Credit: Fedele Bauccio
Gratitude Gourmet readers know that Fedele Bauccio, CEO of Bon Appétit Management Company, is my Hero.
Fedele's company was the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) 2009 Innovations Review Food and Beverage Innovator, recognized for reducing the environmental and carbon footprint and Winner of the National Resource Defense Council's (NRDC) 1st Annual Growing Green Awards.
Fedele has written a wonderful February 2013 Sustainability Editorial called: Redefining Sustainability - or Practicing What We Preach. His Editorial is a must-read for those concerned about our food policies, health, farm worker treatment, humane animal conditions, antibiotics ... and our Future.
The article link is here: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/SUS.2013.9900
Please share with your colleagues, friends, families, communities, and policymakers. Thank you.
Mari-Lyn Harris, Founder Food 4 Social Change, interviewed me about why I founded Gratitude Gourmet, and you can listen to the Podcast here.
Thank you very much, Mari-Lyn!
Credit: Washington Post
Please see this latest article from the Washington Post called: 2012 hottest year on record in contiguous U.S., NOAA
Gratitude Gourmet was founded in May 2008 due to the fact that reducing meat consumption would significantly reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions. (18% Greenhouse Gases are from Animal Agriculture)
Also a portion of this Washington Post article states:
"In the United States, a combination of high temperatures and dry conditions last year took a serious toll on the nation’s agricultural sector. NOAA’s Karl noted that the Midwest had been relatively wet for several years, which had curbed the impact of warmer temperatures.
In 2012, he said, “both the day and the nighttime temperatures were breaking their all-time records,” and that combined with drier conditions amounted to “a double whammy.”
The warmest March on record meant vegetation levels were 25 percent higher than normal that month, but many of those crops dried up because 39 percent of the United States experienced severe or extreme drought in 2012."
Many Gratitude Gourmet readers have already acted and continue to act beyond the call of duty.
Please share how you're acting on our Facebook Page.
We wanted to thank you for your support of Gratitude Gourmet.
Since we launched in May 2008, we've featured news on sustainable food policy, science, health and inspiring entrepreneurs, and fun events and giveaways.
We've also received a great response on own fair trade chocolate line & healthy food snack boxes launched last year. Thank you for your great feedback and support along the way, including your Facebook comments!
We hope our Gratitude Gourmet news has provided helpful food perspectives for you and your communities. Our tagline from the start has been 'Fun, Sustainable Lifestyle' and that's the theme we've worked to maintain.
Would you like to see additional story ideas and themes? Have a favorite Thanksgiving Veggie Recipe you'd like to share? Please leave a comment on Facebook and let us know. Thanks and we wish you a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving! :)
John Robbins - Photo: M Vincent
John Robbins, Author of Diet for a New America, spoke at Stanford University yesterday October 24, 2012 and discussed his book's positive impact on his father's illness, the fact that Climate Change unfortunately wasn't discussed in the US presidential debates, and California's Prop 37 Right to Know.
Highlights are below, as well as a follow-on Stanford Farm Bill discussion and Scientific Feedback I received from a Scientist and MIT alum at a large pharmaceutical company regarding GMOs.
When John's father, founder of the Baskin Robbins ice cream chain, was dying from Diabetes complications, his doctor told him that he should read Diet for a New America. At that time, the doctor did not know the Author and Father were related. His father then followed the book's advice and lived for 18 more years.
John Robbins also touched on the fact that Climate Change unfortunately was not mentioned in the US presidential debates. (I agree.) He also mentioned that the planet and all life on Earth are being affected and food is a large part of greenhouse gas emissions, more than transportation.
As many Gratitude Gourmet readers know. this fact and connection between Animal Agriculture and Greenhouse Gas Emissions is why I founded Gratitude Gourmet in May 2008.
Stanford Food Bill Discussion Photo: M Vincent
As to the Yes on Prop 37 Right to Know initiative, John mentioned that "the GMO industry wants to keep you ignorant - Ignorance is subservience - subservience to Monsanto and their agenda" and "we're going to pass Prop 37. " The Stanford audience enthusiastically clapped.
John's keynote was followed by Farm Bill Renewal Panel discussion including Buzz Thompson, Stanford Professor of Law and Co-Director Woods Institute of the Environment, Karl Hamerschlag, Environmental Working Group, Jon Scholl President, American Farmland Trust, and Michele Simon, President Eat Drink Politics. The bill is very complex to say the least, and here are a few points which were mentioned: There is a massive disconnect between the Farm Bill and Public Health needs. It's focused on the meat and processed-food-centric diet, however the ADA says that half of our plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables. Right now, the Farm Bill only includes a small sliver of a plate's recommended fruits and vegetables.
John Robbins suggested that a tax be levied on unhealthy foods to subsidize healthy foods, i.e. a tax on white bread to subsidize whole grain breads etc. Intriguing idea.
The Panel members at the end each gave one point that the audience should take with them, and they are:
- Go to the newly-launched website: Foodpolicyaction.org to see how your legislators voted
- Get Political
- Vote with your Dollars
- Share your opinions with people and family most important to you
- Go Vote & Go Eat.
Yes on Prop 37 Right to Know Supporters
I also met a scientist at a large pharmaceutical company and MIT alum, who gave a scientific explanation regarding GMO risks. This person asked to be kept Anonymous.
"I work in the pharmaceutical industry as a scientist and thus am very familiar with genetic engineering. We use it to engineer cell lines to produce the protein biologicals we engineer as medicines, such as antibodies. It is a common and well known concept that the species that one produces those proteins in matters very much, ie, if you take a single gene and express it in various species of cell lines, you will not get the same final protein due to something called post translational modifications. For example, the protein may have parts of it cut off, it may be folded differently, different phosphorylations may occur, or glycosylations (sugars) will get added on in different patterns. Sometimes those differences have little effect, and sometimes those effects are quite huge - you just don't know until you test it. This is what a lot of geneticists fail to convey when talking about genetic engineering. Sure, when you move DNA from species to another, that DNA is all made of the same nucleotides that exists in all species and you'll get the same string of amino acids resulting from it. But moving a gene from one species to another will not result in the exact same protein getting expressed. This is why our stuff has to go through clinical trials and post market surveillance, and rightly so. But the FDA requires no testing of our food which utilizes similar technologies." - Anonymous, scientist at a large pharmaceutical company and MIT alum
As Editor of Gratitude Gourmet, I urge Californians to Vote Yes on 37 - Because we have the right to know what's in our food.
Learn more on the Yes on 37 Website: http://www.carighttoknow.org/
Bon Appétit Management Company, an on-site Palo Alto, CA-based restaurant company offering full food-service management to corporations, universities, and specialty venues with more than 400 cafés in 31 states has announced a Groundbreaking Animal Welfare Policy in conjunction with the Human Society of the United States (HSUS) that says no more gestation crates and battery cages.
Bon Appétit Management Company has been a pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies by developing programs addressing local purchasing, the overuse of
antibiotics, sustainable seafood, cage-free eggs, the connection between food and climate change, and, most recently, farmworker welfare and has received numerous awards for its work from organizations such as the James Beard Foundation, Chefs Collaborative, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Seafood Choices Alliance, The Humane Society of the United States, and Food Alliance.
Per Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States “Once again Bon Appétit sets a benchmark that the rest of the food-service industry should strive to meet...We hope this announcement will inspire others to follow Bon Appétit’s forward-thinking lead.”
In addition to other socially responsible practices, the company has used exclusively cage-free shell (whole) eggs since 2005 and endorsed legislation to outlaw gestation crates (eight states have now passed such laws). It has also fought against the routine use of antibiotics in farm animals, both to safeguard their efficacy in humans and to end
the factory-farm conditions they enable.
As part of the new policy, Bon Appétit is:
● Requiring that all pork it serves — currently 3 million pounds annually — be produced without gestation crate confinement systems, using higher-welfare group housing systems instead.
● Switching all of its pre-cracked (liquid) eggs — currently 11 million eggs annually — from hens confined in barren battery cages to hens living in cage-free farms, as it already does for shell eggs.
● Ramping up efforts to seek out the most responsible meat, poultry, and egg producers — those who have received one of the four highest animal-welfare certifications
Bon Appétit will also entirely eliminate foie gras (livers of force-fed ducks) and veal from calves confined in crates from its menus. All of these important reforms will be phased in by the end of 2015.
The company will also continue to offer and promote vegetarian options daily as part of its Low Carbon Diet initiative (introduced in 2007).
“I have never forgotten the terrible things I saw when touring factory farms,” said Fedele Bauccio, cofounder and CEO of Bon Appétit Management Company. From 2004 to 2006 Bauccio served on the prestigious Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, which issued a landmark report calling for an end to gestation crate, battery cage, and veal crate confinement of farm animals. “We’ve been asking the industry to do the right thing, but we can’t wait anymore. We have to send the message that these practices are unacceptable. If the supply doesn’t catch up by our deadline, we’ll do what we have to — even if that means cutting back on bacon.”
Bon Appétit will continue to work with the most responsible meat and poultry producers to pursue Animal Welfare Approved, Food Alliance, Humane Farm Animal Care, or Global Animal Partnership certification of their animal welfare practices. These four programs have standards that not only prohibit such cruel practices as gestation crates
and battery cages, but also require animals to be allowed to engage in their natural behaviors.
Bon Appétit vows that by 2015, at least 25% of its meat, poultry, and egg purchases companywide will be sourced from producers that meet one of these four certifications. The company has always encouraged the best farms amongst its suppliers to get the recognition they deserve. This announcement sets an important new baseline for the
minimum standards it will accept.