Posts by

Nicole Tocco

As I and the other current and former Fellows learned on our recent field trip to Monterey Bay Aquarium — whose Seafood Watch program has long been an important Bon Appétit partner organization — one thing that sets it apart is its mission to inspire the conservation of the oceans. And inspired we were by the end of the day.

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A farm visit offers firsthand knowledge of how supporting a sustainable food system means being more than just willing to pay a higher price.

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As a company, we rely on third party certifications to assure ourselves and our guests that the commitments we make are meaningful and are being met. When I heard that Bon Appétit chefs at Johns Hopkins University had started sourcing Certified Humane chicken from Murray’s Chicken, I jumped at the chance to learn more about what the certification means for the well-being of the chickens, our health and the environment.

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Ronnybrook Farm Dairy invites all of their customers to visit their picturesque farm in the heart of the Hudson Valley. Bon Appétit chefs at Wesleyan University in Middleton, CT, who buy milk, yogurt and frozen yogurt from Ronnybrook, decided to take them up on the offer, and bring along a group of Wesleyan students studying environmental science.

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Joining Eckerd students as they follow the journey oranges take from local Mixon Fruit Farms to the cup they fill at a fresh juicing station.

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Through their Farm to Fork purchases, Goucher College Resident District Manager Norman Zwagil and his team are supporting positive change in the tides of agriculture in the Chesapeake Bay region — and one such purchasing relationship is with Big City Farms, a half-acre of greenhouses right in the middle of Baltimore, built on top of an old parking lot .

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National Farmworker Awareness Week, hosted by the Student Action for Farmworkers (SAF) and cosponsored by Bon Appétit Management Company, is quickly approaching. March 24-31 is a week dedicated to raising awareness about farmworkers and the conditions they face as participants in a food system focused on keeping prices lower at any cost.

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Under the leadership of General Manager Stuart Leckie and Executive Chef Christian Bassett, the team at Saint Joseph’s takes what Bon Appétit requires nationwide in terms of social and environmental commitments (no small feat), and pushes each as far as they are able.

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The drought that struck the United States this year stunted growth of field corn and soy, and as a result, 2013 will be the first time in 38 years where annual beef, pork, and chicken output all decline. We need a resilient food system that can cope with a changing climate and unpredictable conditions such as this drought. How are we going to get there?

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As Hurricane Sandy barreled toward the coast, businesses and entire cities shut down to brace themselves for what was to come. But college dining halls don’t have that luxury. College students are already “at home,” and – no matter the weather — need to be fed. And local farmers and fishermen need to be able to sell their harvest.

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