Cowbell is the first restaurant in Toronto to get LEAF certification for its green ways
When it comes to providing environmentally sustainable cuisine, locavore haven Cowbell walks the walk, according to Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF). The new Alberta-based organization, which aims to help diners recognize green restaurants, spent hours extensively examining Cowbell’s energy and water use, its menu and the way it deals with waste and recycling, among other criteria, before giving Cowbell the distinction of being the first LEAF-certified restaurant in Toronto.
Mark Cutrara, Cowbell’s co-owner, considers it an honour. LEAF offers a certification on three levels, with three representing the ultimate in culinary green-dom. Cowbell got a level two, but Cutrara says it’s difficult for a non-vegetarian restaurant to get much higher—and if there’s anything Cowbell is not, it’s vegetarian. “Meat production in itself is less sustainable,” he says. “And I’m not about to go and change the name of the restaurant to Veg-Bell.”
LEAF was particularly impressed with Cowbell’s dedication to buying local—almost always within 200 kilometres of its Parkdale locale—and its policy of buying direct from farms and using whole animals. The fact that Cowbell uses lots of second-hand decor (salvaged tabletops and cabinets, old church pews for seating) was also acknowledged, though we wonder if LEAF is aware that just about every other bar and restaurant on West Queen West is decked out in old stuff, too.
Other restaurants that have been certified include River Café in Calgary and RAW Fernie in B.C. All certified restaurants have to pass yearly audits to retain their certification.
4 thoughts on “Cowbell is the first restaurant in Toronto to get LEAF certification for its green ways”
“it’s difficult for a non-vegetarian restaurant to get much higher”
Grazing animals are very good for the environment….
It’s true. Herds can occupy lands not suitable for crop cultivation, can transform solar power into dense proteins that humans can eat AND the manure can be turned back into soil wealth. Mixed farming set ups are self-complementary. i.e “holistic’ and thus sustainable.
Visit an organic beef or beef/grain farm. See how it’s done.
More certification nonsense, Cowbell was already an excellent place to dine and it is well known for its local practices, it does not need a third party label to confirm this.
This all well and good – we went after having heard good things about Cowbell, but we saw a mouse wandering about the floor while we were dining. Instead of apologizing or offering a discount, the server said, “What can I say – this is Parkdale, and there’s no way I’m going to do anything about that right now.” Needless to say, I lost my appetite – perhaps more from the attitude rather than even the mouse itself!
FYI Cowbell – mice and rats are some of the reasons why restaurants are SHUT DOWN – they are a health hazard!!! Please don’t trivialize the matter!
Comments are closed.