Blog: Sourcing

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Farm to Fork partner Hunter Cattle Company is a multi-generation family-run farm, that was started “by accident” but has since flourished into a thriving and beloved producer in the region. Del Ferguson first ventured into raising cattle for his family. At the time, he had no idea that grass-fed beef would be desired by the community, much less marketable.  

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Generally, producing animal-based foods like beef, lamb, and dairy products creates more carbon emissions than plant-based foods like beans, legumes, and whole grains – and is why shifting to a diet centered on plants is one of the most impactful ways to combat climate change.  

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From growing to processing, transporting to storage, and managing excess food waste, each step in the food chain produces carbon emissions.   

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This Earth Day, we are flipping the switch to plants to lower our individual and collective carbon footprint! We are challenging our guests to use this Earth Day as an opportunity to consider climate-friendly alternatives throughout our cafés.

 “I was the lone ranger out there,” said Bon Appétit Founder and CEO Fedele Bauccio, speaking to how the national dialogue around food system issues has developed in the 39 years since he started the company. Fedele was on the lineup at a daylong seminar hosted by Emory University and Spelman College, in collaboration with Food Tank, the nonprofit food think tank dedicated to food system reform.

In the past two years as a Fellow, I’ve engaged hundreds of college students around food waste issues to raise awareness and inspire others to address this problem. I’ve learned and shared how Bon Appétit is constantly evolving our commitment to addressing food waste companywide. And I’ve learned about how other players in this space are taking action, both on the ground and through legislation.  

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What is the meaning of fifty cents? In today’s world, two quarters might get you a stick of gum, a postage stamp, or one small piece of fruit. Weighed against the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, fifty cents are equivalent to a little over four minutes of work. For a farmworker, however, fifty cents mean something entirely different.  

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We’re no strangers to fighting food waste at Bon Appétit – we’ve been finding ways to keep food out of landfills since we opened our doors. Our most exciting step toward fighting food waste in our kitchens was the creation of Waste Not™ in 2021, our proprietary waste tracking system created by chefs, for chefs. Now we are excited to introduce our newly upgraded companywide waste commitments, which will help us meet our broader goal of reducing food loss and waste nationally by 50% by 2030, which we first pledged to work toward in 2016.  

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While many food labels you might find in the grocery store provide insight on a farm’s environmental approach or treatment of animals (think: USDA Certified Organic or Certified Humane), few give meaningful insight on the ways farmworkers are compensated or treated. This is where programs like the Fair Food Program (FFP) and the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) come in.