Earth-Friendly Foods in National Parks
Yosemite 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
"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
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
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
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
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