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Earth-Friendly Foods in National Parks
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Earth-Friendly Foods in National Parks
  Wyoming Travel News ( Press Release )

Xanterra Parks & Resorts Embraces Sustainable Cuisine; Earth-Friendly Foods Served at Restaurants in National Parks, Resorts
Denver, Colorado, USA: June 30, 2003: The concept of "health food" has a slightly different twist at national park and resort restaurants operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Xanterra's health foods are menu items that are healthy for the environment as well as the restaurant patron. Called "sustainable cuisine," these foods are grown and harvested in ways that are the least harmful to the environment.
Examples include organically grown coffee with a Fair Trade certificate, wild Alaskan salmon that is more sustainable than its farm-raised counterparts and beef and pork from animals that are fed only hormone- and antibiotic-free feed and managed in a fashion that protects natural habitats.
"We believe that everyone involved in the production and promotion of food - from the farmer to the restaurateur - has an obligation to ensure their business practices are not harmful to the environment," said Chris Lane, director of environmental affairs for Xanterra Parks & Resorts.
"There has been a pervasive idea in the hospitality industry that serving sustainable cuisine and running a profitable operation could not go hand-in-hand. We have found this notion to be false because the general public is pleased to learn about the benefits of sustainable cuisine and customers are quite receptive to trying earth-friendly items."
Xanterra Parks & Resorts' first foray into the world of sustainable cuisine was a ban in 2002 on four types of fish species deemed harmful to the environment because of harvesting practices or low species populations. The ban included Chilean Sea Bass, Atlantic Swordfish and all species of Shark and Bluefin Tuna.
Since then, Xanterra has implemented other policies and programs.
Xanterra serves seafood certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and is also the only foodservice company in the U.S. to pursue an MSC "chain of custody" certification which provides traceability of the seafood back to the source and assures consumers that salmon is from a certified fishery. As part of that program, Xanterra is offering wild Alaskan salmon at most of its restaurants.
In partnership with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., Xanterra offers organic Fair Trade Certified coffee in many of its restaurants. The growth and harvest of organic coffee beans are completed in a way that supports wildlife and migratory bird habitat, and the beans are grown without the use of harsh pesticides using a "shade-growing" method that preserves the rainforest and protects bird habitats. The Fair Trade certificate means the coffee is purchased from local farmers at a fair price.
Selected restaurants in Yellowstone serve Conservation Beef, produced from cows raised on natural grasses on the Western range. No growth hormones or antibiotics are given to the animals. The beef is dry-aged to enhance flavor, and the program supports habitat conservation in partnership with the Nature Conservancy.
Niman Ranch pork is also produced from animals raised on sustainable lands and fed hormone-free, natural feeds. Niman Ranch adheres to a strict code of husbandry principals. The pork is served in selected Yellowstone restaurants.
Xanterra is a corporate member of the Chef's Collaborative, a national network of more than 1,000 members of the food community who promote sustainable cuisine. The Chef's Collaborative educates chefs and consumers about sustainable practices and also works to improve the quality and taste of sustainable food products.
A Foodservice Energy Awareness Program teaches all foodservice employees to participate in energy conservation in a variety of ways.
Xanterra's Green Procurement program also ensures that all paper products and chemicals used in the company's foodservice operations are environmentally sound. As part of the company's Ecologix environmental management system, all foodservice operations also participate fully in recycling and waste reduction programs.
"Our sustainable cuisine programs have been extremely well-received and enthusiastically embraced by our clients, guests and employees, and we are committed to expanding and enhancing these programs in a variety of ways," said Tim Stein, corporate director of food and beverage for Xanterra.

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