June 30, 2015
by Erica Shaffer
Professional sports venues are adopting sustainable food practices behind the scenes. The Edward Jones Dome, home to the St. Louis Rams, offers antibiotic-free and grass-fed beef hot dogs and hamburgers produced by Shire Gate Farm.
CHICAGO – Farm to fork has come to professional sports. A new report by the Green Sports Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council found that 20 professional sports venues are serving healthy and flavorful foods while adopting sustainable food practices.
- The National Football League’s St. Louis Rams serves antibiotic-free and grass-fed beef hot dogs and hamburgers to the fans at Edward Jones Dome. Owensville, Mo.-based Shire Gate Farm produces the items which are sold by stadium concessionaire Delaware North Companies Foodservice in St. Louis.
- Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners also offer antibiotic- and hormone-free beef and pork at Safeco Field.
- And the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning constructed 125 hydroponic garden towers to grow one acre of organic food onsite at Amalie Arena to feed Lightning players and fans.
“We are seeing the start of a significant cultural and marketplace shift towards environmentally intelligent food at sports venues,” said Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, co-founder and president of the Green Sports Alliance. “Greener food service programs have helped venues improve operational efficiency, feed those in need, and better cater to varied dietary preferences. The game day fan experience is changing for the better as a result.”
The report also found that 17 venues provide organic food options; 18 venues source food from local farms and 14 venues compost food waste.
“Changing the menus at sports venues, which collectively serve hundreds of millions of people each year, offers an influential platform that can educate consumers and the marketplace about healthier food and stronger food systems,” said report co-author Alice Henly, director of Programs at the Green Sports Alliance and Resource Specialist at NRDC. “There is a growing trend towards more efficient and environmentally intelligent practices across the supply chain of game day food. The powerful examples in this report provide successful models that all food providers should emulate.”