A ‘climate-concerned’ lunch menu that is anything but sustainable

Dear Editor:

The irony is so delicious. A recent luncheon in town featured a talk by the head of Sustainable Princeton entitled, “Climate Concerned, But What Can I Do?.” The menu — short ribs, shrimp, scallops and key lime pie.

Beef requires 20 times more land and produces 20 times more carbon than plant-based proteins. Shrimp, the most valuable and fastest growing global seafood product, is mostly sourced from tropical farm ponds that often destroy ecologically-sensitive areas like mangroves, salt flats and tidal estuaries. And, of course, we need a sugary dessert to top off the conversation and to feed the world’s insatiable sweet tooth, since sugar farming has a very large irrigation and agro-chemical requirement, leading to further degradation of soil, air and water in areas where sugar is produced.

The climate-concerned menu at this event was anything but sustainable. One would have hoped that an organization like Sustainable Princeton would arrange for a more eco-friendly menu, for example suggesting healthy plant proteins for the main dish and berries or a fruit plate for dessert — that is — if the organization is truly trying to sell people on the fact that each individual has a role to play to save the planet.

Charles Tibbets

One Comment

  1. Charles,
    You make a great point and we couldn’t agree more that the meal options should have better reflected the emission reduction guidance of the presentation. I did appreciate that the Nassau Club provided a vegetarian option when I asked for one. This situation is a challenge when we are a guest speaker and don’t oversee the event, but based on this experience and your thoughtful comments we will work to be more proactive in encouraging climate conscious menus both when we are present and when we are not. Thanks for the constructive feedback.

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