According to research from The Hartman Group, reported on by Forbes.com, 42 percent of consumers have an “interest in sustainable menu options as well as criteria that relate to healthy eating choices and higher food quality. This dovetails perfectly with The Chef’s Garden’s philosophy of growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature – as well as with our focus on Fossil Free Cuisine®.
The Hartman Group research provided additional insight into these diners, including that:
They eat out more frequently than the average person, 18 times a month (versus other diners with an average of 14 times a month)
They eat in six different restaurant channels per month
Demographically speaking, they tend to be Millennials with children; they also tend to be “more affluent, urban and ethnically diverse”
They are focused on their health, motivated to make smarter eating choices; they usually tend to understand the “health benefits of making sustainable food choices”
“To reduce reliance on fossil fuels and to care for our planet,” Lee says, “we use cold frames so we can grow products without having to use fossil fuel to heat or cool the structure. Cold frames are basically small greenhouses built over an area. We plant crops in the fall and then the produce is grown slowly using solar energy.”
To see what a cold frame looks like, we invite you to watch our YouTube video about ice spinach. “We plant the spinach,” Lee explains, “and then we work in harmony with nature, using what she gives us.”
As winter settles in, the ice spinach typically freezes at night and then thaws again in the daytime. “The sun can heat the inside of the cold frame to 45 to 50 degrees,” Lee says, “although, some days, it doesn’t warm up that much.”
The spinach leaves act as solar receptors. Then the light energy converts to chemical energy, forming sugar. Because of this process, ice spinach is The Chef’s Garden’s sweetest and crispest variety.
The Chef’s Garden also sustainably heats its greenhouses with a renewable product: corn cobs normally seen as waste. “We get the corn cobs from a neighbor,” Lee says. “He used to have to pay to have them hauled away. Now we buy these from him and heat our greenhouses that way. This is another excellent way to grow vegetables for Fossil Free Cuisine®.”