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A closer look at how restaurants are serving up sustainability [Updated]

March 9, 2010 |  9:05 am


Whether for the bottom line or for the highest of ideals, more restaurateurs -- such as Neal and Amy Knoll Fraser, who are moving their restaurant Grace to downtown, and the new salad chain Mixt Greens -- are working toward "sustainability."

[Updated 3:32 p.m.: A previous version of this post spelled the name of a salad restaurant as Mixed Greens.]

There's no legal definition for a sustainable restaurant, but sustainability — in restaurants, economies or relationships — generally means serving the needs of the present while preserving the ability to meet the needs of the future.

Chefs often take that to mean using locally grown produce, buying supplies from companies that respect the environment and encouraging frugal practices in their kitchens. By turning off lights, installing water filtration systems, recycling cooking oil for biodiesel and using hybrid vehicles for delivery, owners have branched out from just buying chickens that toddle free around a farm. Read more here.

Photo: Erica Gillespie tends to the lettuce growing in planter boxes at Mixt Greens in Los Angeles. The sustainable greens and herbs are fed with water lines and grow-lights. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times