You only need to look at one piece of the food cycle to realize how closely the system is interwoven with broader ecological concerns. Take waste: The amount of food thrown away each year is staggering. The CO2 which that food eventually creates in the USA alone is double that of all road traffic. Let that one sink in for a sec: The food that you’re trashing is causing more CO2 than your CO2 belching car.
It’s not surprising, then, to discover that making the restaurant industry more sustainable is mammoth task. Along every part of the cycle you’ll find people working to reduce waste and increase sustainability. There are agricultural and aqua-cultural programs focused on better using soil and plants; food waste advocacy groups who aim to inform the public and repair our bad habits; and chefs striving to create kitchens that rectify the bad practices of the past.
When we talk about sustainable chefs, we don’t mean the ones who tell their servers not to pour ice water unless you ask. We’re talking about renegades who grow herbs on the roof, re-engineer kitchens to be fossil fuel free, and train staff to fight the good fight. Below you’ll find a few of our favorite sustainability-game changing chefs around the world: