Why The California Drought Is Leading To More Disposable Dishware At Restaurants


With the California drought getting worse, restaurants are facing more restrictions when it comes to using fresh water. Restaurants in the Northern California town of Fort Bragg can’t use their dishwashers.

A “Stage 3” water emergency was declared in Fort Bragg after the local Noyo River got dangerously low, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Both restaurants and hotels have to use disposable plates, cups and flatware during the water emergency. This also means cutting back on washing tablecloths, napkins and towels. So pretty much like most college apartments.

During the drought, restaurants have already been asked to not serve customers a glass of water unless they specifically ask for it.

So far, restaurants are livid over the new rules. Sure, using paper and plastic tableware will save water. The cost of constantly buy new disposable plates, however, is a serious concern. It’ll more than likely add to existing expenses.

Not to mention how bad a $80 meal will look when thrown onto a cheap paper plate.


This Major Water Bottle Supplier Is Completely Ignoring The Drought And California Is PISSED


Earlier this year, it was discovered that major Starbucks water brand Ethos Water was taking its water from California’s already drained water supply. The state has been suffering through a massive drought and asked the supplier, Sugar Pine Spring Water, to knock it off.

Knock it off they did not, reports Mother Jones.

Though Starbucks promised to switch suppliers, Sugar Pine allegedly continued to take water from the state.

It was revealed that 99 Sugar Pine tanker trucks were caught through surveillance footage taking water from pipes that connect to the Tuolumne River watershed and the Don Pedro Reservoir. The two sources of water are relied upon heavily by San Franciscans and local farmers.

California has issued a cease-and-desist towards Sugar Pine.

When the Californian drought was first declared an emergency 19 months ago, Sugar Pine was asked to stop filling their bottles with the state’s water.

They did not.

Now, with a combination of nonexistent rain and record-high temperatures, California is in desperate need of fresh water.

If Sugar Pines doesn’t cooperate, the Water Resources Control Board will begin to issue fines. However, the Division of Water Rights feels that Sugar Pines should get a $224,875 fine for ignoring the original request last year.

On a much-related note, some rain would be awesome.


How These Little Black Balls Might Save California From Its Crazy Drought

California is still in the midst of one of its worst droughts ever. Because of this, Los Angeles officials are taking all precautions to conserve water.

Thankfully, a former biologist from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power came up with a genius concept that might save the city millions of gallons of water, ViralNova reports.

Shade Balls.

The multi-purpose plastic balls are designed to help Californian reservoirs preserve as much of water quality and quantity as they can.

Because of their black hues, the balls are able to absorb UV rays. This keeps the water from both evaporating and becoming contaminated. The Shade Balls also act as a shield to keep animals from drinking LA’s fresh water supply. 

Los Angeles residents can find all 96 million balls resting the in LA reservoir.

Packaged Food

Nestle CEO Refuses To Move Bottling Plant Out Of California Despite Drought, Offers Another Solution


Nestle has been on the receiving end of a lot of flack when they continued to bottle water in California, despite the state’s massive drought.

In a recent interview with Tim Brown, CEO of Nestle Waters North America, he has no plans to stop bottling water.

“Absolutely not. In fact, if I could increase it, I would.”

This was Brown’s response to NASA hydrologist Jay Famiglietti after the latter asked if Brown would consider relocating his company’s bottling operations outside of the drought-ridden state.

According to SCPR, Brown said that if he stopped bottling water in California customers would flock to another brand.

Brown is, however, actively looking for solutions during the state’s drought. Nestles has reportedly invested $7 million on technology that would extract water from milk production to be used in the factory’s operations.

Since the plant has cooling towers for milk that use water, the change would allow them to reuse and recycle that water instead of allowing it to go to waste. Brown says that this step will save about 63 million gallons of water a year.

The Modesto factory will finish upgrading it’s water-friendly tech by 2016.

Currently, the company produces water bottle brands including Arrowhead, Pure Life, Deer Park and Poland Spring.

Photo: Nestle


This Chef Brilliantly Found A Way To Save Water During California’s Massive Drought


The California drought has caused its residents to make some serious changes when it comes to water. Recently, a new rule stated that restaurants would not be allowed to serve water unless requested by the customers. This is all in an effort to conserve the resource, until more rain arrives.

One chef, John Cox, decided to push the rule even further in his Big Sur-based restaurant Sierra Mar. Cox began using an air compressor to clean his restaurant’s dirty dishes and other things that normally would require the use of water. This change has resulted in Sierra Mar using 80 percent less water than before.

Cox has also convinced five other restaurants to implement the same change. It’s said that if all the restaurants in the state would begin using air compressors instead of water, California could save anywhere from 5-10 billion gallons of water each year.

That’s definitely a noticeable difference.


This Is How Restaurants Are Serving Water During The Massive California Drought


California is in its fourth year of drought — in case you haven’t heard. While the state has been seeing rain every now and again, it has been insufficient to even begin refilling lakes and reservoirs on which the state relies for its water supply. This means a big change for restaurants when it comes to serving water.

A unanimous vote by the State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday set in motion the extension and expansion of emergency drought regulations for the state.

A notable rule is that customers must now ask for water to be served to them in restaurants, rather than having it brought out automatically with menus and silverware. This also extends to bars and cafeterias.

Some restaurants already have been displaying signs saying they only serve water upon request to save water and as a means to raise awareness about water conservation. And some jurisdictions have had this rule in place during previous droughts.

The rules will be enforced by local water departments throughout the state. Fines can reach up to $500 if a violation is found.

Fast Food

As Beef and Dairy Costs Rise, Chipotle Tests ‘Sofritas’ Tofu Option


Chipotle, one of the few fast-food chains able to provide “natural” ingredients in their menu items, will be testing a new shredded tofu option named “Sofritas” in the San Francisco Bay Area next month. The new filling will be braised with tomatoes, poblano peppers and chipotle sauce.

The fast-food chain hopes to attract vegetarians with the new tofu filling, as well as fend off the rising costs of beef and dairy prices affected by the recent drought.

Although, it’s doubtful the new menu item will prevent Chipotle from having to raise prices this year as a result of the financial pressures. As  Chipotle Chief Financial Officer John Hartung stated in a conference Thursday, “While we haven’t made any decisions yet, the fact that our food costs are rising, it is more likely that we’ll raise prices in 2013.”

While the “Sofritas” filling is an excellent addition and way to mitigate the cost inflation, given their limited menu, Chipotle will have a tough time as the price hike will effect the majority of their offerings.

H/T Yahoo! Finance


God Save the Bacon: Turns Out the Global Bacon Shortage is Now ‘Unavoidable’

I wonder if this is what the Mayans were talking about. According to Britain’s National Pig Association, a “world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable,” thanks to this year’s shoddy weather and subsequent withering corn and soybean crops.

The story goes like this: fewer crops mean higher prices for pig feed, higher prices mean pigs are more expensive to raise, and more expensive pigs mean “shrinking sow herds” all across the European Union, a trend which the NPA argues is “being mirrored around the world.”

Unless British supermarkets are willing to pay more to support their pork suppliers — as the NPA press release suggests — consumers can expect pork prices to as much as double next year, as farmers struggle to find new sources of bacon to pay for their bacon.

Luckily, the shortage doesn’t appear to have hit us stateside yet, at least according to the LATimes, which reported that “pork supply soared to a record” and rose 31% last month in U.S. warehouses. Still, if these the British banger blokes are to be believed, it might only be a matter of time.

At this point, only one thing’s for sure. If I have to live in a 2013 without bacon, I don’t think I want to live at all.