Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Google + Grub

It's a long story, that began on a flight to LAX that was stuck on a JFK runway for four hours and with a guy named Skip, and ended with Bryant and me addressing a roomful of Google employees for the authors@google series. See, Skip has a friend who works at Google... and well, one thing led to another and we were invited to speak.

But it's not really such an odd match, because Google has been pushing itself to be a leader in sustainability, and has been making some big strides when it comes to food. It has its work cut out for it: Every day the company serves its thousands of employees--no one would give us a specific figure--complementary breakfast, lunch, and dinners, and as far as we could tell unlimited access to snacks and drinks. (Say the cynical friends: A great way to keep employees at work!).

We got a tour of some of their dining spots with one of the head chefs and their staff nutritionist and were impressed with how deep their sustainability convictions seem to run. Take Cafe 150: All the food at this Google spot is sourced from 150 miles.

Of all the cool things they're doing, which include providing some of the "greenest" take away cutlery and plates, I was most impressed with their "It's It." When I left home (that would be Oakland, California) for college (that would be Providence, Rhode Island) one of the things I missed most was an ice cream sandwich called an It's It. If you've had one, you know why this was such a big deal. If you've tried to find them on the East Coast, you'd know you can't. Today at Google, I not only got to devour one of my favorite treats, but got to do so without ingesting high-fructose corn syrup. See, Google got the company to make a special edition It's It with an alternative sweetener, and the results are delicious. Now, It's It, what about the rest of us?

P.S. To figure out how to get to Google this morning, I Google-Mapped Google. In case you're wondering, the directions were accurate.