Blog: Low Carbon Diet

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Students at the University of Redlands spend a week each semester to host fun activities that raise environmental awareness and inspire action on campus. The most recent Green Week coincided with Food Day so Bon Appétit was invited to co-host an event with a coalition of environmental organizations that focused on waste and the food system. Students and staff strung 1,050 disposable to-go boxes around Hunsaker Plaza to show people how much ends up in the landfill every day on campus and the students asked people to pledge to only use to-go boxes when actually on the go.

The idea for the event was conceived when students learned that on average 5,250 disposable to-go boxes end up in the landfill each week and approximately $25,000 is spent on those boxes each semester!

I was surprised and disheartened to read comments by Thomas Keller in the New York Times that chefs’ only responsibility is to taste. “Is global food policy truly our responsibility, or in our control?” Keller asks. “I don’t think so.” I disagree, as do many others, and I am hoping that Keller’s statements were taken out of context. Chefs have an enormous power to make a difference, and they can do so without sacrificing flavor.

This month’s Well Being Challenge encourages you to choose a healthy meal that also meets a low carbon principle for at least one meal each day this month. To get started, try the below recipe that meets the seasonal and regional low carbon principle. To learn more about the nutrition principles of a low carbon diet, visit cafebonappetit.com

These days, you can’t walk into a grocery store without being exposed to a new diet: flexitarian, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, cookie diet, low-fat, cabbage soup, gluten-free, elimination, low carb…the list goes on.

But there’s one important diet that most people have never considered: the low carbon diet. Shrinking our carbon “foodprint” is just as important as shrinking our waistlines. The food system — from fertilizers to livestock, transportation, and packaging — is responsible for at least one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

This month’s Well Being Challenge encourages you to choose a healthy meal that also meets a low carbon principle for at least one meal each day this month. To get started, try the below recipe that includes a ‘super green’ seafood according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. To learn more about the nutrition principles of a low carbon diet, visit cafebonappetit.com

This month’s Well Being Challenge encourages you to choose a healthy meal that also meets a low carbon principle for at least one meal each day this month. To get started, try the below recipe that is a more locally-available version of a recipe often prepared with bananas, that are flown in from afar. To learn more about the nutrition principles of a low carbon diet, visit cafebonappetit.com

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Composting food scraps from kitchen prep is a no brainer — an easy way to recycle soil fertility. But recycling the scrapings from diners’ plates is another story. That’s why Bon Appétit at Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH, invested in a Somat Pulper, a system that grinds both pre and post-consumer food so it can be sent to a Class Two licensed municipal facility to become compost.

By Kristen Rasmussen, MS, RD For this month’s well being challenge, we encourage you to provide your body with more nutrients and fiber and decrease your carbon footprint by enjoying more plant- based proteins. Demonstrate your commitment to increasing vegetable proteins in your diet by posting photos or comments about your plant-based protein meals and experiences on our Facebook page wall. Here’s a delicious, unique recipe for you to try. Black Bean and Beet Burgers