Chicago Dining Goes Green
Chicago is known for its excellent restaurants and great food. At the epicenter of this feast is the Chicago Green City Market, which connects famous chefs as well as everyday cooks with nearby organic farmers whose passion radiates from seed to plate.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY The first element for a great sustainable meal is a short trip. The less distance food travels from farm to plate the better it tastes and the less energy is consumed.
INSPIRING PASSION Contagious and inspiring, the passion of a dedicated person can ignite change. Farmers committed to growing healthy produce and livestock inspire chefs in what they cook, which in turn inspires people to care about their food and help their community to uphold its standard of living a good life responsibly.
EPICUREAN EDUCATION If the stomach is the main pathway to the brain, a chef with an environmental message has a surefire channel of communication to his or her clients. In Chicago, many chefs advocate practices that ensure healthy and delicious foods. Some include the names of local farms on their menus and some have knowledgeable waiters who explain the origins of the food, as well as volunteer in the local community.
GO GREEN—“KNOW YOUR FOOD, KNOW YOUR FARMER” Abby Mandel started the Green City Market in 1999, based on her desire to support sustainable and certified organic farmers in the region: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. She learned this love of the local while apprenticing in some of Europe’s finest restaurants, where talented chefs went shopping at neighboring markets. From its humble beginnings in an alley with ten farmers to the beloved Lincoln Park institution it is today, the Green City Market has played a significant role in shaping Chicago’s appetite for sustainability. It is open May—October, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7 a.m.—1:30p.m., at the south end of Lincoln Park between 1750 North Clark and Stockton Drive. chicagogreencitymarket.org.
GRASS-ROOF INITIATIVES Chicago leads U.S. cities in politically savvy environmentalism. Mayor Richard M. Daley was the first to put a green roof atop city hall, spearheading an initiative that has led to 2.5 million square feet of rainwater-retaining, heat-reducing, air-cleansing rooftop plantings. The political mandate for a greener Chicago provides a supportive environmentfor area farmers, green markets, chefs, and consumers to plow forward with initiatives that advocate healthy eating.