When you sit down for a nice meal, how often do you wonder where your food is coming from? There are plenty of restaurants in Portland that are of ‘the farm to fork’ mindset—assuring patrons their ingredients all come from local resources. Organic products are also increasingly being used in the food industry. But what about sustainability?
In 2008, Kristofor Lofgren inspired a new movement in the food industry when he opened Bamboo Sushi, the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant, in Southeast Portland.
The ethos behind the venture is simple: “Setting a new standard for restaurants, we combine the values and guidelines of multiple international organizations to ensure every plate we serve reflects our deep dedication to sustainability,” the website states. “As we grow, we seek to inspire change … change in the way people eat, the way restaurants do business, and the way we treat our environment.”
So what exactly does sustainability mean in the world of sushi? It starts with the oceans. All the fish Bamboo Sushi serves must come from a population that is plentiful and in good health. Additionally, the restaurant carefully selects fishermen to ensure they’re catching fish in an environmentally ethical manner, being cognizant of the surrounding ecosystem and other marine life, and sources its fish from domestic fisheries to keep a low carbon footprint.
On land, Bamboo partners with ethical farms and ranches, stating all their meats must come from local ranches and be grass fed, hormone free, and free range.
That conscious mindset is reflected in the restaurant’s design, as well. The buildings are built with sustainable materials wherever possible, and even have sustainable restrooms, equipped with low-flow double flush toilets and energy efficient hand dryers. Bamboo Sushi purchases 100% of its energy from renewable energy sources, provides plant-based to-go containers, and composts all allowable foods to dramatically reduce waste production.
The result is a one-of-a-kind dining experience that not only lets patrons feel good about where they’re eating, but also proves that sustainable food is superior in quality and flavor—the fish practically melts in your mouth.
Since opening that first location on SE 28th Ave a decade ago, Bamboo Sushi has grown to five Portland locations, including one in each quadrant (SE, NE, NW, SW), and a Lake Oswego location that’s set to open in the summer of 2018.
In addition to its local restaurants, Bamboo has extended its reach past Oregon with a location in Denver, and with Seattle and San Francisco restaurants on the way.