Eco-friendly Catering for your Wedding or Special Event

cakeIt’s springtime and love must be in the air! We’ve had a few wedding related posts lately around the Green Options Network. Check out some green wedding tips here on Feelgood Style as well as some sources for eco-friendly wedding bands on Crafting a Green World. My own green wedding took place last summer, and I return to writing about it now because my husband and I were honored with being featured in this month’s issue of VegNews Magazine.

The publication profiles several weddings every year. I highly recommend picking up a copy (because I also love their recipes and features.) If you can’t find it at your newsstand, here’s a scan of the article where I’m featured.

I’m not just posting this to brag (but seriously, squeeeeee!). I also wanted to point you towards some green catering resources. Whether you’re planning a wedding, a fundraiser, or any other special event, we all know that large groups of people can create a lot of waste. So choosing caterers who specialize in local, organic food is one way to lower your event’s carbon footprint.

When shopping around, we were excited to find just that type of service with our caterers, Back to Earth located in Berkeley, CA. In addition to our buffet dinner, they made our fabulous cake pictured here (flowers, courtesy of Oak Hill Farm). While our menu was all vegan, they work with all kinds of menus. From their website:

“You can taste every element of our food – the organic free-range chicken roaming free in Marin, perfect strawberries from Fully Belly Farm, the fresh spring greens from Riverdog Farm in Mendocino, Wild Salmon caught just miles from the San Francisco Bay, juicy portobellos from Solano Mushroom, artisan organic cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery, and a rustic fresh baked organic bread from the Acme bakery, a local Berkeley treasure.”

Not only is their food spectacular, but a number of the vehicles they use for transportation run on biodiesel, and they can help you “green” a number of aspects of your event.

Some other catering companies I’ve found from across the U.S. with a commitment to the environment include:

Seedling Catering in Los Angeles focuses on vegan and macrobiotic menus.

Gail’s Vegetarian Catering in Washington, D.C. does a variety of events, but specializes in vegetarian weddings.

Eco-Goddess Edibles in Aspen, CO bills itself as “organic vegetarian cuisine” although their sample menus featured a number of fish dishes.

Phresh Organic Catering in Portland, OR caters to a more omnivorous crowd, and features a “commitment to sustainability” on its website.

Chowgirls in Minneapolis, MN has an adorable website, and puts a unique spin of things, with a section of “Retro Fare” on their diverse menu.

Pharm Catering in Chatanooga, TN was a bit light on the veggie options, but specializes on organic, local foods.

Herban Feast in Seattle, WA was my favorite of the caterers I looked at in Seattle, which has a number to choose from! Also worth a look is Ravishing Radish.

Lucid Food in New York, NY seems to have primarily done large upscale events, but also does corporate lunches.

There are dozens more in the Bay Area, and plenty more around the world. I’d love to hear your recommendations if you know of any. In the mean time, I’m going back to drooling over pictures of my vegan chocolate wedding cake… mmmm…

Photo by Donya Photography

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About the Author

Sharon began working as Green Options’ Office Manager, and has gone on to wear many hats, working also as Intern Coordinator, Editor, and Social Media Coordinator. In the GO office, she is perhaps best known as the founder and chef for the weekly “Soup Day.”

Prior to working with Green Options, Sharon earned a BA in Humanities from New College of California, and worked in the nonprofit arts and education sector.

A vegetarian for seven years, and vegan for nearly three, Sharon has a bit of an obsession for plant-based food. When she’s not hanging out in the bulk aisle of her local food co-op, Sharon is at home, trying to grow hydroponic basil, playing with her white fluffy cat, or annoying her neighbors by singing showtunes.