It’s healthy, it’s stealthy, and it’s what’s for lunch in your cafeteria
(Palo Alto, Calif. — March 7, 2007) According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 65 percent of adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese. Growing portion sizes and “empty” calories are major contributors to expanding waistlines and to health complications including heart diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure. A common approach in the food industry is to place tough decisions—like portion size, avoidance of fatty foods and inclusion of more fruits and vegetables—in the hands of the individual. However, recent studies conclude that diners have difficulty assessing how much they actually eat or should be eating. Without guidance, it is easy to mindlessly clear a large plateful of high-calorie food and negatively affect one’s health.
As a leading restaurant company with cafés in corporations, colleges and universities, and specialty venues nationwide, Bon Appétit Management Company is challenging this approach and assuming responsibility for the well-being of its guests with its triple bottom line approach of healthy, delicious and sustainable. In all 400 restaurants and cafés around the country, the company is using healthy cooking techniques combined with reasonable portion sizes and sustainable sourcing to positively influence the daily food choices of diners.
Launched March 1, 2007, Bon Appétit’s healthy cooking initiative emphasizes the use of fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains as featured ingredients, utilizes “stealth nutrition” to camouflage healthy choices in everyday food preparation, and encourages guests to make healthy choices through ease of access and appealing presentation. Portion sizes are based on USDA MyPyramid recommendations, and high fructose corn syrup and trans-fats are banned from house-made foods.
“Americans need help with healthy eating; our chefs are stretching the bounds of their creativity to help our guests help themselves,” said Marc Zammit, director of culinary development for Bon Appétit Management Company. “We believe that these wholesome, flavorful options in reasonable portion sizes will encourage thoughtful food choices.”
Despite daily announcements about trans-fat bans and the advantages of eating local and organic foods, public health advocates say that access to healthy foods remains a struggle for busy Americans. Through the healthy cooking initiative, Bon Appétit is making it easy for diners to enjoy wholesome, delicious food in the café at work, in the dining hall at school, in museums, and even at the ballpark.
What does this look like? Try brown rice or buckwheat soba instead of white rice to accompany an authentic Thai stir-fry; aguas frescas made from organic, local, seasonal fruit juice in place of soda; a spinach-stuffed turkey burger on an artisan whole grain bun with a side of roasted sweet potato wedges in lieu of a conventional burger and fries.
Meanwhile, the Bon Appétit chefs will continue to source seasonal products from local producers, ensuring not only healthful meals for guests, but also support for local farmers in the community.
About Bon Appétit Management Company
Bon Appétit Management Co. is an on-site restaurant company offering full food service management to corporations, universities and specialty venues. Bon Appétit is committed to sourcing sustainable, local foods for all cafés throughout the country. A pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs with Environmental Defense, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, the Humane Society of the United States, and other leading conservation organizations. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Bon Appétit has more than 400 cafés in 28 states, including Oracle Corporation, American University and the Getty Center. www.bamco.com