This segment originally aired March 14, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
The restaurant industry is one of the most wasteful. Even though the word “sustainability” gets thrown around a lot, it rarely carries much meaning. But one San Francisco eatery, The Perennial, is trying to make the concept meaningful again.
“Agriculture actually is the only thing we know that can pull greenhouse gases back down,” restauranteur Karen Leibowitz said. She and Anthony Myint founded The Perennial with the intent of giving back to the environment.
For example, Nathan Coffman, director of living systems for the restaurant, grows dozens of peculiar plant varieties, including Chilean blueberries, hibiscus, and citrus caviar, which require almost no soil and little water while taking in carbon dioxide.
Coffman also uses maggots to break down The Perennial’s food waste into soil. Then, twice a week, he dehydrates the maggots and makes fish feed.
Through a variety of sustainability projects the owners believe can be easily duplicated, The Perennial aims to not only mitigate but also reverse the effects of climate change.