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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, February 22

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News Wed Jun 23 2010

Guaranteed Green Restaurants

Yesterday morning, the Green Chicago Restaurant Co-Op's "Guaranteed Green" restaurant group was announced to the world: 20 restaurants that started working through the Co-Op's certification process last year and have come out living up to green standards. Specifically, the Green Seal and Green Restaurant Association standards, basically analogous to LEED standards for buildings and construction. The Green Seal standard covers not only sustainability in energy use and water management, but food sourcing, food innovation, composting, grease recycling and other industry-specific areas where sustainable practices can create long-term benefits.

Some group members are no-brainers as Uncommon Ground and the Bleeding Heart Bakery, but the list also includes a few establishments relatively new to the green bandwagon (at least in terms of PR), like Keefer's Steakhouse, Big Jones and local chain Roti Mediterranean Grill. The full list of Guaranteed Green restaurants is on the Co-Op's website.

The whole landscape of sustainable standards is still pretty boggy at this point. LEED-certification, while a top shelf achievement, is a messy thicket of suggestions, stages of sustainability and levels of commitment. Organic certification is a sinkhole of ambiguity, with competing standards from the USDA, the California Certified Organic Farmers (providing standards and certification far beyond Cali since the 1970s), and Organic Crop Improvement Association, to name but a few. So the Guaranteed Green group may not be the last word on sustainable food service practices, but it certainly seems like a step in the right direction.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
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