The Grateful Grill food truck was opened in March, 2015 by the wife and husband team – Kelly Marshall and Cody Lehner. After a successful first season, they decided to buy a school bus and convert it into a second food truck, Tacos del Oso Muerto – in English, “Tacos of the Dead Bear.”
The two food trucks don’t use prepackaged factory foods, but instead, Kelly and Cody hand make the majority of their food on site, and fresh to order. They also use entirely compostable containers and don’t use styrofoam. They are looking into the feasibility of solar panels, and are discussing converting the school bus to run on biodiesel, collected from the fryers of the Grateful Grill.
Kelly and Cody explain how their food trucks made the switch to compostable containers in 2017, when they started attending bigger, multi-day events. They began to notice that at a larger scale the waste was adding up, where at a more day to day level the waste wasn’t as noticeable. One of the bigger scale events that they attended last season was the Calgary Folk Festival, which is a No Waste Event. This means that all materials from the festival are routed away from the landfill, so food vendors are required to have compostable products for the customers.
Cody and Kelly say that making the switch to compostable containers has been easy, the hard part is having recycling and composting bins nearby for people to properly dispose of the waste. Having these compost bins readily available in public areas and the educational signage to ensure everyone uses the appropriate bins is a critical second step to the waste reduction process.
Luckily, more and more municipalities are getting on board; these are exciting times of change in the waste reduction world. Kelly and Cody are noticing that more and more local Lethbridge events are trending towards this No Waste Policy.
Deservingly, in 2018, Tacos del Oso Muerto was awarded the Greenest Vendor Award at Lethbridge’s Canada Day Celebration.
Written by Samuel Gerrand.