The End of Good Chocolate?

Kraft Foods (US) takes over Cadbury (UK)

Cadbury Creme Egg

See article via BBC News

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‘Going Green’ in a Brown Economy: A Restaurant’s Nightmare?

Living in Los Angeles during the ‘Age of Going Green’ has put me in the center of the battle between the sustainable folk and those to get off on using styrofoam (zombie food to go!)

2007-116-rising-sea-levels

Unfortunately I can’t be too judgemental on the restaurants that haven’t (yet) jumped onto the Green train. Why? Because with the current state of our economy, it is impressive to even have a restaurant that can stay open, let alone transform its entire food and production system to be more environmentally friendly.

What does it mean to be Green?

  • Adios to Styrofoam (the biggest offender): Styrofoam is not biodegradable and is filled with toxic chemicals that don’t make the Earth happy.
  • Get Rid of Energy Eating Equiptment: Regular refrigerators and other kitchen/cleaning appliances require quite a bit of energy to run. According to Panasonic, the average refridgerator eats up about 1000 kwH of energy per year, but they just introduced a new fridge that boasts a 350 kwH/year energy use. (I am not endorsing the product but that is a pretty impressive reduction.)
  • Low-Flow Faucets/Flushers: Restaurants consume a ridiculous amount of water, from dishwashing, cooking, and bathrooms. Low-Flow faucets increase the amount of air in the water and ultimately lower consumption. Double flush toilets, well, no more “if it’s pee let it be” rule.
  • Sustainable Eating: For a restaurant to be gastronomically green (and not in a way that causes food poisoning) it has to serve foods that come promote the long-term health of the ecosystem: foods from local sources, organics, foods produced with sustainable agriculture (energy/resource conservation), etc.

Consumers want their restaurants to be Eco-friendly these days so they can feel like they are making a small contribution to saving the world with each bite of their lunch. This is easier said than done.

Reading an article in the LA Times, the exec chef from the Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica gives a little perspective on how difficult it truly is for a restaurant to ‘Go-Green”.

It is much easier to go green at home, and much less expensive. But if you are fixed on eating out on a regular basis, http://www.dinegreen.com provides a pretty conclusive link of restaurants around the US that are certifiably Green.

The economy sucks, we all know that, but what would suck even more is UNIVERSAL ECOSYSTEM COLLAPSE!!!!!! (cue dramatic music)

The Coke Hits the Fan: No Mentos Necessary

Despite the fact that since the beginning of our recession America’s net worth as fallen an approximate 22.7%, somehow companies like Coca-Cola are still coming up with ways to rise above the rest.

diet_coke_mentos11

Being the good American patriot that I am, I like (have become obsessed) to be in the know about the state of our impressive (depressive?) economy. This morning began with yet another, “Unfortunately today on Wallstreet…”coming from the talking head on T.V. I think hearing those 4 words on an everyday basis for the past 18 months has made them become something of a mantra for me, Ommmmmmmmmmm. *ahem* anyway….

Large companies like The Coca-Cola company that produce the foods that we all know and love (*cough*) are even being affected by the recessive state of our economy… but what does this really mean in terms of the BIGGER picture? How much money are these mega-companies actually losing?

Coca-colas 4Q profit-loss
Coca-colas 4Q profit-loss

Sure it has lost 18% of its revenues this quarter, but what does this really mean? Down from quarter’s profits ($1.21 billion dollars, or $.53 cents a share), the company still earned a measley $995 million this quarter.

Stated in the article found on, http://www.istockanalyst.com:

“Unit case volume grew 4 percent during the quarter, with the volume of trademark Coke rising 2 percent. Last month the company launched a new “Open Happiness” global marketing campaign to renew its focus on soft drinks to appeal to consumers looking to pay less.”

Looking to pay less consumers? Perhaps I might turn you on to a new innovative beverage….WATER

Water is FREE, can be found just about EVERYWHERE (sorry desert folk), and (if you are drinking from a filter or the tap) does NOT create more trash and consume a ridiculoid amount of energy.

oh, and it’s kinda good for you too… at least that’s what I hear.

Moral of the story? In the hellish economy in which we currently find ourselves, do NOT feel like you need to resort to mass produced products and fast food because it is the CHEAPEST option. It may be convenient, but the cheapest options are home-grown fruits and veg, a trip to your local farmers market, and a drink from the tap.

Let’s start thinking economically folks…