I Want My Green TV: A Top Chef Fail and Disney Kids Saving the Planet


This week on Green TV – a not so sustainable chef disappoints foodies and the Disney kids band together to make Friends for Change.

Rick Moonen Not So Sustainable Chef on the “Top Chef Masters” Finale

Rick Moonen shocked both the foodie and green worlds last week with his final presentation in the “Top Chef Master’s” competition. The chef, who judge Jay Rayner referred to as “the sustainability guy,” is known for his environmentally conscientious seafood cooking.

In the season finale, the last three competitors were asked to prepare a dish that best represented who they were as a chef. Moonen’s seemed like an obvious choice to anyone who knew his work. He made some eco-friendly fish dish, right? Wrong.

Rick ended up preparing venison with matsutake mushrooms, pear butter, and stuffed cipollini onions. Wa-hat?

Adding insult to injury, as far as many of his devotees were concerned, the meat was flown in from New Zealand. That’s the way to expand your global footprint in one small meal.

When confronted by the judges, who loved the food but seemed baffled that Moonen would stray so far from his roots (and principals), the finalist gave a really straightforward answer, “I’m not a treehugger. I am a chef. I’m in a cooking competition. I need to be a chef and that’s why I decided to go that way.”

Unfortunately for Mr. Sustainability, he probably should have stuck with some nice local seafood. When all was said and done, he came in second to Marcus Samuelsson.

The Disney Kids Promote Change

For those of us who think the kids who work for the Disney Channel (like Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, and Demi Lovato) are just a conflicted mess of stripper poles and promise rings, good news comes from the ‘tween-centric network.

Disney’s Friends for Change campaign just celebrated its one-year anniversary by revamping their program and releasing a slew of new PSAs. Close to 40 kids who star on Disney shows – including the above mentioned as well as Selena Gomez, Brandon Mychal Smith, and Mitchel Musso – have come together to help promote kid friendly ways to save the planet.

The on-air messages, now showing on Disney Channel, feature the Mouse House stars passing on environmental tips to kids and encouraging them to go to disney.com/friendsforchange to “reg and pledge.” By joining the campaign, kids vow to take small eco-friendly steps and also get to vote on which green projects Disney will support with $1 million in donations. Plus, really motivated kids can apply for grants to fund environmental efforts in their communities.

In a Disney press release, senior VP of Corporate Responsibility Jennifer Anopolsky said, “Kids are discovering that helping the planet is easy and fun when they work together and have the right tools.”

From simple tasks like taking shorter showers to bigger ideas like organizing beach clean-ups, the Disney kids are going green. Finally a message for ‘tweens that we can get behind.

Tune in next time to see what’s cropping up on green TV.

Image: Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo