The bad news is that many restaurant companies – like Darden, which serves 320 million meals a year at its chains including Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse -- have menus full of unsustainable food, including factory-farmed meat and dairy that pollute the environment and are produced with routine antibiotics and other harmful chemicals. They also pay workers a dismal wage and provide limited opportunities or benefits for their employees.
Our coalition launched a petition asking Darden to make its restaurant menu offerings more healthy, green, humane and fair, including paying its workers a living wage. With more than 1,500 restaurants and 150,000 employees, Darden's purchasing, menu and wage decisions have a huge impact on the market and our planet.
Oversized portions of meat and dairy are linked with severe health problems ranging from heart disease to asthma, and they take an enormous amount of antibiotics, pesticides, water, land and energy to produce. Smaller portions can help trim our waistlines and our environmental footprints. More veggie and organic options that are sustainably, humanely and fairly produced are fundamental to an Earth-friendly diet.