Bon Appetit-A Model to Emulate


Bon Appetit is a large food service management company servicing corporations, colleges, and universities at 400 locations in 29 states. They were a member of the Pew Commission on farm animals. The following is paraphrased from their website. Their website addresses many of the issues caused by the shortcuts used to create our industrial food system. The writer choose the following 3 issues as an example of their responsible approach to food production to encourage viewers to visit their site.

We realized that much flavor was being lost in exchange for agribusiness efficiencies and decided to begin a concerted effort to buy locally from farmers we know. Our first choice is to buy from farmers within a 150-mile radius from each of our locations.

The declining effectiveness of antibiotics against common bacterial infections is a growing crisis in human medicine. This decline stems from heavy use of these precious medicines not just in human medicines but also in agriculture. 70 percent of antibiotics used in this country are fed to farm animals that are not sick, in order to promote growth or prophylactically treat diseases caused by questionable animal husbandry practices. As a socially responsibility company, Bon Appetit is committed to helping to address the public health threat from antibiotic resistance.

As of March 2007 our chicken and turkey is raised without antibiotics and our hamburgers are made from “natural” grown chuck. While natural is not a legal designation our suppliers are committed to:

No antibiotics ever

No added growth hormones ever

No animal by products in feed ever

Humane treatment

In 2005 we realized that most eggs came from hens confined in what is known as battery cages. These barren enclosures are so restrictive that birds can hardly move, let alone engage in most natural behaviors such as nesting, foraging or even spreading their wings. Each hen is allowed a space less than the size of a standard sheet of paper. Thousands of these are stacked creating poor air quality and massive amounts of manure, which is unsafe for farm workers and a significant contributor to water, and land pollution. We have decided on third party certification and have an independent auditing firm HFAC to assure that our hens have areas to nest, dust bathe, scratch and perch. I raised hens as a kid and know they become attached to you and you to them. I can not imagine anyone eating eggs from these sources and yet this is the egg that dominates the supermarket.

While Bon Appetit food is not available to the general public, the practices they use are an excellent model for a family to adopt if interested in healthy, humanely and environmentally produced food.


One Response to “Bon Appetit-A Model to Emulate”

  1. kerstis Says:

    Availability of animal products that meet the Bon Appetite standards is currently a challenge. In our area on Delmarva I have previously reviewed two, C&J in Seaford DE and St. Brigids in Kennedyville both reports are archived under Grass Farms. The important role of pasture/ grass fed animal products to health and restoring the environment is just beginning to be realized. Lara Lutz on page 9 of Save the Bay magazine Spring 2010 points out the role of pasture in restoring Antietam Creek and refers to a study on the economics of pasture farming done by the Maryland Extension Service. Fred Kirchenmann points out the economics of a farm in Iowa which found the same economic advantage. Maybe the future of Chesapeake Bay is not so bleak after all.

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