What`s for lunch on earth day? low carbon eats

Bon Appétit Management is helping diners protect the planet this Earth Day one forkful at a time by hosting its third annual Low Carbon Diet Day (www.eatlowcarbon.org) on Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day). As the first and only food service provider to connect food and climate change, Bon Appétit, with cafés on college and corporate campuses around the country, has made purchasing and operational changes to decrease their carbon 'foodprint' in the highest impact areas by 25% over the last three years. Bon Appétit's 400-plus cafés will offer special menus on Earth Day, in an effort to educate guests about both the importance and the simplicity of eating a low carbon diet, whether dining out or cooking at home. 'We see ourselves not only as providers of great food, but also as environmental stewards,' said Fedele Bauccio, Bon Appétit's founder and CEO. 'Many people think that a concerning contributor to the world's carbon footprint is the transportation of food or 'food miles,' however the production of meat and dairy actually play a large role in climate change. On Low Carbon Diet Day, we offer our customers an opportunity to learn how their food choices can contribute to - or help reduce - climate change, and how they can make better choices every day.' In an effort educate their customers on what eating low carbon means, Bon Appétit shares five tips for incorporating this kind of eating into daily life:
  • Don't Waste Food: Take only what you will eat because food waste sitting in landfills emits methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.
  • Make Seasonal and Regional Your Food Mantra: Regionally-procured food is less likely to have been air-freighted to get to you and usually tastes better because it's fresher. Chefs will highlight the regional abundance with dishes such as local root vegetables and spring herb ragu or fingerling potato and asparagus salad with curly endive and wild smoked salmon in tarragon vinaigrette.
  • Move Away from Beef and Cheese: Cows and other ruminant animals emit methane gas during their natural digestive process. Cafés will offer up creative low carbon substitutes to traditional beef burgers like BBQ turkey burger with onion strings or grilled Vietnamese-style chicken and pork burgers with pickled carrot and daikon. Pizza will go cheese-less and be topped with other earthy flavors like mushrooms, hummus or baba ghanoush to replace the umami lost with the cheese.
  • Stop Flying Fish and Fruit; Avoid Air-Freighted Food: Limit foods that require air-freight transportation which is 10 times more carbon intensive than shipping, and stick with seafood that was frozen-at-sea and fruit that is locally procured. Guests may have the chance to try entrees like stuffed hickory-smoked catfish or farm raised rainbow trout with chive butter and Minnesota wild rice salad with ramps, red peppers and fiddlehead ferns.
  • If It's Processed and Packaged, Skip It: Processed foods take a lot of energy to produce and also have wasteful packaging. Chefs will eliminate processed snacks from one station, instead serving tempting house-made selections such as fresh granola, tamari-roasted almonds, or sweet and salty glazed soy nuts.

Food and agriculture are responsible for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. On Low Carbon Diet Day, Bon Appétit will draw attention to the fact that consumers can reduce their carbon impact by choosing to eat foods that contribute less greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing some of the most significant contributors, including the consumption of beef and cheese, diners can take small steps at solving the larger problem. 'Low Carbon Diet Day is a great adventure,' said chef Joel Blice from the University of Pennsylvania. 'We get to think up new ways to use the resources available to us, and also share what we've learned about making environmentally responsible food choices with our guests. We consider it a home run when we can not only present a delicious meal made from scratch, but also help change the way someone thinks about what they eat.' Consumers can easily take a low carbon approach in their own kitchens, and log onto www.eatlowcarbon.org for more information about which foods contribute most to climate change, and for tips on how to eat low carbon every day. About Bon Appétit Management Company Bon Appétit Management Company (www.bamco.com) is an onsite restaurant company offering full foodservice management to corporations, universities and specialty venues. Bon Appétit is committed to sourcing sustainable, local foods for all cafés throughout the country. A pioneer in environmentally-sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs addressing local purchasing, the overuse of antibiotics, sustainable seafood, cage-free eggs, and most recently, the connection between food and climate change. The company has received numerous awards for its work from organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council, Seafood Choices Alliance, The Humane Society of the United States, and Food Alliance. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Bon Appétit has more than 400 cafés in 30 states, including eBay, Duke University and the Getty Center. Follow us on at Twitter at @BAMCO.

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