Shake Shack: Fast food with a conscience

I’d started to face the fact that perhaps fast food was going to be a distant memory for me if I really wanted to be serious about eating more ethically.

Standing in the queue in one of New York’s many Shake Shack branches waiting for my frozen custard shake (utterly divine, if you haven’t yet tried), I attempted to pass the time by reading the various signs plastered over the store.

It was then my jaw actually dropped. I’d been to Shake Shack for its shakes many times before but – and I say this ashamedly because it just shows the extent of my ignorance – never noticed the company’s dedication to sourcing environmentally-friendly produce.

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The company – and this is a huge, trendy burger chain in the US, not some small independent vegan eatery – prides itself in using 100% all-natural Angus beef, vegetarian fed and source verified:

“No hormones or antibiotics – EVER. We pride ourselves on sourcing incredible ingredients from like-minded artisanal producers.”

The policy extends to its dairy produce:

“Our vanilla and chocolate recipes use only real sugar, no corn syrup, and milk from dairy farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormones.  Our fudge sauce and caramel sauce have zero shelf-life lengtheners.”

Not only that, but it has an impressive resume when it comes to recycling too:

“Every Shack recycles all bottles and plastics, whether you sort or we do the sorting post-collection. It’s the most efficient way to make sure ZERO recyclable material ends up in landfills. Our cooking oil is reused to produce clean energy and our kitchen food is composted where locally possible.”

And it’s transparent about absolutely *everything*:

“Each Shack is constructed from recycled and sustainable materials. Think tabletops sourced from reclaimed bowling alley lanes, walls made of reclaimed antique barn wood siding and booths featuring lumber certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council. We use energy efficient kitchen equipment and LED lighting.”

I have to say, amidst a pretty bleak landscape, Shake Shack is a shining beacon of how to cater to consumerism – with a conscience.

You can find Shake Shacks at a mind-boggling number of locations in the States, as well as three locations in London, and one in Cardiff.




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