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One of the best parts about breaking bread together as a community is the chance to sit down and enjoy not just the exchange of tastes, but ideas. America’s fast food habits, which mostly involve people eating alone on the run, don’t allow that to happen. So it was a wonderful treat to have Eric Schlosser, the journalist who wrote the game-changing book Fast Food Nation—the 2001 book that exposed the unsustainable food safety, labor, and animal welfare issues of the fast food industry—visit University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA, for a talk, several farm tours, and a convivial meal.

Food can be a terrific vehicle to use for educating people about complex topics, and luckily, I work for a company that has an army of chefs who enjoy just this kind of challenge. Bon Appétit was the first food service company to address food’s role in climate change, and every year around Earth Day, our chefs change their menus and explain to their diners at corporations, colleges and universities, and museums in 32 states how their every day food choices affect our planet. For Earth Day today, we’re doing something a little different. Our chefs are standing in front of guests at a cooking demonstration table, making almond-milk-fruit smoothies, cheeseless pizzas, and edamame burgers with carrot peel toppings. They’re talking about how climate change isn’t just this storm gathering way down the road, it’s here and it’s affecting some of our favorite foods.

Since 2007, the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) has been touching down at college campuses to bring together students, youth organizations, and celebrities to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. This year, the Bon Appétit team at Washington University in St. Louis had the opportunity to host CGI U.

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.

This is the second post in a series about Piper’s Epic Spring Semester Road Trip: 35 gallons of veggie oil used and 1,710 miles driven so far! The week started out with a truly amazing trip to White Mountain Farm, which grows quinoa in the gorgeous San Luis Valley.

This is the second post in a series about Piper’s Epic Spring Semester Road Trip: 35 gallons of veggie oil used and 1,710 miles driven so far! The week started out with a truly amazing trip to White Mountain Farm, which grows quinoa in the gorgeous San Luis Valley.

In the United States, 40% of food goes uneaten. Just so we’re clear, that’s nearly half. Yet one in every six Americans lacks a secure supply of food. Waste is happening at every part of the supply chain: thousands of pounds of fresh vegetables are being left in the fields to rot, blemished produce are being tossed at our supermarkets, restaurants are dumping perfectly good leftovers, and consumers are letting food waste away in their refrigerators. Clearly, we have a problem.

As the Midwest Fellow for Bon Appetit Management Company Foundation, I get to work with folks at BAMCO-operated colleges across the country, from my home in Minneapolis, MN, all the way south to Austin, TX; west to Denver, CO; and east to Cleveland, OH. Since much of my travel this semester happened to be all in a row (I’ll be with the American Meat screening tour, which BAMCO is cosponsoring, for much of its Colorado and Ohiolegs), I decided I’d set out on my own 10-week tour, henceforth dubbed Piper’s Epic Spring Semester Road Trip.

This Saturday, February 16, join thousands of “foodies,” “farmies,” and leaders in food and farming in watching the TEDxManhattan: Changing the Way We Eat conference. Bon Appétit is very honored that Maisie Greenawalt, our vice president of strategy, was selected to present. During the third session, Empower, which starts at 4pm EST, Maisie will speak frankly about “How the Humane Sausage Gets Made” — how a large corporation like Bon Appétit decides to tackle animal welfare issues, and what specific challenges we face in meeting our aggressive deadline of 2015 to end all purchases of pork raised without gestation crates.