Eating *Here* Could Help Save the Environment
Categories: Tech

Eating *Here* Could Help Save the Environment

We all know it’s crucial to buy the best produce whenever we’re cooking at home. Whether we’re shopping for groceries online or picking fruits from our magical tree that grows seven different types of fruit (yup, it’s real), we’re all about that organic life. But when we go out to eat, we’re not always asking the waitress if the chicken on our salad is free-range, nor are we asking for the name of the farmer who supplies their red meat just so we can look them up on HowGood. But if you check out this recently funded Kickstarter, you won’t have to. It’s about to bring convenience and sustainability to a San Francisco restaurant/laboratory of environmentalism called The Perennial.

The Perennial plans to create a new type of restaurant that practices radical environmental consciousness. This new practice involves an aquaponic greenhouse to grow its produce. Not to be confused with hydroponics, it’s a greenhouse where fish and plants are able to live symbiotically in an environment that mimics a riparian ecosystem.

Here’s how it works. The fish’s waste serves to nurture and fertilize the plants so that less water and land is used. But The Perennial isn’t only about bringing food from farm to the table — they’re also about bringing the table to the farm. The Perennial plans to use kitchen scraps from produce to feed the fish in the aquaponic greenhouse. This new environmental practice produces five to six times more produce per square foot annually than soil-based farms, while using only a tenth of the water of those conventional farms.

The Perennial isn’t trying to become a extremist spot where they only serve Fish ‘n’ Chirps. In fact, Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz — the wonderful, environmentally friendly minded couple behind The Perennial — want it to serve dishes that you would see on menus anywhere. The Perennial already has partnerships with a few other agriculturally forward nonprofits. The Land Institute will provide bread made from perennial grains while the Carbon Cycle Institute will supply meat that was grown with carbon sequestration in mind. The Perennial is also working with Zero Foodprint, which will help ensure that their restaurant’s equipment lowers or offsets its own greenhouse gas emissions.

Hopefully The Perennial will be the first of many restaurant-laboratories to come.

Would you dine at a restaurant that uses an aquaponic greenhouse? Comment below! We’d love to know!

(h/t Fast Company)