Low Carbon Diet Day, April 14: You’ve changed your light bulbs – now change your lunch!

Consumers are getting savvier about how their food choices affect the planet. Through its fourth annual Low Carbon Diet Day, Saint Joseph's College's food services provider, Bon Appétit, wants to help those who have changed their lightbulbs to now change their lunches. On Thursday, April 14, Bon Appétit, a pioneer in food services that address climate change, will once again make significant menu changes at the college's Bon Appétit café to persuade diners about the importance of eating low carbon. The public is invited to lunch 11:00 am to 1:30 pm, and the cost is $8.

The food system is responsible for one-third of global greenhouse emissions. We get three chances a day to reduce its negative impact. At Saint Joseph's College, chefs will serve foods that help illustrate Bon Appétit's "Top 5 Low Carbon Diet Tips":

1. You Bought It, You Eat It - Don't Waste Food: Not only does wasted food represent wasted energy from growing, harvesting, and producing it, but food in landfills emits methane gas as it breaks down.
2. Make "Seasonal and Regional" Your Food Mantra: Regionally procured food is less likely to have been air-freighted to get to you, and usually tastes better.
3. Mooove Away From Beef and Cheese: Cows and other ruminant animals emit harmful methane gas during their natural digestive process, so we've told beef burgers to hoof.
4. Stop Flying Fish and Fruit - Don't Buy Air-Freighted Food: Seafood that was frozen-at-sea and locally procured fruit are best choices.
5. If It's Processed and Packaged, Skip It: Processing and packaging consume huge amounts of energy and water.

"Low Carbon Diet Day gives my team a chance to show off our creativity in the service of something bigger than ourselves," said chef Christian Bassett from Bon Appétit. "We're passionate about this campaign and are committed to helping people think more consciously about what they eat."

To highlight its commitment to daily low-carbon dining, Bon Appétit is also kicking off a Facebook contest, Low Carbon Diet Every Day. Starting April 14, they are challenging its guests to find and select an item on the menu that matches the above tips, take a picture of their plate, and upload the photo to Facebook with a description of what makes their meal climate-friendly. The correct answers will be entered into a random drawing for the chance to win great prizes.

Bon Appétit Management Company (www.bamco.com) is a restaurant company offering full food-service management to corporations, universities, and specialty venues. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Bon Appétit has more than 400 cafés in 31 states, including Saint Joseph's College, and is committed to sourcing sustainable, local foods. A pioneer in environmentally-sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs addressing local purchasing, the overuse of antibiotics, sustainable seafood, cage-free eggs, the connection between food and climate change, and, most recently, farm worker welfare. The company has received numerous awards for its work from such organizations as Natural Resources Defense Council, Seafood Choices Alliance, The Humane Society of the United States, and Food Alliance.

Consumers can easily take a low carbon approach in their own kitchens: check out www.eatlowcarbon.org for tips on how to eat low carbon every day.

April 7, 2011
Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail cdaniels@sjcme.edu