By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that it’s been Green Week since Monday here in Oxford. Time to take stock of your impact on the environment. This means more than recycling a couple of cans and magazines; it also comes down to what you’re eating and where you’re obtaining your food. How often do you shop the Farmer’s Market? How much meat do you eat in any given week?
The Farmer’s Market, which is in full swing again, is a great place to start your shopping. Stocking up on fruits and vegetables that are in season and fresh from the grower is one of the best ways to buy local and support your community while being earth-friendly. There are also a multitude of farms in the area where you can find additional produce, dairy and meat before resorting to the large grocery stores that have products shipped in from across the country. Check out the site FarmtoMenu.com to find out about local farms and the Oxford restaurants that support them.
Melanie Addington had a very informative article in the Oxford Eagle on Monday about eating green. Something as simple as cutting down on the amount of animal products we eat can reduce methane gas emissions, hundreds of gallons of water and many other harmful gases that are produced with animal-based agriculture. Meg Shannon, who organizes monthly vegetarian potlucks, says that giving up even one pound of beef saves as much water as if you stopped showering for six months!
Some Oxford restaurants have started offering meat-free options, but many still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon. If you’re attempting to have a meat-free night out (perhaps to support Green Week), you’re often left with the choice of french fries and salad (hold the bacon). I believe that savvy restaurateurs who include enticing meat-free options when putting together their menus reap the rewards from that decision. There are more vegetarians and “part-time vegetarians” in Oxford than many realize.
If you’re looking to celebrate Green Week by avoiding meat for a meal or two, some restaurants that are already offering meat-free options include:
- Yocona in Exile (the rotating menu always includes a vegetarian option)
- Honey Bee Bakery (daily menu always features an herbivore soup and entree option)
- Taqueria el Milagro (menu has a vegetarian section)
- Boure (mushroom melt – lunch)
- Tallulah’s Kitchen (black bean burger)
- Ravine (vegetarian pasta of the day)
- Waltz on the Square (baked ziti)
- The Bungalow (portabella sandwich)
- Red House (ultimate grilled cheese)
- Frank & Marlee’s (veggie burger)
- Newk’s (tomato basil soup and pizzas)
- Oby’s (veggie po-boy and wrap)
- Bangkok Thai (several options)
- Two Stick (several options)
- Kabuki (several options)
- Maharaja Indian Cuisine (many options)
- Turkuaz Cafe (falafel)
- The Deli News (The Appeal)
- Blind Pig (vegetarian po-boy)
- Parrish’s (black bean wrap)
- Taylor’s Pub (black bean chipotle veggie burger)
- Mink’s On the Park (The Southern Star)
For more information on Green Week, check out the dedicated website here.