Blog: Current Affairs

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Of the 600,000 food products sold in U.S. supermarkets, 80% have added sugar. By 2050, 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes. Those are just a few of the sobering soundbites from Fed Up, a powerful new film that Bon Appétit is proud to support and which promises to change the conversation about diet and exercise in America.

Every year, as our holiday thank-you to our clients, the Bon Appétit Management Company makes a donation on their behalf to a food-related nonprofit. Last year, it was Wholesome Wave, which helps bring healthful, locally grown fruits and vegetables to low-income families. This year’s partner is the Farmer-Veteran Coalition, which assists recent military veterans in using their many relevant skills to become a new generation of young farmers. We chose the Farmer-Veteran Coalition because it is working to fill two very urgent needs. At the end of this month, all American troops will have been withdrawn from Iraq. They and other U.S. military veterans are returning home to an already tough job market, and as NPR recently reported, they often have a tougher time finding employment than civilians. And although you won’t see ads on Craigslist for farmers, America has […]

Most people — regardless of how you feel personally about transgenic, or genetically engineered (GE), foods — would agree that we all have a right to make informed choices. Polls show that the majority of Americans (some surveys say up to 90%) believe foods containing GE ingredients should be labeled as such, and Bon Appétit agrees.

Recently at Seattle University, Bon Appétit Management Company and Slow Food Seattle cosponsored a free showing of the new documentary Vanishing of the Bees, which was directed by George Langworthy and Maryam Heinen and narrated by actress Ellen Page. An astonishing 350 people attended the showing and the panel discussion with local beekeepers that followed.

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Peter Coclanis argued in the Wall Street Journal that “American food is much safer than you think.” He is right in that that system only (italics mine) kills eight people a day on average, and that they are the weak members of our herd: babies, the elderly, the sick. He seems to think some human suffering is an acceptable price of doing business. Too bad it’s one that the food industry doesn’t actually pay.

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The conditions that farmworkers face in the everyday course of trying to do their jobs are grueling, often dangerous, and sometimes even abusive. It’s the age-old “if a tree falls in the forest” riddle: if these problems are invisible to most Americans, do they really exist? The answer is yes, of course they do. And I am proud to have worked on a 65-page report about farmworker employment issues that documents them.