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From Steamed Hot Dogs To Fancy Flavors: NFL’s Stadium Food Revolution

Think of the NFL stadium hamburger of yesteryear. Whether five, 10 or even 20 years ago, it was a nondescript strip of meat slapped between a typical church potluck-type bun, offered up with your squeeze-containers of ketchup, mustard, relish and—maybe—chopped onions a few yards away on a concourse counter tucked between the restrooms and your stairwell.

Across much of the league, that hamburger still exists, but not in the same form: Now it’s a grass-fed beef burger on a sourdough bun served with lettuce, onions, tomatoes and pickles and adorned with condiments in front of you.

“People are much more food focused,” says Sal Ferrulo, executive vice president for Centerplate, a company that tackles food service in five NFL stadiums, including the newest, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. “We’ve had to make the event a better experience for the fan. It is about the game, the food, being comfortable. It is the era of the open kitchen. People buy with their eyes, they want to see the food and smell it.”

Read the full article here.

San Diego Padres Pave The Way For Sustainable Food

It’s 7:30 a.m. on game day at Petco Park in downtown San Diego and the food trucks have just started rolling in.

As part of his daily routine, Petco Park executive chef Carlos Vargas awaits the fresh produce.

Duo Entrée: California Black Cod, Lemon Grass Beurre Blanc, Candied Baby Carrots, Lava Salt Prime Braise Kalbi Short Rib, Confit Cipollini Onions Truffle Risotto Purse

Duo Entrée:
California Black Cod, Lemon Grass Beurre Blanc, Candied Baby Carrots, Lava Salt
Prime Braise Kalbi Short Rib, Confit Cipollini Onions Truffle Risotto Purse

During home games, local growers like Suzie’s Farm and Melissa’s Produce, based out of Los Angeles, make daily deliveries of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Petco Park executive chef Carlos Vargas inspects a fresh bag of lettuce on a Melissa’s Farm produce truck, Aug. 17, 2015.

“See the quality of the raspberries that we have in here? It’s just unbelievable how good and sweet they are,” said Vargas after tasting one of the raspberries.

In late June, the San Diego Padres and concession partner Delaware North were recognized as“Champions of Game Day Food” in a joint report by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Green Sports Alliance.

The report named the Padres and Petco Park as one of the top locations for stadium eats in the country for their sustainability efforts and food quality.

Allen Hershkowitz, president for Green Sports Alliance, said the Padres are setting an example for other stadiums.

“The Padres are providing valuable lessons not only to professional sports venues throughout North America, but actually professional sports venues throughout the world,” Hershkowitz said.

More than 95 percent of the San Diego Padres concession stands and restaurants get their food from Southern California.


Read the full article from KPBS.

Home of Super Bowl XLVIII Sets Eyes on Green – Fans Can Too!

Kick off for Super Bowl XLVIII is only three short days away. This game will make history as the first Super Bowl played in an uncovered stadium in a cold-weather region. Held at MetLife Stadium, the game also promises to make waves in the sports greening movement.

From e-waste collection drives to large-scale public transit plans to move fans to and from the game to the collection and donation of uneaten, untouched food, the NFL and Super Bowl organizers have shown a commitment to lessening the impact of the jewel event and promoting environmental stewardship.

The site of the Super Bowl itself sets an example in venue excellence with a strong commitment to environmental programs. MetLife Stadium partnered with the EPA in 2009, pledging to become an environmental steward by implementing a number of green initiatives. The home of the NY Jets and NY Giants has reduced energy, implemented recycling and composting programs, reduced water consumption through low flow faucets, toilets and waterless urinals in rest rooms and promotes mass transit alternatives. As a result of these programs, the stadium has reduced its carbon footprint by the equivalent of over 234,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, saving the facility nearly $20 million in operating costs in just under four years of action. Click here to find out more about MetLife Stadium’s greening initiatives.

Even more, both teams set to face off in the Super Bowl on February 2nd boast meaningful greening programs at their respective home venues. Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos, is a charter member of Rocky Mountain Region Greener Venues PartnershipAnd, CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, recently launched its Defend Your Turf sustainability program.

It’s not only the teams and venues that can do their part to be environmentally savvy. It is estimated that 55 million American households (113 million people) tuned in to Super Bowl XLVII last year. With those numbers, there is a lot of positive impact that could be had if fans get involved in the green sports movement as well.

As you finalize your plans for Super Bowl viewing parties, consider a few ways to reduce your game day impact:

– Ask your guests to carpool when possible – It saves gas and makes parking in your neighborhood easier.

– Switch to compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) – CFLs are 80% more efficient than conventional bulbs – brightening your house and saving energy and money in the long run.

– Use resuable plates, cups, containers and cloth napkins – Class up your party while cutting down on your paper consumption and waste.

– Opt for sustainably-produced meat – Replace beef and pork with poultry to lower your carbon footprint and save money too. And, don’t forget to throw in a few veggies now and then!

Fun Stat: If half of the 55 million households viewing the Super Bowl served chicken nachos instead of beef nachos, we could prevent an estimated 552,750 metric tons of CO2e emissions and save an estimated 38.17 billion gallons of water. These savings are equivalent to:
– The annual GHG emissions of 91,840 passenger vehicles
– Enough water to fill 57,833 Olympic-size swimming pools

– Pick nontoxic alternatives to household cleaners – When the party is over, clean up like a pro using green cleaning products, reducing potential harm to yourself and the environment. Click here for info on Green Seal-certified  products.

Check out the NRDC Greening Advisor for more green fan tips.

Enjoy the show!


Stay up to date on the green sports movement. Follow @SportsAlliance & #GreenSports on Twitter and visit Green Sports Alliance on Facebook.

*Data for calculations came from 2011 research from the Environmental Working Group for carbon numbers and research from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation for water numbers. 


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