“Farmers market, Vegas style — this city’s got no SOLE”

Former SF Chronicle food reporter and Friend o’Ethicurean Carol Ness visited Las Vegas recently and posted this photo, taken in the lobby of the MGM Grand hotel, to her Facebook profile with the headline above as caption.

She was quite unimpressed with the city’s sustainable, organic, local, and/or ethical edible offerings. “The only green thing there is $$,” she wrote to me. “Though I did enjoy loooong hot pounding showers (no lo-flo shower heads here) every day, sometimes more than once, relatively guilt-free. I didn’t see one recycling bin or bicycle. I never saw “organic” on a menu. “Sustainable” is like antimatter to the Vegan (or is it Vegasian?) ethos … ooops, sorry, am I ranting?”

When I asked her if I could post her mini-rant here, she said sure, “unless you think I’ll get a lot of grief about the (admittedly hypocritical) showers — believe me, they were a drop in the bucket when it comes to squandered water in Vegas. Oh, there I go again. I do have more to say: as in, menu sightings of ‘Kobe,’ 15; menu sightings of ‘grass-fed,’ 0…”

The trusty Eat Well Guide‘s listings for Vegas are pretty arid, featuring five restaurants that basically claim to buy meat raised without antibiotics. OK Ethicurean readers, how about it? Are there any eateries with SOLE in Sin City?

5 Responsesto ““Farmers market, Vegas style — this city’s got no SOLE””

  1. Jen says:

    They do recycle the water there.  It all goes back in the lake and everyone drinks it again.  It’s brilliant.  Everyone in the desert should be doing it (that means you CA).  The green eating options are pretty pricey from what I can remember and the recycling is a little behind the times.  Bicycling in the busy parts of the city can kill you.  The drivers are crazy and drive in the bike lane if there is one at all.  My dad’s friend used to ride from Boulder City every day to the strip, though, so I guess you just have to be as crazy as the drivers or agressive.

  2. Janet says:

    I know they have a Whole Foods in Henderson, FWIW.

  3. Sarah B says:

    Oh, man.  I live here in Vegas, and I wish I had better answers.  Vegas has wonderful culinary options at its restaurants, more master sommeliers than any city in the world…in the middle of the Death Valley ecosystem.  We have “farmer’s markets”…where anyone selling produce drives in several hours from California (once, there were people from an organic orchard in Colorado).  Nice, but not what I’m used to calling “local.”  We do have Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and a local Vegas co-op, and options for organic are available there and in various restaurants…but local food, there pretty much isn’t.  I’ve seen local honey once at Whole Foods, and I know of a family that raises chickens and sells eggs occasionally, but that is about it.

  4. Molly says:

    Citing Whole Foods as an example of sustainable is kind of like recommending the fishburger at McDonalds as good fresh seafood.

  5. Molly, my gosh, that has to be one of the best quotes I’ve ever seen (re: Vegas).  I would live to send it out via Twitter but want to make sure that’s okay with you first.

    I’m also hoping you’re the same person commenting on flavor and chicken breeds.  If you are, I can’t raise chickens (no yard for it) but I sure would love to talk with you more about how to find someone who’s doing things right.  At the risk of inviting spam carrie [at] oliverranch [dot] com.