December 5th, 2011
Locanda del Lago has been serving fine Northern Italian cuisine on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade for twenty years. Long known for seasonal ingredients and fresh, locally sourced produce, the eatery recently reaffirmed their commitment to sustainability by joining the Meatless Monday movement. “Restaurants have a great opportunity to, very diplomatically, inform people who may otherwise be unaware of how easily they can contribute to a healthier planet” says owner West Hooker-Poletti. Locanda del Lago was the first to offer Meatless Monday meals in Santa Monica, creating a three to four course prix-fixe menu each week with the help of their home made pastas and the neighboring farmer’s market.
Hooker-Poletti became aware of the Meatless Monday movement when he attended the Global Home Tree Celebration, an Earth Day extravaganza held by Avatar director James Cameron. During the film screening, dinner and conversation, Cameron expressed his support of Meatless Monday, encouraging the audience to cut meat one day a week for planetary health. “I first heard of this effort while attending a screening of the film Avatar”, recalls Hooker-Poletti, “where long-time customers James Cameron and his wife, Suzy, ardently discussed how our carbon footprint would be drastically reduced if everyone resolved to avoid meat one day per week.”
Cameron is correct: a recent report by the Environmental Working Group showed that Meatless Monday can make a big difference on our eco impact. Of course, spreading the movement only multiplies the benefit! You don’t have to be a famous film director like James Cameron to make an impact in your community: you can easily bring Meatless Monday to your favorite eatery with the help of our Restaurant Toolkit.