by Morton D. Rosenbaum | November 01, 2005

Earth-friendly Dieting

"When most people go on a diet," says Tim Stein, director of food and beverage for Greenwood Village, Colo.-based restaurant/lodge operator Xanterra Parks & Resorts, “they usually choose low-cal, low-carb or low-fat options.” Stein, however, kept a more global health issue in mind in designing Xanterra’s new menus: making the lowest possible impact on Earth’s finite resources. Following are some take-home points:
    " Take the fish less ordered. Endangered fish populations make for a vulnerable ecosystem. In a helpful spirit, Xanterra forgoes the popular, but dwindling, Atlantic salmon and selects its wild Alaska counterpart.
    " Watch the buffet. “The amount of uneaten food can be incredible,” says Stein. If dining at a buffet affair, “take only what you think you can eat.”
    " Buy in bulk. Since bulk packaging reduces waste, a trip to Costco can save your planet and budget alike.
    " Buy local. Menus with locally grown foods aren’t just chic; they cut down on carbon monoxide emissions in the transit process.