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In 2002, we implemented an initiative to remove from all of our cafés, milk that came from cows that were treated with rGBH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone). And, for the most part we have been able to do this except for some gaps on the East where milk free of rGBH just isn’t available in the quantities we need.   When we implemented this initiative, we started a discussion with representatives from Dean Foods, the largest milk producer in the US and our main supplier.  Our “ask” was for s solutions to fill those gaps so that all of our guests across the country could enjoy the benefit of a healthier milk product.  Good discussion. Some surprising interest. Unfortunately no follow up.  Today, we still have some gaps and we are still pushing. I read recently that Dean Food has opened […]

I have, for the last many years, been on personal and professional quest to help preserve regional flavors by supporting farmers’ markets and encouraging local purchasing.  When I say flavors here, I refer specifically to the vanishing diversity of ingredients that have been replaced over the last 50 years or so by those great looking but tasteless varieties that have been pushed on us by agribusiness. Perfect example: the red delicious apple that has nothing delicious about it. Most recently I came across a list of 700 (!) or so food ingredients that are claimed to be disappearing from the American landscape.  This list is the result of a project called RAFT (Rediscovering American Food Traditions) created by a coalition of well respected organizations that include Slow Foods America, Chefs Collaborative, Native Seeds/Research  (  Amongst those 700 ingredients was one […]

Our Eat Local Challenge was featured on the Osgood File radio show. It was a great piece including nice commentary from author Michael Pollan. However, they got one fact wrong. Charles Osgood comments that we had to cut all sugar from today’s menus. Not true. Our Ohio team found local beet sugar. It’s from the Michigan Sugar company which is 121 miles away from Oberlin College. Eckerd College also found a sugar company, Florida Crystals, but they aren’t using the sugar. Instead they are buying brown rice from the sustainably-oriented company. Click Here to Listen to Eat Local Challenge on the Osgood File

The Governor Michael Easley of North Carolina has noted Bon Appetit’s Eat Local Challenge… Download letter_from_governor.pdf

Today is our second annual Eat Local Challenge. Last year’s Challenge was a huge success but this year’s menus are unbelievable. Our chefs have really gone above and beyond. The event requires each cafe to serve a meal made completely of local ingredients. EVERYTHING must be from within 150 miles of the kitchen. That means to make a sandwich, the chef not only has to find a local baker (or make the bread him/herself), the wheat has to be grown locally, the yeast must be local, etc. Then, if they want to use mayo, they’ve got to find local eggs and oil. You get the picture. The only exception is salt. Just scanning the menus, I’ve already learned things about the local bounty in different areas. For example, Bon Appetit at Duke University is serving local mahi mahi. I had […]

Stay tuned for our blog to start October 3rd with an update on our Eat Local Challenge.