We’re giving dishes with beef & dairy a climate-friendlier makeover for Low Carbon Diet Day
Palo Alto, CA (April 22, 2014) – In the years since Bon Appétit Management Company launched our Low Carbon Diet Program, food’s connection to climate change has largely become common knowledge. At the same time, more and more people are aware that cutting back on animal products through flexitarianism — whether Meatless Mondays or being “vegan before 6” — can be good for their health.
Perhaps even more Americans would be happy to forgo beef and dairy once in a while if they knew they were doing something good for the environment … and they didn’t have to give up flavor or their favorite dishes to do so.
On Thursday, April 24, for our 7th annual companywide Low Carbon Diet Day, cafés around the country will be transformed into fun culinary classrooms offering ways for guests to shrink their carbon “foodprint” via tasty alternatives to beef and dairy. Through cooking demonstrations, makeovers of popular dishes, and takeaway recipes, our culinary teams will show guests they don’t have to go entirely meatless to make their diet a climate-friendlier one.
What’s the beef with beef? Cows (and goats and sheep) are ruminant animals, which thanks to their digestive systems produce a lot of methane — a greenhouse gas that is 20 to 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide. Dishes made with beef or dairy of any kind are thus the highest carbon choices. If all Americans skipped meat and dairy just one day a week and replaced them with vegetable-based proteins, it would be the equivalent of taking 19.2 million cars off the road for one year.1 (Learn more at EatLowCarbon.org.)
We’ve reduced our own purchases of beef by 33% and cheese by 10% since launching the program — and many of the cheeseless pizzas first introduced on Low Carbon Diet Day have become beloved menu staples at our college and corporate accounts.
“This isn’t about scaring people with doom and gloom messages – that doesn’t work,” said Maisie Ganzler, vice president of strategy, who helped launch the Low Carbon Diet program. “We’re trying to show guests how, through a few tasty substitutions, they can have a positive impact on the future of our planet.”
About Bon Appétit Management Company
Bon Appétit Management Company (www.bamco.com) is an on-site restaurant company offering full food-service management to corporations, universities, and specialty venues. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Bon Appétit has more than 500 cafés in 32 states. Clients include eBay, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Art Institute of Chicago. All Bon Appétit food is cooked from scratch, including sauces, stocks, and soups. A pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs addressing local purchasing, the overuse of antibiotics, sustainable seafood, the food and climate change connection, humanely raised meat and eggs, and farmworker welfare. It has received numerous awards for its work, from organizations including the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the James Beard Foundation, Chefs Collaborative, Natural Resources Defense Council, Seafood Choices Alliance, The Humane Society of the United States, and Food Alliance.
1According to calculations by Fueleconomy.gov, an initiative of the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency