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Chefs to the rescue


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A recipe for how chefs can become part of the solution to climate change

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Chefs to the rescue

  1. 1. Farm to table 2.0 A recipe for chefs to save the world
  2. 2. Mission Chinese à my mission in life 2008: gourmet food truck, 2009 pop-ups! with guest chefs! 2010: Mission Chinese SF, Commonwealth ( !) 2012: Mission Chinese NY, Daughter Born. Since then: The Perennial + Zero foodprint – a movement of restaurants becoming part of the solution to climate change …but how?
  3. 3. thought experiment: systems change An amazing tech company, let’s call it “teslah,” invents a bio- reactor to convert greenhouse gases into fertilizer. If This “bio-technology” could be scaled quickly enough, mankind could actively reverse climate change… In fact: Scientists and farmers have pioneered a comparable bio-tech, but it looks different than the photo here. restaurants such as noma, benu and mission chinese food are already supporting and scaling these developments with a few cents per diner. Can you find a way to join this movement? Spoiler: sci-fi won’t save the world
  4. 4. Non-food Related emissions: 43-56% Deforestation: 15-18% Waste:2-4% The food system accounts for about half of global GHG emissions AtmosphericGreenhouseGases Year John Deere Invents Steel Plow WWII ends. Bomb production converted to fertilizer production First, the bad news about food (all of the data on one slide) Source: IPCC Globally, farming and land management are responsible for major climate impacts Source: UN FAO
  5. 5. A rude awakening (Real talk. Sorry!) Director’s commentary: The matrix is a story about wall street Ø  Most of capitalism is working against nature. Ø  Most of farming is working against nature. Ø  Maybe 1% of all food is grown in healthy soil. Ø  Even if you source well, the system is not changing. But incredibly we can solve this. Like starting today!
  6. 6. #CIAFQAM Scientists are charting climate solutions and 11 of the top 24 solutions come from FOOD Food/Soil = best opportunity to do more than slow climate change but actually DRAW DOWN atmospheric carbon into soil and REVERSE climate change. Like planting trees, increasing soil microbiology can amount to hundreds of tons of GHG capture per acre. the good News (the first of a few slides!)
  7. 7. Chefs - from the daily grind to hero Daily operations are mentally and fiscally challenging—It’s enough to make you lose your cool… and we can’t all be josé andres Because of how most food is grown, a restaurant meal creates about the same emissions as burning a gallon of gas. But at Mission Chinese we have gone carbon neutral by sending 10 cents per diner towards soil carbon credits. Each diner’s meal creates healthy soil (and more healthy food!) and in turn removes as much emissions as not burning a gallon of gas to begin with. This is happening whether or not we serve the food from these farms. This is the start of a renewable food system.
  8. 8. the miraculous bio-tech is healthy soil! May 2017 Carbon Ranching protocol approved on the American Carbon Registry April 2018 - NY Times Magazine cover story on soil as a climate solution August 2018 - Peer-reviewed scientific paper proves global potential to reverse climate change using NASA modeling, the work of UC Berkeley Bio-Geo-Chemists and carbon ranchers
  9. 9. Case Study: Stemple Creek Ranch 350 acre pilot on a 3600 acre ranch •  Compost applied 5 years ago to jumpstart drawdown •  Livestock Grazing managed to optimize carbon sequestration •  Drawdown ~ 1,000,000+ gallons of gasoline in the past 5 years and expected for another 30+ years. •  Delicious & Nutritious grass fed beef as a bonus! The Beef Industry: What Truly Matters •  50-70 lbs of manure/cow/day. If the cows (over)consume antibiotics, this becomes waste instead of fertilizer. •  760 million acres of pasture being grazed in the US on land that’s not suitable for crops. Most of it is for cows + calves before heading into the feedlots. That land can be managed better even if the cows end up in the feedlot. •  Fewer pounds of livestock in US today than when bison roamed à “Beef” is not the problemà the mismanagement of production is the problem. •  Carbon Ranching protocol from pilots like Stemple Creek are approved on the American Carbon Registry. Carbon Ranching: a solution for the whole industry
  10. 10. •  After 40 years, the organic movement covers ~1.5% of U.S. acreage (some of which is not even building soil.) •  Subsidies and externalities create a wide price gap between “good farming” and “bad farming.” •  “Voting with dollars” does not directly fund soil restoration. The sustainable consumer spending trickles down slowly and may not even benefit the soil. •  Even if there were suddenly overwhelming demand to pay a premium for regeneratively produced ingredients, there would be insufficient supply. •  The existing farm-to-table movement is not engaged with the voluntary carbon market at all Farm-to-table is ripe for disruption Fresh and local is nice, But won’t save the world (but I still source well!) But how can we directly fund better farming?
  11. 11. California Department of Food and Agriculture  2017 Healthy Soils Program (HSP) Incentives Program ‐  Second Solicitation  Projects Selected for an Award of Funds (Updated as of June 2018) Recipient Organization Project Description Amount Awarded Estimated Cost Sharing County GHG Reduction Estimation (Tonnes CO2 eq/yr) Thomas D. Donati The Recipient will compost in the Buttes of Sutter County and investigate the local benefits of the conservation practice. The multi-generational ranch uses the project site seasonally as part of a rotational livestock grazing system. The Recipient will apply compost in the fall to rangeland to improve soil health. The project reduces emissions by sequestering carbon in the soil, while supporting a local company who manufacturers compost from municipal green waste. This project studies the limited number of compost applications occurring in Northern California’s Central Valley. A partnership has established between the ranching community, UC Cooperative Extension, Point Blue Conservation Science and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to investigate and share the economic and ecological outcomes from the project. Results of the project will be shared with local ranchers and stakeholders though a variety of avenues such as feature articles and project presentations. $49,400.00 $26,425.00 Sutter 630.0 Treborce Vineyards The Recipient will install cover crops and compost to increase the bio-diversity of the parcel and attract beneficial insects, pollinators and birds to control unwanted insects. The Recipient will perform soil and moisture testing to increase vine health and the biodiversity of the area. $6,651.20 $9,145.00 Sonoma 50.0 Wallace Brothers This project provides funding for compost application to fields intended for organic tomato production. The fields have been converted to row crop production with drip irrigation and are in process of being certified for organic production of tomatoes. Addition of compost is expected to provide soil organic matter as well as needed soil nutrients. $50,000.00 $69,240.00 Colusa 1252.0 X-Line Farms, LLC The recipient will implement soil management practices on 82.5 acres of wine grapes. Certified compost will be banded and hydraulically ripped into the root zone of the vines. Soil samples will be taken annually to monitor soil health and changes due to management losses from harvesting. This project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 128.2 tons of CO2 equivalent per acres. $16,897.50 $27,030.00 San Luis Obispo 130.1 10 of 10 farmers are receiving money from the state to reverse climate change but still cost- sharing out of pocket. Farmers implementing carbon farm plans: the CAlifornia Healthy soils initiative 71,190 gallons 5,650 gallons 141,476 Gallons Equal to # gallons of gas/ year 100’s of farmers are standing by to implement carbon farming practices if government, businesses and consumers can provide financial assistance. Turning degraded farmland into healthy soil creates delicious and nutritious food, AND it is the most practical solution to climate change— like planting trees, but simultaneously benefitting the businesses too.
  12. 12. Process •  Restaurant conducts Life Cycle Assessment with 3 Degrees Inc. •  Implements best practices •  Offsets remaining GHG emissions as shown by LCA with contributions to food-related emission mitigation projects such as carbon ranching. Pros: Practical, Legible, Impactful, Scalable, Marketable, Monetizable Cons: People don’t currently think about think about global warming and dinner. Carbon Neutral Restaurants noma, Copenhagen (hiatus) Mission Chinese Food, SF benu, San Francisco Pistola y Corazón, Lisbon Monsieur Benjamin, SF in situ, San Francisco Amass, Copenhagen The Perennial, San Francisco Lord Stanley, San Francisco flour + water, San Francisco Metta, Brooklyn SHED, Healdsburg State Bird Provisions, SF The Progress, San Francisco Namu Gaji, San Francisco Cala, San Francisco Bresca, Washington D.C. Commonwealth, San Francisco Grass Roots Pantry, Hong Kong
  13. 13. Restaurants can inject the capital to create a circular economy funding healthy soil as a climate solution Capital •  To make real progress, we need to close the loop and allow capital from the food system to drive the transition from bad farming to good farming, and therefore build healthy soil. •  A few cents per diner à restaurant becomes carbon neutralà $1,000s per year, per restaurant towards carbon farming practices •  The Restaurant Industry represents $799 Billion in the U.S. (more than the retail food or agriculture sector) Cultural Capital •  One in ten members of the US workforce •  Half of the population has worked in the food industry at some point Agility •  5 celebrity chefs could mainstream Farm to Table 2.0 in 12 months