We returned to Arlington on Saturday, June 15th for the annual Feast of the East! It's a super wholesome community festival featuring live music, a parade, tons of food, a soapbox derby, and heaps of other great activities. I love seeing everyone biking, strolling, and picnicking with their family and friends. It was a beautiful summer day to be out in the streets of Capitol Square. Summer is finally here! [Ed: Only briefly, it seems.]
We sold lots of cold summertime beverages (iced teas and lemonades) alongside orders of nuggies and sandwiches. It was great saying hello to repeat customers, and wicked great to meet new devils who were just walking by the truck, tried a sample, and then ordered whole mess of seitan! This year, our commissary neighbor Parfait parked just a block down from us. Parfait is a new Nice Cream truck (their frozen desserts are dairy free, soy free, gluten free, etc.) with kombucha and cold brew coffee on tap.
Later in the afternoon, as the crowds died down, we traded our sweet potato fries for Parfait pops, and I think everyone won. Especially our customers.
Thanks for hosting such a great day, Arlington devils!
Katie, of the Soy Much Brighter candle company, also organizes The Vegan Market series. And she is a powerhouse. She gathers and supports amazing local plant-based vendors, and hosts them all during recurring editions of The Vegan Market. This past Sunday, Bartlebyâs was delighted to be a part of the Motherâs Day Edition, held at the armory building in Somerville.
We were tabling at the event, which means we could offer pre-packaged items only (no cooked-to-order sandwiches or salads). We had stacks and stacks of nuggets and tubs of sauce that you devils had pre-ordered online (see our Pick-Up page for how to orders nuggz anytime!) and also had some Mini Party Packs of 15 nuggz available on a first-come, first-served basis. And you came! So many happy faces showed up to celebrate #nugglife. Some couldnât wait to find our truck out in the streets for lunch service, and immediately found and followed us on Instagram to keep tabs on our schedule.
We also debuted our new, fully compostable buckets. Theyâre kinder to the environment, and we think theyâre cute, too. Who doesnât like food in buckets?
Itâs wonderful to be surrounded by small businesses that not only understand your mission, but also share it. Weâre already booked for the next edition, coming up soon on June 10th! Itâs the Mini Vegan Market at Winter Hill Brewing in Somerville, and weâll be providing good eats with another local vegan superstar, Littleburg. Hope to see you there!
Taza Chocolate really knows how to party! Their annual shindig features great food and beverage makers, a DJ spinning beats, and a live band. I think my truck crew danced the entire day! Plus, of course, Taza provided all the amazingly delicious stone ground chocolate you could ever want. (It should be said, repeated, shouted that Tazaâs products are organic, ethically traded, minimally processed, and that many of their bars are certified vegan. They do good things.)
The crowds were so fun, and loads of people had a locally brewed cider or beer in hand while they enjoyed the lovely spring day. Iâm thankful for the good weather (the original forecast called for cold rains), which likely boosted the number of devils we fed. We actually sold out in the last twenty minutesâafter serving over 200 people!
The good vibes continued even after we closed the truck, cleaned up, and headed back home. I got to see the photos and funny comments that customers posted of us that day. I love engaging with you devils face-to-face and on social media. And Iâm seriously so excited that Bartlebyâs gets to be a part of this vibrant community. I live in Somerville, so to park my truck and serve my food in this city as a peer to a local business that I look to for inspiration, is truly, truly a dream come true.
The New England VegFest is a wicked whirlwind! I was so excited to be there and see the thousands of smiling faces celebrating vegetarian/vegan companies and small businesses. I am honored to be among this group of hardworking, like-minded individuals who put their blood, sweat, and tears into growing companies that are good for the world.
Itâs especially great that VegFest lands so early in our truck season. The good energy of the event gives me fuel and inspiration for the remaining eight months of the year! And Iâm grateful for all our devilicious customers who came out that day (and every day weâre on the road). Special thanks, too, to the organizers and volunteers who guide the vendors with endless patience, and provide outstanding promotion and outreach to make the event such a success. Itâs no small feat, and Iâm already looking forward to next year!
Previously in our topical blog series, you learned what seitan is and how to pronounce it, how adaptable seitan is to a variety of cuisines and flavor profiles, and what nutrients and vitamins it provides for your body. Today, we briefly review how a plant-based diet supports a healthy planet and what choices Bartleby’s Seitan Stand makes to mitigate the impact our business has on the environment.
“Agriculture accounts for 92% of the freshwater footprint of humanity; almost one third relates to animal products.” 
Humans use less water to produce edible plants than we use to produce meat. Bartleby’s serves a seitan-focused menu, and seitan is primarily vital wheat gluten. Stylistically, our southern-fried sandwiches are a replacement for fried chicken sandwiches from major chains like Chick-Fil-A. A kilogram of chicken meat requires 4,325 liters of water to produce . A kilogram of wheat, by comparison, requires about 1,500 liters of water to produce . It’s safe to say that Bartleby’s is saving way more water than its meat-serving competitors.
When examining the impact of meat consumption, the other major factors are land-use and carbon footprint.
“Globally, livestock pastures take up more than double the land that crops do.” 
Plant-based agriculture produces more edible product on less land. Livestock require extra space to roam and graze, and pound-for-pound produce less edible protein than plants . A 2017 report from the Humane Party  used data collected from the USDA to determine that “plant-based agriculture grows 512% more pounds of food than animal-based agriculture on 69% of the mass of land that animal-based agriculture uses.”
Equally dramatic is the difference in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Producing one tonne of chicken meat generates 6,900 kilograms of CO2 . Producing one tonne of wheat releases 200 kilograms of CO2 into the atmosphere ―that’s less than 3% of the carbon footprint of chicken.
A little goes a long way
In late 2018, the World Resources Institute published a lengthy report on “Creating a Sustainable Food Future,” which includes analyses on the environmental impacts of our current diets and agriculture practices, and predictions on how to change those practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Calculations show that if global consumers swapped out 30% of the ruminant meat they ate (that’s mainly beef, lamb, and goat), they could close the GHG mitigation gap by half. In other words, swapping out only about a third of your meat consumption for a plant-based alternative would have a huge impact on reducing our collective carbon footprint.
Finding more places to make better choices
The way we serve our seitan also has an impact on the environment. All of our packaging materials are 100% biodegradable, or compostable, or recyclable (depending on the item). This includes the festive red-and-white boats that cradle our sweet potato fries, the clam shell boxes into which we nestle every Spicy Deluxe sandwich, and the new 8-ounce tubs that hold portions of our scratch-made sauce for pick-up orders. While we can't control where our sandwich boxes and fry boats land after they leave the truck, we feel good sending planet-friendly packaging out into the streets.
Food Revolution, our beloved commissary, is now officially composting in its kitchen areas. That means that owner Stephanie and culinary lead Scott can better manage food scraps while they are doing prep work. Compost generated at Food Revolution is picked up and processed by Black Earth Compost. They collect and compost organic waste from residents and commercial businesses, and later makes the nutrient-rich soil available at local retailers.
We believe we've been thoughtful so far about our business, and are committed to making decisions that support a healthy planet. Down the road, that might mean changes to our menu or our service radius, but we promise that tasty, southern-fried seitan will keep on coming! See you on the streets soon, dear devils.