Omnivore - An ode to fast food

We had another amazing meal at Dynamic Dish last night — spanokopita, arugula salad with lots of fresh veggies, carrot-ginger soup and a carrot soup. You can taste spring in owner/chef David Sweeney's cooking, and the cafe was doing brisk business last night.

One thing you won't find at Dynamic Dish is low prices. We happily pay what's charged — more than $14 for a slice of the spanokopita with roasted potatoes and some tomatoes — because the quality of the ingredients is so high.

Last night, after dinner, I happened to read an article about fast food in Ode Magazine, which characterizes itself as a magazine for "intelligent optimists." (I'm not sure how the magazine got in our house, since nobody by that description lives here.)

The lead story in the April issue of the magazine is about the "greening" of fast food. In a long article that seems indeed optimistic in view of the actual information it provides, the author praises several regional fast food places, like Burgerville in the Pacific Northwest, Better Burger in New York City and EVOS in Florida and Nevada. She gives Chipotle, which is a nationwide chain, special attention.

Mainly, she documents that using local, organic and cruelty-free produce and meats produces much better taste without costing consumers a whole lot more. She also notes that these same restaurants also tend to be more environmentally conscious and provide employees with better pay and benefits. The latter is especially important, since restaurants are the largest employer in the U.S. after the federal government. Other relevant facts: Restaurants are the largest consumer of electricity among U.S. retailers; fast-food packaging accounts for 20 percent of litter in the country.

Read the entire story here.

The same issue of Ode also has a piece entitled "The 2008 Organic Top 20." It includes everything from chocolate to coffee substitutes and mac and cheese. Here's their favorite organic beer:

Healthy and ethical consumption can be fun, and Orlio Organic Beer proves it. Throughout the year, Orlio offers a Common Ale that's smooth, firm and not too heavy. For the winter, the Seasonal Black Lager makes a bolder impression. Its rich flavour will please beer enthusiasts, and its playful hint of chocolate helps separate it from the pack. As summer grows closer, try the Seasonal India Pale Ale for a sharp, slightly bitter taste. Orlio's markets are rapidly expanding — click the "locator" function on the website to find the provider closest to you. A six-pack of Orlio's Common Ale costs $8.99. orliobeer.com

(Images from Ode Magazine website)

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