Bon Appétit’s Low Carbon Day to focus on crops and climate change

Annual event is held on Earth Day to encourage guests to choose planet-friendly foods.

April 17—For its annual Low Carbon Diet Day, held on Earth Day (April 22), Bon Appétit Management Company will turn its more than 500 cafés into culinary classrooms to deliver climate change information. This year’s theme, Your Lunch is Heating Up!, will examine how crops such as corn, wheat, rice, fruit, dairy and coffee will fare ina changing climate.

Bon Appétit's chefs will use cooking demos, which will include an almond milk-fruit smoothie, a cheeseless vegetarian pizza or an edamame burger with carrot-peel topping, to discuss these agriculture trends as well as encourage customers to choose planet-friendlier foods.

On Low Carbon Diet Day 2013, Bon Appétit will also share its new version of its online educational companion to the Low Carbon Diet program. The EatLowCarbon.org website uses photos and quizzes to show which familiar foods are higher carbon and explain the science behind their carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions scores.

Bon Appétit has reduced its own purchases of beef by 33% and cheese by 10% since launching the program, and many of the cheeseless pizzas first introduced on Low Carbon Diet Day have become menu staples at its accounts. Meanwhile, the company's new Stem to Root culinary program, from which the Low Carbon Diet Day carrot-peel-topped veggie burger is drawn, is the latest approach in its ongoing campaign to combat food waste.    

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

Ideas and Innovation
oxford school district cafeteria

We have spent considerable money making cafeterias cool again. New paint jobs, crazy color patterns, custom graphics and changes in lighting schemes have made some of our cafes popular gathering places. We’ve also experimented with videos, cable TV programs and music. We involved a number of student groups and student input in improving the atmosphere, especially in our high school and middle school cafeterias.

Menu Development
meatloaf slices plate

“This is the best meatloaf I’ve ever had,” a diner at Alcatel-Lucent telecommunications in Naperville, Ill., once told chef Iraj Fernando. The dish was rooted in a tried-and-true source—the “Betty Crocker Cookbook.”

“I just seasoned the breadcrumbs differently, used fresh parsley and beat the eggs to make them frothier,” says Fernando, executive chef and manager for Southern Foodservice Management.

Consumer interest is up for classic and comforting meat dishes like meatballs (16%), beef pot pie (26%) and meatloaf (12%) for dinner now compared to two years ago, shows...

Ideas and Innovation
kale quinoa salad

With all the hype around probiotics, we decided to create a daily dish that incorporates probiotics in addition to prebiotics. You rarely hear about prebiotics, and this was a great way to highlight how the two work synergistically to maintain a healthy gut. Our chefs have developed menu items such as roasted salmon with yogurt and mint vinaigrette; kale and quinoa salad with warm maple dressing; and leek soup with pickled cucumbers, to name a few.

FSD Resources