Bon Appétit Management Company Launches Planet-Cooling Calculator

How to order up a sandwich that cools the planet: The Low Carbon Diet Calculator transforms lunch into a tool to fight global warming

Palo Alto, CA (April 7, 2008) -Three times a day, millions of Americans sink their teeth into a meal that is loaded either with risk or opportunity: our food choices can either cool down or heat up the planet. With recent science validating that our breakfasts, lunches and dinners – even our snacks – are producing 1/3 of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, food is in the crosshairs as a major cause of global warming.

Until today, there was no way to distinguish specifically which foods heat the planet and which ones don’t. Now there’s help: the Low Carbon Diet Calculator, created by food service provider Bon Appétit Management Company. On April 22 cafés around the country will roll out the calculator for public access.

The Low Carbon Diet Calculator works according to a point system, similar in concept to Weight Watchers. It’s easy to use and designed for eaters ranging from burgers-and-fries fans to farmers’ market aficionados.

The calculator allows you to “drag and drop” menu items into your virtual pan. Common favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner meals are on the menu, along with build-your-own options with vegetables, fruits, meats -even portion sizes and cooking methods can be calculated for a total score. Diners can choose from sample meals, lowering their carbon points to the minimum level possible -while still leaving room for guilty pleasures, as it’s the total of carbon dioxide emissions points on your plate that counts.

The calculator, which is free to use, is available at To use with your mobile phone, just text LCD and the food item you’re considering to ‘69866’, and discover in real time whether your bean and cheese burrito or kung pao chicken is heating the planet (standard text messaging rates apply).

If your lunch score is off the charts, but you still want that double-bacon cheeseburger, it’s your choice -email yourself your lunch meal data as a helpful reminder, and select a more planet-friendly choice like a grilled chicken sandwich or frozen-at-sea wild salmon with a seasonal vegetable salad for dinner.

You don’t have to be Al Gore to use the Low Carbon Diet calculator; you only need point, click, and feel good that your sandwich is saving the planet. You can even inspire or irritate your friends by sending a copy of your meal choices in the spirit of green-one-upmanship.

Enjoy your lunch, and fight global warming, using your daily sandwich as your weapon.


About Bon Appétit Management Company
Bon Appétit Management Co. is an onsite restaurant company offering full food service management to corporations, universities and specialty venues. Bon Appétit is committed to sourcing sustainable, local foods for all its 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. (