Low Carbon Diet Day
Release date: April 14, 2011
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 14.
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 fourth year, the Low Carbon Diet program is more than a one-day event. Bon Appétit has set measurable goals to reduce the carbon footprint of the highest impact areas of its business, including:
• Reducing beef by 25 percent
• Reducing cheese by 10 percent
• Sourcing all meat and poultry from North America
• Reducing purchases of fresh tropical fruits by 50 percent
• Sourcing all vegetables and non-tropical fruits from North America
• Reducing food waste by 25 percent
• Reducing consumption of processed sweets, snacks, and chocolate by 10 percent
• Eliminating air-freighted seafood
• Reducing the use of water and energy by at least 20 percent
• Reducing the use of packaging by at least 10 percent.
Bon Appétit has more than 400 cafés in corporations, specialty venues, and colleges and universities — including at Goucher — and serves 80 million meals per year. 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.
Media Relations Director