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Green Solutions in Focus

Aired April 23, 2011 - 15:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Missouri's governor declares a state of emergency after powerful storms battered his state.


WHITFIELD: Heavy damage at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. A tornado hit the terminals causing widespread damage as you see right there. The airport is closed right now. By the way, it was packed with Good Friday travelers when that storm hit.

CURRAN HENNESSEY, PLANE PASSENGER: We were completely pelted with all kinds of wood and debris, and at this point I realized that I was concerned we would have debris coming through the window in the airplane. So I ducked for cover. I got down. I was right next to the window and I was concerned that blowing glass or something would be a reality.

WHITFIELD: So right now the immediate focus is reopening the airport. According to the mayor, that may not happen until next week.

MAYOR FRANCIS SLAY, ST. LOUIS: As you know, the airport is closed. It is still closed indefinitely, but we are working around the clock to see if we can -- we are working toward a 70 percent capacity for the airport by tomorrow.

And that will depend on a couple of things. It will depend getting the power back as soon as possible and we'll also depend on the airlines themselves. Of course, they're going to have to do some things and rearrange some things and move some facilities.


WHITFIELD: All right, many intense storms so far this spring. Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider in the weather center right now.

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, Fredicka, right now we do have some more information on the tornado in St. Louis. It looks like the preliminary reports are tracking this as an EF 3, the gusts at 136 or higher. That means winds 130 or higher. So that's the minimum that the first team on the scene is saying. So it could be even stronger than that. Only 30 percent of tornadoes are EF 2s or higher. So it is an unusual - such a strong tornado.

Now as we take a look at what's happening in the St. Louis area right now, unfortunately more rain, heavy thunderstorms sweeping across parts of Missouri coming up from Arkansas and even affecting parts of Tennessee, but a lot of rain in southern Indiana.

That's going to be a problem for the next couple days because this system will produce training thunderstorms that will ride along a stationary front and that means rain over and over again in the same area. We could be looking at several inches of rain in this part of the country for the next few days.

That is why the flood watches are up and extend over the next two days. We're going to see that across much of the St. Louis area through Sunday. So it's a wet Easter as we go into tomorrow. Fredicka --

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, Bonnie. Appreciate that.

All right, let's go overseas right now where Libya's government says it is pulling troops out of the western city of Misrata.


WHITFIELD (voice-over): The regime says it's turning the fight over to tribes loyal to Moammar Gadhafi. Twenty two people were killed today as rebels say they pushed Gadhafi's troops out of the center of Misrata. But the battle is far from over with government fighters battling near the western states.

In Syria, witnesses say security forces reportedly opened fire from rooftops today killing ten demonstrators who turned out to mourn dozens killed on Friday.

In Friday's violence, security forces and anti-government activists clashed in several towns. More than 80 people were reported killed.

In this country, Miami police are investigating a domestic violence incident that left a football star hospitalized. Police charge the wife of Brandon Marshal with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after she allegedly stabbed him in the abdomen. His wife says she acted out of self-defense.


WHITFIELD: Up next, in observance of Earth Day, a special report called "Green Solutions in Focus." We take a special look at problems facing our planet. I'll see you again 4:00 Eastern Time.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to historic eastern market in Washington, D.C. and to "Green Solutions in Focus." I'm Tom Foreman.

This is the place where the capital crowd has connected with farm fresh produce ever since the 1800s. So it's the perfect spot to consider how people all across the country are trying new ideas for going green at the table.

For this special edition of "In Focus" our fine photo journalists at CNN have paired up with our friends at's Eatocracy blog. The result? A feast of stories about feasting, fresh and healthy.

What better place to begin than where it all begins, on the farm. In this case in Georgia where Eddie Cortez found out what it takes to produce meaningful milk.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Melinda. That's Helga back in the back. That's Linda there. That's Sassy. They've all got a name. More milk production out of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have an organic farm, raise grass-fed beef, chickens or egg for meat and dairy. We also have a nursery where we raise plants and a lot of the certified natural grown vegetable transplants.

This is our dairy. The breed is jersey. The significance of that is that they produce a higher milk fat so we have more cream. These cows are on all grass, grass-fed is healthier for the cattle. That's the bull out there. This is my son, Joseph.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I milk cows, two to three gallons per cow. Put it on the cow, take it in here and pour it into a chilling tank, bottle it up into gallon jugs or half gallon jugs and put it in the cooler for sale.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raw milk ready to be picked up by customers. Most of it is sold when it gets here to the cooler. People call ahead and reserve it. We have eggs from the chickens on the farm.

We've got 200 hens right now. These chickens are out in the sunshine every day. This is what we call free range. The reason they're free range. They're not confined to a house somewhere. I think they're happy. They have a portable chicken coop that's on wheels. We can move it around to different pastures.

Left me some eggs, 200 hens, probably get around 140 eggs if they're laying good so about 70 percent. Industrial models where chickens are in a cage, they never see the light of day, will probably out produce these chickens. They push them. We don't push the cows to the extreme of production and we don't push the chickens either.

If you think of what you're eating, the health of the egg and how good it is for you, not just the quantity of eggs, the quality is better. That's what we want to eat, whole some food, things that we feed our family. We know there's a demand for that. So we're trying to offer that to the public.

FOREMAN: The equation for produce is often relatively simple. The closer you are to where it is grown, the fresher it is. And one company in Atlanta has come up with a fascinating way of bringing the farm pretty much as close as you want to wherever you want. Photo journalist Greg Kilday has that story.

MATT LEODA, FOUNDER, POTPONICS: This is the future of farming because it's completely different than conventional farming in the sense that we divorce growing a crop from the land.

I'm Matt Leoda, the founder of Potponics and we grow fresh produce right in your neighborhood. As our population increases, we need greater and greater amounts of food source than we're having to do worse and worse things to our land to do that.

By doing this, we're able to take land that's ready available in urban areas but that is traditionally not useful for farming, and we can make use of that. These are shipping containers that were previously used for importing and exporting goods in the United States.

What we do is we recycle them into an optimal growing environment for a particular fresh produce crop. We plant seeds in little inert growing medium, and the seed then is irrigated on a regular basis. When you look at the amount of energy that you use to grow a crop, you have to look at all the energy from getting from seed ultimately to the end product in the consumer's hand.

When you look at the annual yield that one of these containers produces, which takes up 320 square feet, we produce about the equivalent of an acre and a half of conventional farm. The distributor comes three times a week to pick up our products. The vast majority of the product goes to restaurants here in the Atlanta area.

CHEF SCOTT SERPAS, SERPAS TRUE FOOD: We probably use between 10 to 15 pounds of lettuce here at the restaurant, Serpas. There are a lot of local farmers, but something of this magnitude being so close in the urban setting is very unusual. I think it's probably going to be trend-setting.

FOREMAN (voice-over): When we return, people who eat locally grown products are called locovores. What do you call them when the snow hangs on into the spring, really committed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is going to give us a lot of honey.

FOREMAN: The buzz over bees, natural health for a natural ally in a lot of trouble. Green solutions "In Focus," the Eatocracy edition continues.



FOREMAN: The idea of supporting farmers by buying and eating locally produced food appeals to a lot of people, but it can be tough the further north you go where the winters are long.

Still, even in places like Vermont where the snow sticks around a while, people find a way to get it done, especially at places like the Inn at Baldwin Creek. That's where we find photo journalist Bob Crowley.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bristol is a small little town, but we're out in the boondocks if you will in Vermont. I've always been a real big proponent of natural food and local foods.

LINDA HARMON, INN AT BALDWIN CREEK: All winter long, we've done this for a few years now. We have our weekday nights are called "Eat Local." We have a dinner that is offering all local products.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically everything comes from like a 25-mile radius at the most. The word locavore seemed like a cool label to put on it. Let's get the sauces on the line first.

I would like to think of it as a political ramification of someone's belief that you can change things through food by who you're buying them from and creating the commerce.

The challenge to doing it in the winter, especially in Vermont, is that you're fairly limited on some things. I'm also not limited on some things.

All my proteins are still there. It's not like the chickens are going to freeze, they're all in barnes. The deer outside. I have a guy that produces flour for me. So I'm making bread with local flour.

Now we've got our (inaudible) going in the over. See you in a few hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The food here is amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's the mix grill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love the Vermont feel. It's beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's great to have things that are grown just on the street or raised just on the street. It's pretty much straight from the field to the plate. It's that quick. It's that fresh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not doing this just to be local, but my job is really to support local agriculture.

HARMON: Almost all of our farmers come in and eat. We feed them. We buy their product. So it's a very local economy that we're helping to keep rolling with.


FOREMAN: One of the first signs of spring for many of us is bees buzzing around the garden. Farming still depends on them. They fertilize millions of acres in addition to the gallons of honey they produce.

Still bees have been under a lot of pressure in recent years, many hives dying suddenly and mysteriously. That's where one special group comes in with an all-natural effort to save the bees. Photo journalist John Toragoey has that tale from Los Angeles. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I work with the Backwards Beekeepers.

RUSSELL BATES, BACKWARDS BEEKEEPER: Which is a group of chemical- free, treatment-free organic beekeepers and we've grown from about five members three years ago to about 550 today.

KIRK ANDERSON, BACKWARDS BEEKEEPER: We basically have a rescue hotline. We must get 3,000 or 4,000 calls a year. We go and catch and rescue swarms, move them from people's houses and give them to new beekeepers to start beekeeping. It's a sustainable resource because nature provides the bees.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Looks like we have a swarm of bees that came in a few days ago.

LISA NGHE, CALLED RESCUE HOTLINE: When I first saw them, I have to be honest. It kind of freaked me out because it was just a cloud of buzzing bees up in the air.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, if they start coming walk away.

NGHE: We came upon the Backwards beekeepers because I called the city. The city referred me to an exterminator. My dad got really angry because he didn't want to exterminate the bees.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I think what we're going to do is have a three-day run with them, just to see how they work.

ANDERSON: If the honeybee hadn't been doing what it was doing the last 70 million years, we'd all be eating rice and wheat. A cucumber has to be visited by a pollinator six times to set fruit. They are probably the most important insects in the world.

BATES: This here is a frame full of beautiful cured, feril honey. Clean, chemical free, treatment free and this will go on a cheese plate at a local bar called Bar Covell.

DUSTIN LANCASTER, OWNER, BAR COVELL: On every cheese plate we put some of this local honey. People love that. We say it comes from right here in the neighborhood.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're all about fully natural, organic, chemical-free beekeeping, which is quite different from how commercial beekeepers run their operation. We find that taking that approach helps the bees thrive in urban setting.

NGHE: My dad is iffy right now about keeping so many bees.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're going to be able to watch their bees from the window.

NGHE: After the three days, my dad is happy with it, we probably will keep them.

ROBERTA KATO, BACKWARDS BEEKEEPER: I think that's the most exciting part. I try to aim to have a new beekeeper every week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're backward beekeepers. We figure backwards is the new forwards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's impossible to imagine New Orleans without all kinds of oysters on the menu.

FOREMAN (voice-over): In a moment, it's moving day for some oysters on the Gulf Coast. And a vintage idea, the green bar is open for business as "Green Solutions in Focus" moves on.



FOREMAN: Few states can rival Louisiana when it comes to great restaurants and a great love of seafood, especially the humble oyster. So with fewer natural reefs in the Gulf of Mexico for the oysters to call home, people there are springing into action installing miles of artificial reefs.

As photo journalist Ken Tillis found, that has some oysters living like Rockefeller.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight hundred to 1,000 oysters going out today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're putting together the largest oyster boy in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have over 20 chefs here participating.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Each different restaurant is doing their little spin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stuffed artichoke po boy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have an ocean push po boy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Calling this an oyster BLT.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is real New Orleans, you all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oyster is a staple in our food. We love the oyster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's nothing like a Louisiana oyster. They are great.

MICHAEL STEM, ROADFOOD.COM: It's impossible to imagine New Orleans without all kinds of oysters on the menu.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the Grand Isle Shoreline Protection Oyster Restoration Project.

CINDY BROWN, THE NATURE CONSERVANCY: Around the world, oysters have declined 85 percent. It's the most imperil marine ecosystem in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The goal of the project is to install artificial oyster reefs along particularly vulnerable marsh shorelines.

MARK GAGLIANO, COASTAL ENVIRONMENTS, INC.: The structures of vertical oyster reef. It's a metal frame with bags filled with recycled oyster shell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Baby oysters, it will settle on adult oysters and develop shells and grow into adult oysters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eventually what we'll see is these cages completely encrusted in oysters. They're going to form a living reef.

These oyster reefs are really important for protecting shorelines. The way that it works is that we get waves coming through this region. Eventually the waves eat away the shoreline.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The reefs actually stop and absorb that wave energy. As you can see, behind the reefs, the water flattens out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The wake of our own boat immediately lays down when it hits the reef back here. It's amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In Mobile Bay, we're using a different technique. Looking good. That is we are laying bagged shell down on the floor of the Gulf. Volunteers formed a human chain and passed painstakingly one bag of oyster shell to each other to create these reefs.

We're going to see oysters come in on these reefs, see fisheries rebound. One other thing we think we'll see is more baby oysters put out into the water so the natural reef system can replenish itself here as well.


FOREMAN: A plate of oysters, maybe some shrimp, perhaps a glass of wine, it can all be green and good as the folks of the Greenbar Collective know because they're giving new meaning to the phrase "drink responsibly." Photo journalist Gabe Ramirez shows us what's being mixed up in the green bar.


LITTY MATTHEW, OWNER, GREENBAR COLLECTIVE: Well, today is lemon vodka day. So you'll see and smell amazing lemon zest. It takes 800 pounds of lemons per batch. We do them all by hand. You see the oil and you know there's flavor in there. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our approach, which started way back when this was a hop pi, not really a business, has been to create natural, real flavors with things we eat every day, not chemicals we pour out of a bottle. This is the way liquor used to be made, two, three generations ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This allows the alcohol to penetrate the skins and the bag and pull out all the flavor.

MELKON KHOSROVIAN, OWNER, GREENBAR COLLECTIVE: What organics mean on a broader scale, it's not just better flavor, which is the most important thing for us at the end of the day, but a much bigger perspective oven sustainability.

You can have cleaner land, cleaner water, fruits and vegetables that have better flavor. What does one bottle cause in carbon footprint? What is the pollution? These are less than two kilograms a bottle then we studied the trees.

You know, we plant tall hardwood trees at the center of our rain forest. Based on what kinds of trees we plant, how many die before they reach maturity and where we plant, we got a number back of 790 kilos of carbon dioxide that they absorb. The balance allows everyone who has a cocktail or two ounces of our spirits to become carbon negative for a day.

MATTHEWS: I've got to smell this. All right. I think it's important for people to know organic is not about luxury. It's really about flavor and ecology.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you're giving people reason to party?

KHOSROVIAN: If they party, if they drink, this cocktail will make the world a better place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don't use it, you'll throw it away. It kills me.

FOREMAN (voice-over): We'll be back with a quick change. One location, two restaurants, a greener use of resources and space.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As everyone knows, everybody wants a farmer's market in the neighborhood. There aren't enough farmers to go around to all those places.

FOREMAN: Fast food, the farm that goes to market. Stay with us for more of the Eatocracy edition of "Green Solutions in Focus."



FOREMAN: Sometimes being green involves more than just where and how the food is grown. It can also include where and how the food is served. Starting a restaurant is an expensive and resource-consuming proposition, no matter how you go about it. So what if you could find a way to have two restaurants in the same place, just at different times? That's an experiment that some folks are trying right here in D.C. Photojournalist Bethany Swain took a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We leased out an ice cream shop and started selling tacos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a space that isn't used during the winter. So it's just closed for about four to five months a year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we were fortunate this wasn't just an ice cream shop. They sold Philadelphia cheese steak. So that's why there was cooking equipment in here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple hundred bucks to buy ingredients, and then we just went day by day after that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We only offer three things, steak taco, pork taco, and vegetarian taco with beans and cheese.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So as long as we made, like, you know, enough money to buy ingredients every day, we could stay open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, we try to run it right on the edge and make sure we were using everything we had.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like anything else, you get a better deal in volume, if you buy in volume. So it's tempting to go out and buy cases of everything. But definitely nothing goes to waste. That's for sure. I mean, if you don't use it, you're going to throw it away. And that's, I mean (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We came in here and we figured out what needs to change, what doesn't. You know, we've been tippy-toeing around ice cream machines this whole time because, really, they didn't need to go anywhere. I mean, is it ideal to look in the window and see ice cream machines at a taco shop with red and white walls? Not really. But does it really need to change?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we just threw a sign up. It worked. Didn't have to tear anything down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very good. And the people at 2:00 o'clock in the morning are definitely going to be sad to see them go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just planning out our last few orders and making sure we didn't have a lot of food that was going to go to waste. Pretty much everything here can go and be used someplace else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be sad to see them go tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All we have to do is clean and take, like, the five things that we brought in, and ice cream will be available tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go. Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been a lot of work, but it's been a lot of fun.


FOREMAN: The food in this market comes from all over -- Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware. But if you don't have a farmers' market near you, maybe what you need is a farmers' market that comes to you. That's exactly what Jake Carpenter found in Atlanta.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a really wonderful concept. It's a wonderful concept.

SUZANNE WELANDER, RIVERVIEW FARMS: The truck wasn't being used.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an old engine, so we've got our little tricks getting it started. Oh, wow! On the first try.

WELANDER: They had the bright idea that it could be repurposed as a mobile farmers' market. We started on the road in January. And then we lost our engine. Oops!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm about to head on over to (INAUDIBLE) which is the location that we have for today.

WELANDER: The back is our usual entrance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got to clamp these down. We've got maybe three feet of aisle space.

WELANDER: When the farmers markets we usually sell at close during the winter season, we can still reach our customers with Farmmobile (ph). And we can also reach markets that we wouldn't normally be at because we are mobile.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, spring onions.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful. Smell good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, wow, it's like a little mini-supermarket!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's organic, it's fresh, and the people here are so very nice.

WELANDER: So you're at 34 so far.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's all this?

WELANDER: These are the meats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I didn't know you have meats. WELANDER: Oh, absolutely. So the grass-fed beef and the Berkshire pork is all from Riverview Farm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been great to have you here all winter, I will say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, ma'am. Have a great week.

WELANDER: Thank you.

We're improving access to locally grown food in a lot of communities where they don't have access to that. So we're excited about doing that.


FOREMAN: In a bit, the chef who got scrappy about ending food waste.




FOREMAN: An old variety of grape that is a new sensation. More "Green Solutions in Focus" is coming right up.


FOREMAN: Where do all the scraps from your table wind up, down the disposal or in the trash? About a third of the environmental impact from most families is related to all of the things that we eat and drink. So at one Atlanta restaurant, instead of feeding the landfill, they're using their scraps to feed the garden and produce new food. It's called closing the loop. Photojournalist William Walker took a look.


MICHAH WILLIX, EXECUTIVE CHEF, ECCO RESTAURANT: This is a European restaurant that focuses on seasonal cuisine, fresh food that's really ingredient-driven. My name is Micah Willix. I'm the executive chef for Ecco Restaurant. On a busy night, we usually serve 350 to 400 meals.

Local radishes just got in yesterday.

Just the preparation process of making food for 350 people a day creates a lot of food waste, a lot of scrap. Every restaurant in the country produces a lot of food waste.

When you serve 350 people, you can produce up to 1,000 plates of food. We do about 1,000 pounds of food waste a month. That's a lot of waste. We really wanted to reduce our footprint and try to make sure there was no waste going out of the kitchen. So 100 percent of our food waste now goes to compost. So none of that goes to the landfill now.

Right now, I'm skinning flounder and portioning them into sizes for later on tonight. Everything can be composted. We mix all of our proteins and vegetable scraps and fish, chicken, beef, lamb, lettuce -- it all goes into compost, Brussels sprouts, carrots, onion skins, herb stems, any little trimming, you name it. If you can eat it, we'll compost it.

Here we have fish. Here we have pasta with vegetables. And it all goes to compost.

It gets picked up and taken to a facility. That's mixed with other scraps from landscaping businesses and tree businesses and other markets and restaurants and gets broken down into compost. We then take that compost, buy it back, and put it onto our roof to grow vegetables and fruits that we use in the restaurant.

We're heading up to the rooftop garden now. Right now, we have herbs and garlic in the boxes. We're about to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, arugula, some potatoes and peas. All that we eat -- that we grow goes directly into the restaurant. We're closing the loop.


FOREMAN: People who want the most natural foods occasionally become rather like detectives, trying to trace everything back to its original source, even looking at historic records to see what was produced in an area at one time and might be brought back into production. For example, there's the story of the Norton grape which photojournalist David Ruff found in Virginia.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're bottling our 2010 barrel select Norton, which is made kind of an intermediate style. It is made like a Beaujolais. We did 140 cases.

JENNY MCCLOUD, CHRYSALIS VINEYARDS: Right here, that right there poking up in the center, there's a future cluster of Norton grapes. These are really going to town here. I'm Jenny McCloud. I own Chrysalis Vineyards and Locksley Estate and Caeli Farm. We're in Middleburg, Virginia. It has been an agricultural area, very fertile, for hundreds and hundreds of years.

This is going to be a little more dense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Norton, since it's an indigenous grape variety of Virginia, it's acclimated to the climate here, so you don't really have to do a lot of spraying or anything. It's pretty easy to take care of.

MCCLOUD: Norton just being a -- you know, a model of health and vigor. If one looks around a Norton vineyard, you don't see any dead vines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's, like, bulletproof. It's easy to grow and it's actually easy, really, to make wines out of.

MCCLOUD: In fact, Norton was very famous and renowned around the world in the late 1800s, winning gold medals, being acclaimed great red wine, and then Prohibition hit. Once they outlawed alcohol beverages, everyone went crazy, destroying the vineyards, pulling all the vines out of the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So really, nobody who was living in Virginia or in the mid-Atlantic area really knew what Norton wine tasted like until, you know, we started making it again in the 1990s.

MCCLOUD: It has that sort of fruity character, and we use a process...

When I first started out, you'd say Norton, and people would just glaze over. Norton? Never heard of it before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This tank's about full. And we have this little lot to do after that.

I made the first modern Norton in Virginia in 1992.

MCCLOUD: I run into very few people now that don't know Norton and don't know that it's a native American grape. I'm very proud to be involved in a major way in the restoration of a real heirloom gem. They're here and they're healthy. And you know, they just want to be here, and that's what's so neat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an American grape. It all comes together.

MCCLOUD: It's native. It's disease-resistant. All those things would be meaningless if Norton didn't make really good red wine.

Good, if I do say so myself.




MELISSA METTRICK, FARMER: It's important that we have a garden at Roberta's so the actual guests of Roberta's can go back and look at the garden to see at least where some of their food comes from.


FOREMAN: We will roll on in a country garden in the heart of a big city and the restaurant that is growing pure gold in it.


CRUZ QUILAN, TRUCK DRIVER, CITY HARVEST: At least now I feel I'm doing something for the community.


FOREMAN: And rescuing excess food for those who need it most. More "Green Solutions in Focus" Eatocracy edition.


FOREMAN: A few years ago, a restaurant opened in a rough, tumble-down section of Brooklyn. And in an effort to provide the best meals, the owners started growing their own peppers and tomatoes. As their success grew, so did their garden. And now everyone knows about Roberta's urban garden, including photojournalist Rick Hall.


BRANDON HOY, CO-OWNER, ROBERTA'S: We're in the industrial zone, the industrial part of Brooklyn. For many, many blocks, it is warehouse buildings and manufacturing. I'm Brandon Hoy. I'm one of the co- owners of Roberta's.

We're in the back yard, and this is -- you know, this is, like, where our growing operation exists. This was all just junkyard back here. There were, you know, cars pieced out. It was a disgusting mess. We hired a farmer, Melissa (ph), who's here right now.

MELISSA METTRICK, FARMER: I'm Melissa Mettrick (ph). I am the gardener at Roberta's. We're attaching a piece of wood to the plastic that's going to go over the hoop house. We use hoop houses to extend the season. Yes, we're hoping to make a lot of salad greens with this.

HOY: And the benefit to growing our own stuff is, obviously, like, we have the control of the flavor profiles. A lot of these things are very specialized and packaged for our chefs. And our chefs are very involved with Melissa, the farmer, to be, like, These are the things I like. This is the ripeness in which I like them.

All these containers are very isolated, and the atmosphere inside those things are optimal for what we're growing. So actually, like, besides air quality, this is -- this is, you know, the equivalent of farming in Long Island.

METTRICK: I think it's great that chefs want to grow their own food. I think that's super important. I was going over, like, the seed catalog with the chef, and he was getting super excited. We both were, just of what he's going to be feeding people and what I'm going to be growing for people, and together, what that can be.

HOY: We're giving our customers the opportunity to see their food growing right next to them, and I think that's a unique experience.


FOREMAN: Sometimes fresh food depends not so much on where you grow it but on where you find it, especially when you're talking about finding it for people in need. That's where a group called City Harvest comes in. For more than 25 years, they have been rescuing excess food and delivering it to the people who may need it the most. Deborah Brunswick has that story.


CRUZ QUILAN, TRUCK DRIVER, CITY HARVEST: Right now, I'm picking up a food donation that we give out to the people that is hungry. My name is Cruz, Cruz Quilan. I work as a truck driver for City Harvest.

LESLIE GORDON, CITY HARVEST: City Harvest is the world's first food rescue organization. We'll rescue food from all segments of the food industry -- so restaurants, corporate cafeterias, farmers, manufacturers -- and we'll deliver it to New York's hungry men, women and children. This year, we'll rescue more than 28 million pounds of fresh fruit. And our expertise is in rescuing highly perishable foods, more than 60 percent of which will be produce.

BEN POLLINGER, EXECUTIVE CHEF, OCEANA: The fact that we cook here for pleasure, you know, we cook here for people to enjoy food for food's sake, and while we're doing this, there's people out there who don't have enough food for their basic necessity of life -- so it's really important, anything we have that is fit to serve goes to some good use somewhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not eating crappy food. We're not. We're eating quality food, you know? It's a blessing when I come here.

QUILAN: Before I worked for City Harvest, I was having financial problems. I had no choice but to go to soup kitchens and stuff like that. Now I have the privilege to taking the food to the soup kitchens.

One, two, three.

I feel very good going to work, not like other jobs that I had before. At least now I feel I'm doing something for the community. I'm helping out. I speak for the other drivers when I say that it's like an honor to do this. It's like an honor.



LIZ GUTMAN, CO-OWNER, LIDDABIT SWEETS: This is a beer caramel that I'm funneling out right now.


FOREMAN: Stay tuned. Dessert is on the way. One more "Green Solution in Focus."


FOREMAN: No meal is complete, of course, without dessert, and that's where we're going to wrap it up, too, at a place called Liddabit Sweets, where a small group of candy makers scours the city to find just the right ingredients to make green sweet treats. Photojournalist Saylor Phair has the final course.


LIZ GUTMAN, CO-OWNER, LIDDABIT SWEETS: I'm Liz Gutman, and I co-own with Jen King Liddabit Sweets. And we're a small candy company based in Brooklyn, New York.

We make small batch candies and sweets by hand. This is a beer caramel I'm funneling out right now.

We source as many ingredients as possible locally. We also really like working with other small producers, and we know that they care about their stuff as much as we care about ours. Walking around the green market, you just see stuff. For the beer and pretzels, it was, like, Oh, well, Martin's (ph) pretzels, those awesome big crunchy ones.

Can we get two of the eight-pound?

You wander around and you find, Oh, we should use this honey. It's really good. You come across things that are up to our standards.

For us, the packaging was a big part of our business philosophy because so much of a lot of candy, especially higher-end stuff, like the boutique stuff, is just about packaging. And like, oftentimes, what you're really paying for is the packaging, which doesn't really sit that right with us.

So we try and keep our packaging minimal. We use waxed paper, which is, you know, better than the little plastic wrappers. We print all our labels ourselves because it's on, you know, a small scale, so we keep the waste down that way. And the paper that we use to label the candy bars and stuff is all recycled and recyclable. The grosgrain ribbon that we use is made from recycled soda bottles.

Our business philosophy is really about always trying for more and trying for better and greener and tastier in every aspect of it, in the products themselves, in our packaging, in our facilities, in how efficient we are in the kitchen, always working towards something better.


FOREMAN: You can find out more about all of our "Green Solutions in Focus" at And while you're there, check out the Eatocracy blog. For all of the great photojournalists at CNN, I'm Tom Foreman. Thanks to Eastern Market for having us, and thanks to you for watching.