Blog: Farm to Fork

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The Harned Family, Three Sisters Farm By Vera Chang, West Coast Fellow, Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation Since I attended the 2010 Eco Farm Conference session, “Is Small the Only Beautiful?” I have reflected on this question. My headed turned from side to side during the closing plenary as Eliot Coleman and Gary Hirschberg spoke, two East Coasters with contrary farming philosophies. Coleman is an organic farmer, author, and proponent of small-scale farming while Hirschberg is the Stonyfield Farm CEO and proponent of offering large-scale support for organic production. A couple of weeks ago, I drove through California’s Central Valley, a 450 mile region home to California’s most productive agriculture. The area is dominated by large-scale agriculture. It is not uncommon for a single farm to be several thousand acres. Collectively grossing $27 billion in revenues last year, the Central Valley provides roughly […]

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Mills College Community Botanic Garden By Vera Chang, West Coast Fellow, Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation Spring is coming into bloom and the Bon Appétit Fellow’s college and farm tours are rolling right along! One topic that continues to excite me on my college tour is campus farms and gardens. I echo Midwest Fellow, Dayna Burtness’s passion for them. ‘Tis the season! Farms and gardens are popping up at colleges and universities all over, growing not only vegetables but also soil, ideas, and budding farmers. Campus farms and gardens are a reclamation not only of our country’s farmland but also of our education. Let’s think back to how the U.S. school calendar was traditionally set up: students studied fall, winter, and spring and helped with the harvest during summer’s peak season. Studying mathematics and literature was complemented with learning how to grow food. I […]

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An animal rights activist I know once told me that there is a correlation between how a farm treats its animals and how it treats its workers.  “After all,” he said, “if a farm is exploiting and abusing its workers, then they’re probably not treating their animals with respect either. And the opposite is also true—if they’re taking the time to make sure their animals live good lives, they’re probably looking out for their workers as well.” Well, I don’t know if this rule holds true across the board or not, but it certainly seems to be the case for Bowman & Landes Free Range Turkey Farm in New Carlisle, OH. Recently I drove through two hours of snowy Ohio scenery to meet up with the folks at Bowman & Landes, who gave me the grand tour of their turkey […]

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East Coast Fellow Carolina and I visited Montebello Farm, where we met Adrian Albor, a young farmer. He told us about what he learned working as a farmworker after coming to the United States from Michoacán, México. Today, he is the farm manager of 18 acres of diversified organic vegetables. Here is a vlog about Adrian of Montebello Farm.

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The Bon Appétit Management Company Fellows have just started making trips out to visit farms and colleges in Bon Appétits supply chain. Recently, we went to visit New Morning Farm in Pennsylvania and Bon Appétits cafés at American University in D.C. As such, I thought Id give a little video tour of some of the produce that college students like those at AU are eating. So here you go! Bon Appétit produce, from Farm to Fork.

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Why buy local? Bon Appétit Management Company believes there are 2 main reasons to buy local: (1) In order to support local communities and farmers, and (2) because local, seasonal food simply tastes better. A common misconception about “buying local” is that it automatically means fewer greenhouse gas emissions. However, while it’s true that there are fewer CO2 emissions from transportation when buying local food, that’s not the whole story… For more information about local food and Bon Appétit’s Eat Local Challenge, check out this vlog!