Pita for Good isn’t just serving up delicious, good-for-you food, it’s helping local farmers make a living too. That equation has earned this groovy yellow food truck a spot in KC Healthy Kids’ Carrot Gold network. Lawyer-turned-grillslinger Mark Van Blaricum says the simple word GOOD sums up his ingredients and what his food means for you, body and soul.
He and his team make everything on board from scratch. “It takes a little more work and a lot of love,” he says, “but it’s worth it when we get great customer feedback.”
And if an array of food preferences keeps you from eating out with friends, bring them to Pita for Good. Vegetarians, vegans, gluten free, and carnivores can all find something satisfying on this menu.
Here are some ways Pita for Good sets the standard for Carrot Gold:
Lunch at Pita for Good won’t put you in a food coma, thanks to sensible portion size and plenty of fresh vegetables. You’ll be happily satiated, not miserable. You’ll also find healthy fats, whole grains, and plant-based proteins.
The daily kid’s plate is an exact replica of the day’s main plate. His littlest customers are gobbling it up. “I think we sell kids short if we assume they’ll only eat junk food,” he says.
Mark is making a difference for farmers when he buys lamb from Hi Ho Sheep Farm and vegetables from Cultivate Kansas City and Powell Gardens. But he wants to do even more local sourcing, especially of bell peppers, cucumbers and onions. That’s one reason he signed on as a Carrot Gold partner. Now he’s part of a network of food service operators that share what they’ve learned to help everyone grow.
Food trucks typically have to work a little harder to be Earth-friendly, and Mark is always looking at ways to trim waste and energy use. He recycles paper and plastic at Ennovation Center,
where he preps his food, and often takes cardboard home to recycle it there. He serves food in eco trays made of recycled material and he’s even checking into solar panels for the truck.
Some events allow food trucks to plug into a stationery outlets so they don’t use gas. But Mark says there’s so much room for progress when it comes to composting and recycling.
“And I hate selling bottled water,” he says.
He’s tried to avoid it. He’s made infused water, but for big events, he can’t carry enough water for a crowd. Plus there’s still the disposable cup to contend with. And extra work to make the infusion and sanitize the dispenser. It’s another great opportunity for event planners.
“We go to a lot of places where we’re the only ones offering water. People are parched and they’ve got to have something,” Mark says.
Still, Pita for Good is a healthy stand out in the food truck roundup and we hope Mark will inspire other food truck operators to sign on to Carrot Gold.
Carrot Gold grows the demand for local food and keeps farmers farming. It’s a network of restaurants and institutions that are setting the standard for local food purchasing, sustainable kitchen practices and healthy menu options. The growing list of partners includes restaurants, schools, corporate cafeterias, government facilities, grocery stores, value-added producers, and food trucks.