The Green Machine: A Food Truck for the Organic Age

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    L.A.'s Green Truck

Written by Alissa Walker
Photography by Daniel Hennessy

Who: Mitchell Collier & Kam Miceli
Where: Los Angeles
What: The Green Truck
Why: To serve up sustainable food

At the stroke of noon on a bright Southern California day in Culver City, cubicle dwellers leap into their cars and speed off in search of quick, cheap nourishment. Mitchell Collier surveys the exodus, shaking his head. “They’re hurrying to spend too much for some white-rice burrito,” he says. He points to his apron-clad business partner, Kam Miceli, who’s cheerfully handing out thick homemade burgers from the Green Truck, a mobile food stand parked near a local office complex. “We can sell them an organic meal for the same price.”

Hoping to counterbalance the taco trucks and fast-food joints that have fed the local workforce for decades, Collier and Miceli retrofitted a pair of catering trucks in late 2006 and began making semiregular stops at office complexes, photo shoots, and festivals. Their seasonal menu, created by local chef Beth Creasey, features Niman Ranch burgers and hot dogs, produce from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, and their signature “Mother Trucker,” a made-fromscratch veggie burger on a sprouted bun. The trucks themselves run on a combination of waste fry oil and biodiesel, and they’re stocked with compostable corn utensils and recycledpaper plates. Just a few blocks away from today’s stop is Green Truck’s solar-powered kitchen, where any excess energy produced is pumped into the grid.

Business has been booming (clients include MTV, HBO, and Patagonia), and Collier and Miceli expect to expand their fleet to 10 to 20 Green Trucks within the year. But Collier’s already thinking bigger. Sweeping his hands around the office park, he spies another place to direct his boundless energy. “You know, all those offices should grow their own produce in rooftop gardens”—rooftops with enough space to park at least one Green Truck.