Food

food

Bon Appétit chefs start with food that is alive with flavor—like tomatoes grown without pesticides and ripened on the vine. And since we cook everything from scratch, there’s no need for us to use flavor enhancers like MSG, preservatives, and trans fats.
Buying 100% locally is not yet totally practical, but Farm to Fork is an important step that is helps people eat well and encourages the well-being of our communities.

In 2011, Whitman College was named a Real Food Pioneer by the Real Food Challenge. Whitman was among the first to commit to serving 20% real food by 2020 and participated in the trial of the Real Food Calculator, widely used by other colleges and universities. 

Farm to Fork is a Bon Appétit initiative that reflects our commitment to buying local produce and to sustainable farming practices.
For our cafés, we:

  • Purchase seasonal and regional ingredients from local small farmers and artisans within a 150-mile radius of our kitchen
  • Prepare and serve produce often within 48 hours of harvest
  • Buy directly from farmers who use sustainable farming practices
  • Support farmers who do not use pesticides, hormones and antibiotics
  • Support farmers who grow heirloom vegetables, rather than genetically modified produce

View Whitman’s Farm to Fork vendors here.

The Bon Appétit Management Company Low Carbon Diet is the first national program to highlight the significant connections between food and climate change and take steps to reduce our contribution to the problem.

In April 2007, based on research gathered by the Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation, we announced operational initiatives to minimize our carbon impact significantly over five years. We have not only met our original commitment, but strengthened it.

To reduce our emissions from the highest-impact areas, we have:

  • Reduced purchasing of high carbon foods
    • Beef—reduced by 33% (goal 25%)
    • Cheese—reduced by 10%
    • Tropical fruit—reduced by 50%
    • Processed sweets, snacks and chocolate—reduced by 10%
  • Reduced wasteful practices
    • Food waste—reduced by 30% (goal 25%)
    • Of the remaining food waste, 40% is diverted to composting or to be used as pig feed
    • To-go containers—reduced total usage by at least 10%
  • Focused on country of origin
    • Air freight—eliminated 90% of air-freighted seafood (goal 100%)
    • Source all of our meat, vegetables, non-tropical fruit and bottled water from continental North America
  • Focused on education
    • Hold an annual Low Carbon Diet Day celebration aimed at increasing awareness about how food choices affect climate change

Find more Low Carbon Diet information here.

Do your part to understand the decisions made by Bon Appétit.

  • Our chickens and turkeys are raised without the use of antibiotics as a routine feed additive.
  • Our hamburgers are made from natural ground beef with no antibiotics or added growth hormones.
  • Our seafood purchases follow the sustainability guidelines of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.
  • Our menus are written based on seasonality and availability of regional fresh produce.
  • All our shell eggs are produced cage-free and are Certified Humane.
  • We serve milk and yogurt from cows not treated with artificial Bovine Growth Hormone.
  • We offer a wide variety of ethically aligned coffee choices.

Bon Appétit is always open to considering possible increases in efficiency and appreciate feedback.  You can always work with them to accomplish goals, such as with the Take Back the Tap campaign.

In 2011, Whitman and Bon Appétit stopped selling bottled water on campus. This was a great success for the wide coalition of staff, students, and faculty who had worked for over a year on the Take Back the Tap campaign. This effort was part of a broader, nation-wide movement of colleges and universities who working to reduce excess waste by preventing the sale of bottled beverages. In addition to being costly, bottled water requires tremendous amounts of fossil fuels to produce and transport, and approximately 75% of plastic water bottles end up in landfills each year. With support from the College, the Take Back the Tap campaign was successfully passed, and Whitman was the second school in Washington State to make this important change.