How this Southwest Detroit pizzeria constantly reshapes its menu to combat climate change – Energy News Network

by | Dec 6, 2022 | Climate Change

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One thing you might not notice right away about PizzaPlex, nestled inside a nondescript brown brick building along Vernor Highway in southwest Detroit and a stone’s throw away from a barbershop, is its commitment to limiting the pizzeria’s carbon footprint. 

You’d be forgiven. There are so many other features to capture your attention – like the karaoke bar, a wine-tasting series, or its Sospeso Collective, which invites customers to purchase food on behalf of others experiencing food access challenges. 

But fighting climate change by reducing food waste is ever-present in the minds of PizzaPlex’s team. And it all starts with the menu. 

Co-owner Alessandra Carreon and her team have been making intentional choices about which dishes stay and go since the restaurant opened about five years ago, driven by a desire to avoid sending edible items to the landfill. Careful menu planning is the crux of PizzaPlex’s source reduction strategy—actions taken to eliminate or prevent food waste. 

Carreon and her small but mighty kitchen team hope that by practicing source reduction, they can divorce themselves from contributing to the mountains of food waste contaminating landfills and driving up greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Inside Pizzaplex’s kitchen. The staff works tirelessly to prep and cook the food for the menu. Photo by Rosa Maria Zamarrón

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Carreon and her small but mighty kitchen team hope that by practicing source reduction, they can divorce themselves from contributing to the mountains of food waste contaminating landfills and driving up greenhouse gas emissions each year. 

The key to source reduction, Carreon says, is limiting the restaurant’s menu. Over the years, the menu at PizzaPlex has undergone waves of change. 

Their approach to source reduction focuses mostly on pizza toppings and the sides the restaurant offers. In the beginning, there were struggles. The restaurant was “overdesigned,” Carreon said, by being …

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