Pigs

I don’t know about you, readers, but whenever I see the term “fast food” in a headline, I brace myself. What typically follows is something disturbing or disappointing. But over the last year, some fast-food chains have started to clean up their businesses, and embrace ethical and sustainable practices. The following are some of the more memorable (and positive) practices Organic Authority noticed over the last year.

1. Ethical treatment for pigs

Remember this video Chipotle made that was about ending the use of gestation crates? Well, it actually sparked a small change:

According to Treehugger, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, which owns Einstein Bros Bagel shops, Noah’s New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagel brands, eliminated from its supply chain suppliers that use pig gestation crates.

Other companies, such as McDonalds, Burger King and Denny’s, also announced timetables to stop buying meat from producers that use gestation crates, too.

2. New sustainable business practices

According to Susty Party, over the last year, McDonalds was named the first fast-food restaurant that made it onto the EPA’s Top 50 Green Power Purchasers list. The chain has started to:

  • Power restaurants with green energy
  • Recycle used oil
  • Reduce impacts of packaging

3. Cutting waste

Starbucks recently introduced a plastic reusable cup. The company is selling it for $1. The company also offers a 10-cent discount to people who bring their own cup.

Kind of impressive, right? Let’s hope these businesses actually commit to and continue these practices.

Now, if only these and other fast-food restaurants would start producing healthy, wholesome food grown by local farmers. Perhaps in 2013. We can dream, right?

Image: USDAgov