Friday, November 30, 2007

Dining out responsibly in Vancouver

Two of Vancouver's excellent brunch places (Rhizome and The Elbow Room) are featured on The Globe and Mail this week. The piece is actually quite well written, I really liked Elianna Lev's style. This article reminded me a bit of the concept of green restaurants, but in this case, I think the keywords would be "socially responsible" restaurants.

The idea of Corporate Social Responsibility is very often associated with sustainability because caring for the environment is just one of many ways in which corporations can be responsible with society, taking into account their needs and wants [the Wikipedia entry on CSR is currently nominated to be discussed for neutrality, but overall, I think it's ok].

I think Rhizome is at the forefront of socially responsible restaurants. Beyond the idea of the lentils where you "pay what you feel", one of the key elements that Rhizome brings not only to the East Vancouver/Mount Pleasant community but to the larger Vancouver society is that this is a place where social justice is one of the main themes. In an growingly corporate world, Rhizome is a breath of fresh air.

As for The Elbow Room, I used to be a steady customer for many years, but since it's downtown and I am now an East Vancouver boy, I rarely have brunch there anymore. However, this is definitely a responsible restaurant. For decades now, The Elbow Room owners have collected donations for A Loving Spoonful (a charitable organization for which I have Blogathoned in the past).

I believe that there is an increasing trend towards corporate social responsibility in the service industry. For example, some coffee shops like Lugz will only serve ethically-produced coffee. Other restaurants will serve fish that is certified with OceanWise. Green Table is an organization that helps restaurants become more green. There is a myriad of additional examples out there (I just don't know them all).

I would be interested in hearing more stories of socially-responsible restaurants in the Metro Vancouver area, if you have any.

1 comment:

Patricia said...

I don't know who you are or what you do but I am looking for someone to write some content for my enviro site....are you really a student and if so, are you interested.
I am an enviro lawyer and a realtor with a site focusing on green living
let me know! and where are you going?