The Who, What, Why of Sustainability in Food Service

In recent years, words and phrases like ‘organic’ or ‘all-natural’ have gained a lot of traction in the media. Though there is a plethora of new information, and new superfood crazes seemingly every week – all that buzz really boils down to one simple truth:

 People want better food.

They want higher quality, better flavors, and the knowledge that what they are putting into their body was raised with care (and without harmful pesticides or cruelty). As a business revolving entirely around food, these concerns rest heavily on our shoulders.

For us, food is not limited to what we feed our own families in our own homes, it’s what we feed our clients – the 6,000+ meals we prepare and send out each week.

Yes, our clients are our priority –  they are the heart and soul of our business.

However, we believe that our responsibilities extend far beyond servicing our clients with the best flavors and highest quality. We are not only a producer of food, but also a consumer of raw ingredients. We purchase thousands of dollars worth of produce, meats, and grains every single month, and these purchasing decisions affect, not only our clients, but the larger food economy.

The money we spend on raw ingredients, more importantly, where that money is spent – has an effect much larger than one delicious meal or one well organized event.

We could purchase grain soaked in pesticides and farmed in a way that ruins the land for later generations. We could purchase commodity pork, beef, or chicken, and in doing so condone and propagate inhumane treatment and the unhealthy use of antibiotics.

We could purchase fruits and vegetables out of season, tangentially supporting a process that lowers nutrient value, causes increased transport emissions, and employs genetic modification to help produce withstand long journeys.

We could do all of those things and more, because buying raw ingredients – with no thought to their source – is often simpler, and almost always cheaper. It’s easier, but that doesn’t make it right.

Higher cost or not, we believe that supporting producers who conduct business sustainably is more than worth it, because our buying decisions help to shape the economy around us – they are a vote cast every single day in support of a better world.

That’s why, since our inception, we’ve always put our money where our mouth is.

We conduct business based on the principles of sustainability.

sustainabilityWhat does this mean in practice?

We often don’t buy organic. This is because organic doesn’t necessarily mean better: for the environment, or for product quality. This is not to say that all items deemed organic are actually false advertising – they aren’t – but with the rise of the organic movement comes too the need for increased scrutiny.

Rather than blindly following the label organic, we prefer to source our goods with a focus on sustainable farming and humane animal raising practices. We consider each producers’ efforts to offset their environmental footprint, and we always make an effort to stay as local as possible.

Why are we telling you any of this?

We’re telling you this because we hope that you might share our vision for a better earth and a brighter future for our children.

We hope that when choosing between our food, and food that comes at a lower cost, you will consider the ‘why’ behind our prices.

In a consumerist economy like ours, one of the best ways to be heard is with how you choose to spend the money in your wallet.

We’ve chosen to make ourselves heard by means of our unwavering commitment to doing what we do, in the most sustainable way we know.  And we are always looking for ways to improve, to be better, to do more.

Below you will find an extensive list of our producers, along with that producer’s website or information. We encourage you to do your own research. Fact check.

When it comes to sustainability, we’re doing more than just talking the talk  – and we want everyone to know.

Beef:
Painted Hills
St. Helens Beef
Columbia River Reserve

Chicken:
Draper Valley
Bare Chicken

Pork:
Carlton Farms
Beeler’s (for Bacon)

Fish:
Salmon – Peter Pan Seafoods Bristol Bay (Wild. We never use farmed salmon.)
All other fish (except Trout) are caught wild and not farmed.
*Trout is all but impossible to source wild caught

Flour:
Shepherd’s Grain 
A cooperative company working with fantastic farmers

Produce:
Charlie’s Produce
The largest local and organic program in the city. When they realized that the greatest impediment for a small farmer is getting their produce to market, they sent their trucks out to the farms North of Seattle and East of the mountains to gather these locally grown goods.

This list will be updated periodically as the seasons and our needs change. Our promise to you though is that no matter how the list changes, it will always only be filled with producers whose vision of the future is in line with our own. We sincerely hope you will join us in that vision, because we wholeheartedly believe that the only way to move forward with positive change is to do so together.