Mean, Lean 'N Green

It’s not easy being green. Not much fun, either. Although restaurants specializing in good, healthy food abound in Denver, and many chefs focus on using local products whenever possible, the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee has a way of sucking all the flavor out of a concept with its bossy, Big Brother-ish dictates.

Case in point: the “Suggested Lean ‘N Green Guidelines” for the Democratic National Convention, which were just released by the committee’s “greening task force,” with this reluctant addendum: “While the task force encourages local caterers and restaurants to utilize the guidelines,they are not mandatory and do not preclude local businesses that do not adopt them from participating in Denver’s hosting of the convention.”

Good thing, too, because aren’t conventions supposed to be about delicious excess? Who wants to use an expense account to pay for tofu? How many delegations are going to throw wild parties in salad bars?

For the record, here are the Lean ‘N Green guidelines

Lean: Half of the meal (or 50 percent of the plate) is made up of fruits and/or vegetables A colorful meal – include at least three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple and white (garnishes not included) No items are to be fried

Green: 70 percent or more of ingredients are certified organic and/or grown or raised in Colorado 70 percent or more of ingredients by pre-cooked weight are fresh (not pre-processed).

Sounds like we’ll all be eating a pile of dandelion greens with a big side of Skittles. – Patricia Calhoun

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