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Los Angeles’ Recent Ban On Gas Stoves May Endanger Many Asian Restaurants

Photo: jpellgen/Flickr

In an effort to become carbon neutral by 2045, Los Angeles County’s City Council has just passed a motion banning most residential and commercial gas appliances. Statewide, many cities are also responding to climate change, hoping to meet the same goal. Our environment is shifting around us in unpredictable ways and these changes are impacting our way of life.

In LA’s food scene, one popular staple sure to be impacted by the new motion are Asian restaurants. Traditionally, Asian food is cooked using natural gas grills, woks and ovens. For example, in Cantonese cuisine, natural gas gives wok-cooked food their smokey flavor. That signature is called “wok hei” or “breath of the wok.” By comparison, electric woks can’t fully replicate the authentic characteristics of certain Asian dishes.

Electric grills and ovens similarly lack natural gas’ fiery panache. Natural gas is an integral part of Asian and other cultures’ cuisine, identity and heritage. Yet, climate change is a looming bully, indifferent to our cultural perspectives. It’s a challenging pill to swallow as restaurants will not only have to update their cooking appliances, but many cooking methods as well.

With the future of natural gas use uncertain in Los Angeles, let’s hope there’s some middle ground that allows restaurants to maintain traditions without negatively impacting the environment.

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Wyke Farms Introduces the World’s First Carbon-Neutral Cheese

Few foods share as popular of a consensus around the world as cheese. With countless varieties, there’s definitely a cheese made specifically for your tastebuds. Cheddar, born from a village of the same name in Somerset, New England, has just evolved into its next form thanks to Wyke Farms.

Wyke Farms is the UK’s largest independent producer of cheese and renewable energy. By taking one small step for cheese, one giant leap for cheesekind — and using their award-winning Ivy’s Reserve Vintage Cheddar — Wyke Farms has created the world’s first carbon-neutral cheese.

Put simply, carbon neutral means having a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. In order to achieve neutrality, Wyke Farms worked closely with Carbon Trust, the world’s leading independent certification body for carbon footprints. A neutral status requires PAS 2060 certification to qualify. The PAS 2060 is internationally recognized and sets specifications for carbon neutrality.

Wyke Farm’s Managing Director, Rich Clothier highlights the company’s efforts:

‘This has been a 12-year journey for us. We started our ‘100% Green’ strategy in 2010 when we made a commitment to energy independence and generating all of our gas and electric from renewables. Since then, we have invested in our knowledge base across this business and on farm driving environmental improvement year on year. Ivy’s Reserve is a world first and an industry shake-up. This will continue to be our focus in the years ahead as we push for more net positive improvements.”

Aside from the benefits to our environment, Wyke Farm’s new carbon-neutral cheese still retains its award-winning flavor. Using wood, Ivy’s Reserve is matured for 18 months, making it complex, slightly sweet and nutty.

If you like to enjoy your cheese with a nice pairing of carbon-neutrality, Ivy’s Reserve Vintage is available at selected UK Lidl stores, Southwest ASDA, Tesco and online.