Posts Tagged ‘green’

Today, Monday, November 15, kicks off NBC Universal’s Green Universal Week, and at the same time, another Meatless Monday is upon us. NBC has invited The Green Truck to aid them in their promotion by driving around NYC and giving away a free vegetarian lunch.

Today’s free lunch special will be The Mother Trucker, a vegan burger with avocado, tomato, sprouts, and tempeh bacon. The burger itself is made up of mushrooms, zucchinis, broccoli, squash, and onions, sautéed down with olive oil and tomato paste. If a vegan burger isn’t what you are looking for today, the truck does offer a number of other vegetarian specials. Customers can select from a varied menu which also includes a breakfast burrito with a tofu option, and instead of iceberg lettuce, they serve dark leafy greens which provide more nutrition for your diet.

The Green Truck can be found in New York as well as Southern California. The truck runs on vegetable oil, bio-diesel or battery power, and the packaging and servingware (containers, bags, napkins, utensils) are all made from biodegradable products. “We basically use all alternative fuels and we actually recycle those fuels to power the business,” said co-owner Kam Miceli. Their motto: “sustainable, local, organic, veggie-powered, solar-powered cuisine.”

“It’s a healthy alternative to the ‘roach coach,'” said Michael Klima. “A lot of people eating vegan or raw believe they are living a healthier lifestyle and they feel better,” said Michelle Dellapena. The Green Truck’s site has a GPS tracker so you can locate the truck.

If you are anywhere near 30 Rock this afternoon, we suggest you take a trip to The Green Truck, and help celebrate Meatless Monday’s with one of their Mother Trucker Burgers. Not only will you be supporting a great cause, but you will be able to save yourself a few dollars.

You can find The Green Truck at their website, or follow them on Twitter.

Please do your part today and join the Meatless Monday movement? Signing up is fast and easy! Follow them on Twittter

Mobile Cuisine Magazine looks forward to continued coverage of Meatless Monday for our readers!

 

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Now that our cities streets are being frequented more often by taco trucks, and cupcake trucks, why not expect to start finding trucks with something really useful, like fresh fruit and vegetables?  Although not the typical food truck, we have found a truck to profile that was truly designed to help its community.

Experts call Detroit a food desert since more than half of its population must travel at twice as far to reach the nearest grocery store as they do to a fast-food restaurant or liquor store. Detroit’s limited public transportation makes it difficult for those without cars to get to farmers markets or suburban stores, and decades of population decline (from 1.8 million in the 1950s to half that now) have made most neighborhoods in the 138 square mile city too sparse to support corner produce stands.

Those who have studied the city state that people in developing countries have much better access to fresh produce than Detroit’s residents. The lack of fresh food has become a public health problem in Detroit. In a neighborhood which is has a ratio of 26 liquor stores to every grocery, a community group has found a way to sell fresh fruits and vegetables like ice cream. This group is taking a fresh approach to the problem and, it’s bearing fruit.

Five days a week, the Peaches & Greens truck winds its way through the streets as a loudspeaker plays R&B and puts out the call: “Nutritious, delicious. Brought right to you. We have green and red tomatoes, white and sweet potatoes. We have greens, corn on the cob and cabbage, too.” The truck is set up like a small market and brings affordable produce to families on public assistance, homebound seniors and others who cannot reach the well-stocked grocery chains in the suburbs.

Lisa Johanon, executive director of the nonprofit Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corp., which runs Peaches & Greens, started to investigate the idea of a mobile produce truck as a way to get fresh food into the kitchens of Detroit residents. After navigating her way through Craigslist, she was able to locate a used UPS truck for the low price of $5,000. With the help of volunteers and donations of paint, shelves and a table-top refrigerator, the vehicle, which once sported the UPS logo, was converted into a colorful collage of bananas and watermelons.

Their prices are very reasonable. A single banana sells for a quarter and an apple for 50 cents. Compare that to a $1 bag of potato chips or $1.50 can of pop, and it’s hard to argue with the truck’s cost and health benefits. “When kids don’t have a proper diet, their brains are sluggish and they don’t perform nearly as well at school. Buying an apple or an orange is a treat for kids because they are not used to having it. To them it is candy,” Johanon explained.

Photo from Carlos Osorio/AP

The truck’s route is divided into four quadrants, traveling from Interstate 75 to Linwood Avenue and from West Grand Boulevard to one mile into Highland Park. It runs from March thru December, since residents are reluctant to leave their homes during Michigan’s snowy winters. The truck is equipped with a handheld scanner to ring up purchases from food assistance recipients, who get funds transferred electronically onto a card used like a debit card. About half of its customers use food stamps.  “We’re in the process of getting approved by WIC, so people will be able to come with their WIC coupons.”

The truck operates Tuesdays through Saturdays and is stocked and driven by employees of Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation. Johanon purchases the inventory twice a week from two local sources: the Detroit Produce Terminal and Eastern Market, as well as maintains an urban garden where produce is grown and maintained by the groups volunteers.

The nonprofit organization that funds the truck, the Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation, also runs a storefront where they offer cooking classes in addition to selling produce and other healthy staples like grains, beans and dairy products.  Together, these collective initiatives are trying to transform a city from a barren food desert into a community where the pounds of carrots and plums outnumber the pop cans, beer bottles and fast food items.