Portland, OR-based Restaurant Partners with Local Farmers and Suppliers to Put Tastier, More Sustainable Beans on its Menu
Submitted by Truitt Bros., Inc.
CSRwire- PORTLAND, Ore. "“ June 10, 2009 "“ After two years of intensive testing and sampling, Laughing Planet Café is introducing "smart beans" into its seven quick-service establishments in Oregon. The new beans, which are Food Alliance certified and are grown in Central Washington using "no-till" farming methods, will replace the currentÂ pinto and black beans that areÂ grown conventionally and transported from the Midwest. Beans are a prominent source of protein and a staple ingredient in many of Laughing Planet’s wholesome burritos, bowls and made-from-scratch soups.
Laughing Planet Café collaborated with Truitt Bros., a Salem, Oregon food processor and industry-leading Food Alliance-certified operation, to source and test the new beans, and ensure that the dry pintos have been raised and processed in a sustainable manner. Later this month, Laughing Planet will turn to the same local grower and processor to replace their black bean supply.
"These beans represent a significant leap forward for bean-kind and a vast improvement over conventional products," says Richard Satnick, Laughing Planet Café’s founder and chief burrito officer. "By using locally produced beans rather than those from the Midwest, we can significantly reduce our restaurant’s environmental footprint. Even more importantly, the beans are grown using farming methods that conserve soil and reduce the need for fossil fuel-powered interventions."
No-till farming is a method of planting seeds directly in the rubble of previous crops, without having to till the soil and disrupt the crucial layer of topsoil known as the rhyzosphere. This soil zone contains billions of organisms per square inch that account for the soil’s productivity and, arguably, the aesthetic and nutritional outcome of plant foods grown in it. By utilizing a no-till method, farmers can actually build healthier soil over time while delivering higher quality products.
"No-till agriculture is one of the more important tools currently available to slow down the loss of our country’s most valuable agricultural commodity "“ quality soil," says Peter Truitt, president of Truitt Bros. "By working the entire supply chain "“ farm to café "“ we can demonstrate that you can produce a superior product while also ensuring that farmland is being protected and enhanced."
Virtually all conventional farming and even most organic farms use massive cultivators to turn the soil prior to and after planting. This process of tillage exposes the soil to wind and water erosion, where the rich rhyzosphere dries up and is blown or washed away. A notorious example of this process was seen in the Dust Bowl era of the 1930’s, where Midwest farmers suffered through devastating conditions brought on by unsustainable farming practices.
About Laughing Planet Café
Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Laughing Planet Café’s quick-service restaurants offer wholesome food in a convenient, family friendly, neighborhood-centric format. The privately held restaurant emphasizes fresh, whole and organic foods offering diners balanced nutrition. Just as importantly, its mission would be to increase the world's supply of mirth, humor and beans.
In the spring of 2008, Laughing Planet’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility was honored by the City of Portland’s Office of Sustainability with a "BEST Award" (Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow) for its sustainable practices in sourcing, preparing and serving food; and expanding availability of nutritious, affordable, culturally appropriate food. But the biggest reward is the thousands of "Planet People" who return to enjoy the all-fruit smoothies while surfing the Internet, catch up with a friend over a veggie quesadilla, or stop by to grab a take-out burrito conveniently shaped to fit in their bike's water bottle holder.Â For more information and locations visit www.LaughingPlanetCafe.com
About Truitt Bros.
Operated by brothers David and Peter Truitt in Salem, Oregon, Truitt Bros. is a third-generation family-owned food processor. Leaders in bringing quality and innovation to the industry, Truitt Bros. provides shelf stable products for a wide variety of establishments, from restaurants and businesses to health care and retailers. As part of their commitment to preservation of wildlife and natural resource as well as positive employee relations and sound manufacturing practices, Truitt Bros. became the first Food Alliance certified processor in the country in May of 2006. For more information, visit: www.truittbros.com.
For more information about Food Alliance certification, visit www.foodalliance.org.
Media: Interviews with Richard Satnick, Peter Truitt and farmers are available upon request.
Operated by brothers David and Peter Truitt in Salem, Oregon, Truitt Bros. is a third-generation family-owned food processor. Leaders in bringing quality and innovation to the industry, Truitt Bros. provides shelf stable products for a wide variety of establishments, from restaurants and businesses to health care and retailers. As part of their commitment to preservation of wildlife and natural resource as well as positive employee relations and sound manufacturing practices, Truitt Bros. became the first Food Alliance certified processor in the country in May of 2006.
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