Bon Appâ€štit teaches consumers about its food
Bon Appâ€štit is taking a pro-active approach in educating its customers about the food it serves.
“Can the Oceans keep up with the Hunt?”-a documentary about the state of water ecosystems and disappearing fish-will be shown in Center Court’s Blue Room from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday for Bon Appâ€štit’s “Save Seafood” event.
Accordingly, Bon Appâ€štit follows Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood watch guidelines, which recommend which fish are the best seafood dining options.
The guidelines state that consumers should avoid buying fish that come from “sources that are over-fished and/or fished or farmed in ways that harm other marine life.”
Some of the fish the guidelines say to avoid include shark and swordfish.
According to Rick Turner, director of operations, Bon Appâ€štit offers fish depending on the season and the supply, even though the University’s geographical location makes it more expensive to provide an array of different fish.
Marc Foley, executive chef at Bon Appâ€štit, noted that all dining services, such as the Village and Center Court, offer at least one type of fish. The most common fish offered are salmon, tuna and shrimp.
“In terms of price and value, unfortunately fish is expensive, but the price we offer it at is an extremely good offer,” said Turner.
Bon Appâ€štit: From sea to land
Health experts at Bon Appâ€štit believe that the ingredients they use to prepare meals contribute to healthy eating.
Chefs only use non-hydrogenated canola oil in fryers to reduce the amount of trans-fatty acid, a saturated fat which may contribute to an increased risk of heart attacks. Trans-fatty acids also raise LDL cholesterol levels, the bad type of cholesterol.
“We changed our frying oil over to different brand. It has zero transfer fat. It’s actually a healthier option,” said Foley.
For the meat-eaters, Bon Appâ€štit tries to buy from more organic cattle farms.
According to Turner, Bon Appâ€štit uses, whenever possible, grass fed cows, which have been shown to be healthier than cows raised on wheat. They also place higher preference on antibiotic-free beefs and turkey.
“We [are] trying to get more grass-fed beef. We try to offer [them on] special menu[s] in the Village or Center Court. We are trying to expand it to other outlet[s] whenever possible,” said Foley. “Grass-fed beef supposedly adds [a] chemical reaction in the animal itself and gives off mega free fats.”
In addition, Bon Appâ€štit produces most of its sauces, muffins and hamburger patties from scratch instead of from frozen or preprocessed materials. MSG is never allowed in the preparation of foods.
Since 2003, Bon Appâ€štit management has committed to purchase only chickens that are free of non-therapeutic human antibiotics. Farmers often use feed additives to promote a slightly faster growth rate in animals that are often housed in crowded and unsanitary conditions.The new policy came about as a result of customer demand and growing concern that consumption of antibiotic-consuming chickens would create antibiotic resistance in humans.
The food safety decision originated in the debate between ranchers and researchers on the pros and cons of using hormone-injected chickens. In 2003, Congress introduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which allows the Food and Drug Administration to withdraw approval for the use of seven classes of antibiotics as feed additives, including penicillin.
According to the study done by the World Health Organization, the absence of antibiotic feed additives does not impede the safety of the produce.
Bon Appâ€štit began as a catering company in San Francisco. The Palo Alto-based company now offers food services and catering services to more than 100 universities and companies throughout the country. The company signed an exclusive contract with Washington University in 1998.
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