Home >  News & Events > News Story

Low-Carbon Diet Day

Release date: April 19, 2012

As a prelude to Goucher’s annual celebration of Earth Day, the college's food services provider, Bon Appétit Management Company, will hold Low-Carbon Diet Day on Thursday, April 19.

The college’s dining facilities will serve foods that help illustrate key principles of how food production and consumption can help reduce climate change. The Low-Carbon Diet aims to reduce use of high-carbon foods, promote seasonality, provide alternatives to foreign and bottled water, conduct energy audits of equipment, and develop innovative waste management programs.

In the United States, food often travels between 1,500 and 2,500 miles from farm to table, which is as much as 25 percent farther than two decades ago, according to the Worldwatch Institute. Shipping and warehousing food has become one of the major contributors to global warming and air and water pollution. Wasted food also generates significant greenhouse gasses. The food system as a whole is now responsible for one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Though it may seem like a small step, choosing seasonal foods that are grown locally and that are minimally processed can have an important cumulative effect on the environment.

Now in its fifth year, the Low-Carbon Diet program involves:

  • Bringing the issue of the food system's impact on climate change to national prominence
  • Sourcing nearly all of fruits, vegetables, meats, and water from North America
  • Providing science-based educational materials so diners can make "lower carbon" food choices
  • Reducing food waste and innovating creative options for used frying oil and compostable vegetable matter
  • Auditing the energy and water efficiency of kitchen equipment
  • Hosting the annual Low-Carbon Diet Day to create awareness and spur eaters to make changes.


Bon Appétit has more than 400 cafés in corporations, specialty venues, and colleges and universities — including at Goucher. The company has launched initiatives to raise awareness about where food comes from, the importance of local versus organic, and the impact of “food miles” — the distance food travels from the farm to the dining table.