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Rocking the Eco-Cause in Tennessee

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While the rock stars of the food and wine worlds were hanging out in Aspen last weekend, another group of rockers gathered on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, for Bonnaroo, a four-day Woodstock-esque music festival that brings together environmentally conscious performers like Pearl Jam and Jack Johnson.This year’s festival set new standards for sustainability. Diane Hatz, founder and director of Sustainable Table, the nonprofit responsible for the Eat Well Guide, blogged daily from the event and called me today to share some green highlights:

* The festival hired a sustainability coordinator to help reduce consumption.

* Bonnaroo’s goal is to buy 75 percent of all food it sells from local sources within three to five years, and festival organizers provided food vendors with a list of local farmers they could work with.

* An organic café was selling fair-trade coffee, organic fruits and vegetables, arepas and jerk chimichangas while vendors hawked organic, vegetarian corn dogs and organic funnel cake (festival-goers could pick up leftover oil from the funnel-cake fryer to fuel their biodiesel cars).

* Organic beer from Vermont brewers Orlio and Stone Mill was on tap.

* Sustainable Table volunteers were barbecuing on a solar-powered oven.

* A Solar Stage hosted bands as well as panel discussions on the state of our planet.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.