Thursday, November 27

Noitalever: Fast Food? Really?

Hello, all! I have very pleasant news, though it's a bit taunting to those of you who do not live in the Pacific Northwest.

Burgerville has long been my favorite fast food restaurant. It's puzzling, perhaps, because I'm a vegetarian and yet I harbor this love affair with a fast food restaurant with "burger" in its name. However, Burgerville has two (TWO!) amazing vegetarian burgers. One is a simple garden burger with all of the goodies, and the other is a black bean burger with chipotle sauce.

Burgerville is expensive, averaging $4-6 per sandwich and $3-4 per milkshake. What it has always had going for it, though, is that all of the food is local. The onions are Walla Wallas, the cheese is Tillamook, and the milkshakes are always made from in-season nuts or berries (chocolate hazelnut, anyone?). Basically, great ingredients.

On Tuesday, Jesse and I went into Burgerville and I kind of had a very sad moment as we walked up. I realized that this would be the first time that I could not have a milkshake because this is the first time I've been there since becoming hardcore-no-plastic. I sighed, and accepted this as we walked in.

As we ordered, the straws caught my eye. The wrappers said "100% Compostable." I scoffed, thinking it was the el-fake-o "biodegradable" plastic that isn't really biodegradable at all. The cashier, however, assured me that they were made from corn. He told me that Burgerville was "going green."

And then, I challenged him. Rapid-fire, I examined the restaurant. Cups? (Corn) Lids? (Corn) To-go containers? (Biodegradable - he showed me one) Wrappers? (Paper)

(At this point, I got teary and ordered a milkshake. I actually cried a little...)

All Burgerville restaurants are powered by wind, he told me. (I looked it up - they buy wind credits that equal 100% of their energy use!)

Okay, I said, gearing up for the ultimate challenge. Here is where many people fall short: they wrap up their compostable goodies in plastic trash bags and send those to the landfill, where even food will never break down if it isn't exposed to wind and rain.

"And your trash bags?"


Okay, okay...I only had one more question...

"Do you have a composter?"
"Not yet," he said, "As we're the farthest south. We get everything last. But half of the Burgerville locations have composters, and we should be getting one soon."


I am going to write a letter to Burgerville, thanking them for giving me a reason to love them. I went ahead and got a gift card for my cousin (plastic, but really...that would have been too good to be true, right?) in order to support the company and give Vaughn tasty foods.

Burgerville only has locations in Oregon and Washington, so it is unfortunate that plastic-free fast food is not the norm for all of us. However, as Burgerville continues in this business model, we can lift them up as an example to the other "Burger" chiefs of the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment