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Bon App and Waste

October 27, 2016 at 11:32 am
By Amy Roach

Bon Appetit is more than just a food service company for Carleton.  It is also a company that is looking to reduce the total amount of waste that we produce collectively as an institution.  They specifically look at economically beneficial ways to reduce food waste. Based on my interview with Katie McKenna, the manager of Bon App for Carleton, I compiled a list of some of their major waste reduction initiatives.

Waste Reduction Efforts

Mug Club
    If you bring your own mug to Sayles, you can get a discount on your coffee or tea, and if you download the app, every 10th purchase is free! Bon App is currently trying to expand mug club and have mugs available at the register for people to use in case they forget their own cups. If you have mugs that you don’t use anymore, think about donating them to Bon App!

Reusable plates
    Bon App has ordered melamine plates, like the ones in the dining hall, and is going to use those instead of the compostable plates if you are eating in Sayles.

Food Recovery Network
    Students collect leftovers from the dining 5 days a week and bring the leftovers to end users in the Northfield and Faribault area, such as the Alternative Learning Center and Whispers of Hope.  The items that cannot be reutilized, such as meat products and the daily specials, are recovered.

Imperfectly Delicious Produce (IDP)

    This is a program that was started by Bon App’s waste specialist, Claire Cummings.  The idea behind it is to put to use produce items that would otherwise be thrown out because, aesthetically, they are not fit to be sold in grocery stores.  With the IDP, misshapen produce, or tomatoes with blemishes on them are being used to cook our meals instead of being thrown out.

Buying in Bulk
    Bon App has tried to buy in bulk as much as possible to reduce the smaller, individual packets.  For example, Bon App puts ketchup out in the big containers as opposed to having individual packets to reduce the overall waste produced.

Napkins on tables
    Studies have shown that when the napkins are on the table, people take a napkin as needed.  Whereas, if the napkins are on the counter, people take a huge stack and end up throwing them all out in the end.  By switching to this set-up, Bon App has saved a lot of money and waste.

Dining Hall
    Bon App has been trying to reduce food waste by batch cooking throughout the meal period, so they make the food as needed.  They also now have tasting spoons at each station to let students try the food before they take it.  Bon App is hoping this will reduce the amount of students that take food and then waste it because they don’t like it.

We are so lucky to have a food service company that is looking to reduce their waste in every way possible, but they can only go so far.  They have done their part, and now it is up to the students, staff and faculty to look for ways to reduce their individual waste.

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