The key differences between indoor dining and shopping in a big box store or grocery store are: 1) big stores have more ventilation and greater air space; 2) everyone can wear a mask at all times; 3) you're not fixed in space, so if you see someone who just has a bandanna or their mask drops down below their nose, you can steer clear of them; and 4) it should take less time than dinner out. At a restaurant, you're stuck at that table. If a party near you is having an animated conversation, they could be generating a lot of respiratory secretions.</p><p><a href="https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e415" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Some interesting studies</a> have looked at the airflow and air currents in restaurants in relation to <a href="https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-0764_article" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">where people became infected</a>. In one, a person was <a href="https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e415" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">20 feet away</a> from the source for only about 5 minutes, but the person was directly in the airflow and became infected. It's a reminder of what we've been saying – there's <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-a-smoky-bar-can-teach-us-about-the-6-foot-rule-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-145517" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">nothing magical about 6 feet</a>. The high degree of community disease in the U.S. right now increases the likelihood that another diner in the restaurant is infected. If you are tired of cooking and need a break, takeout is the way to go.</p>
Careful Mixed With Trust<p><strong>Sue Mattison, Provost and Professor in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Drake University</strong></p><p>Yes. As an epidemiologist, my response may seem surprising or hypocritical: I do eat at local restaurants, but only because in April, like more than <a href="https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_casesper100klast7days" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">17 million Americans since that time</a>, I tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered. According to the <a href="https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2020/12/08/study-of-healthcare-workers-shows-covid-19-immunity-lasts-many-months/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">latest evidence</a>, I believe I have immunity for now, and perhaps longer. But I am not pushing my luck.</p><p>I have my own list of four restaurants where I eat. I trust these restaurants because each has drastically reduced their number of tables and spaced them at least 6 feet apart, and everyone inside is diligent about wearing a mask. My husband and I also order takeout a lot. It is important to reiterate, however, that evidence shows <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6936a5.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">restaurants are a significant source of infection</a>, and those who have not recovered from COVID-19 should refrain from eating at restaurants until the community gets a better handle on the spread of infection.</p>
Short-Term Sacrifices<p><strong>Dr. Ryan Huerto, Family Medicine Physician, Health Services Researcher and Clinical Lecturer, University of Michigan</strong></p><p>No. While I understand many factors contribute to indoor dining, such as the mental health toll of social isolation, the opportunity to support small businesses and cold weather, I strongly recommend against indoor dining.</p><p>The risk of contracting COVID-19 from indoor activities is far greater than from physically distanced outdoor activities. The recent spike in COVID-19 infections, deaths and ICU bed shortages is <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/the-post-thanksgiving-covid-19-surge-is-here-what-to-expect-now" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">likely linked to indoor gatherings during Thanksgiving</a>.</p><p>On Dec. 22, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">201,674 infections and 3,239 deaths</a> due to COVID-19 were reported. This death toll is equivalent to approximately 20 Boeing 737 aircrafts crashing in a single day.</p><p>Even with a COVID-19 vaccine approved, staying home, physically distancing, wearing a mask and good hand hygiene are as important as ever. Think of these as short-term sacrifices to help protect your friends, family, neighbors and essential workers.</p><p>Instead of dining in, please consider exponentially safer alternatives such as ordering delivery or curbside pickup.</p>
Restaurants Pose Big Risk<p><strong>Kathleen C. Brown, Associate Professor of Practice and MPH Program Director, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, University of Tennessee</strong></p><p>No. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6936a5.htm" target="_blank">reported that patients testing positive were twice as likely</a> to have eaten in a restaurant than those testing negative in the 14 days preceding their test. I regularly get takeout but do not eat in restaurants.</p><p>What I cannot control poses a risk. I have very open and honest conversations with family and friends about where we have been and who we have been with. From there, our risk is pretty clear but still not at zero. The more people I come into contact with, the greater the risk.</p><p>In a restaurant, I am not able to assess the risk posed by other patrons or the staff. Each person in that restaurant has a network of others that, taken together, increases my risk of contracting COVID-19. Currently, Tennessee, where I live, is the <a href="https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_casesper100klast7days" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">second-leading state for cases per 100,000</a>, which means community spread is high.</p><p>In plain language, that means there is an increased likelihood that I may come into contact with someone who is infectious – symptomatic or not – if I eat inside a restaurant. I will continue to pick up my takeout for now.</p><p><em>Disclosure Statement: </em><em>The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.</em></p><p><em>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://theconversation.com/would-you-eat-indoors-at-a-restaurant-we-asked-five-health-experts-152300" target="_blank">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>
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Like many other plant-based foods and products, CBD oil is one dietary supplement where "organic" labels are very important to consumers. However, there are little to no regulations within the hemp industry when it comes to deeming a product as organic, which makes it increasingly difficult for shoppers to find the best CBD oil products available on the market.
Charlotte's Web<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDcwMjk3NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzQ0NjM4N30.SaQ85SK10-MWjN3PwHo2RqpiUBdjhD0IRnHKTqKaU7Q/img.jpg?width=980" id="84700" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a2174067dcc0c4094be25b3472ce08c8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="charlottes web cbd oil" data-width="1244" data-height="1244" /><p>Perhaps one of the most well-known brands in the CBD landscape, Charlotte's Web has been growing sustainable hemp plants for several years. The company is currently in the process of achieving official USDA Organic Certification, but it already practices organic and sustainable cultivation techniques to enhance the overall health of the soil and the hemp plants themselves, which creates some of the highest quality CBD extracts. Charlotte's Web offers CBD oils in a range of different concentration options, and some even come in a few flavor options such as chocolate mint, orange blossom, and lemon twist.</p>
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By Lindsay Campbell
The San Francisco chef has a new project in the works. In January, Myint hopes to formally launch Restore California, a joint initiative with the State of California that will enlist the golden state's restaurant industry to support climate-beneficial farming practices.
Dining out in California may offer an opportunity to fight climate change, thanks to a new initiative.
By Melinda McKee
Select Carl's Jr. locations now serve the delicious Beyond Burger!
By Anna Ben Yehuda
There has, arguably, never been a better time to be a vegan in America. As chefs across the country create menus reliant on fruits and vegetables in an effort to embrace health, eaters are getting used to the idea of entrées made entirely of vegetables (albeit souffléd, stirred and brined ones). In short: nobody will give you a dirty look if you ask to "hold the cheese."
Food, as we know, is a terrible thing to waste. Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted every year. But what if we could use food waste to create more food?
That's the elegantly full-circle idea behind Indie Ecology, a West Sussex food waste farm that collects leftovers from some of London's best restaurants and turns it into compost. The nutrient-rich matter is then used to grow high quality produce for the chefs to cook with. Call it table-to-farm-to-table—and again and again.
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Small-scale, local food producers can look forward to stronger markets this year, if the National Restaurant Association’s predictions prove accurate. According to the association’s What’s Hot in 2012 survey of nearly 1,800 professional chefs, children’s nutrition and local sourcing will be the hottest trends on restaurant menus this coming year.
1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
2. Locally grown produce
3. Healthful kids’ meals
4. Hyper-local items
5. Sustainability as a culinary theme
6. Children’s nutrition as a culinary theme
7. Gluten-free/food allergy-conscious items
8. Locally produced wine and beer
9. Sustainable seafood
10. Whole grain items in kids’ meals
“The top menu trends we’re seeing in our What’s Hot in 2012 survey reflect the macro-trends we have seen grow over the last several years,” said Joy Dubost, Ph.D, R.D., director of Nutrition & Healthy Living for the National Restaurant Association. “Nutrition—especially when it comes to children—is becoming a major focus for the nation’s nearly one million restaurants, in tune with consumers’ increasing interest in healthful eating.”
“Local sourcing of everything—from meat and fish, to produce, to alcoholic beverages—is another big trend for 2012. Local farms and food producers have become an important source of ingredients for chefs and restaurateurs wishing to support the members of their business community and highlight seasonal ingredients on menus,” Dubost added.
“The American Culinary Federation has a long history of working with families to ensure that children receive adequate nutrition, so we are delighted that chefs have chosen to include healthful kids meals in the top 10 menu trends for 2012,” said Michael Ty, American Culinary Federation national president. “We are also pleased to see an emphasis on local sourcing across major ingredient categories, including produce, a vital component of children’s diets.”
If you’ve not already pursued area restaurants as a market for your locally grown products, this could be an opportune time to do so. Chefs are often willing to pay a premium for healthy, fresh, local products, and with an anticipated increase in demand, they could be looking for additional suppliers.
For more information, click here.