Bon Appétit at Penn Dining — A Sustainable Choice

November 24, 2009

Almanac -- In July, Penn welcomed Bon Appétit, recognized both for its culinary expertise and as a pioneer in environmentally sound food policies to our campus. Bon’s Appétit’s mission of “food services for a sustainable future” is delivered through its signature programs for quality, nutrition and sustainability.

Farm to Fork
In Balance
Low Fat
Seafood Watch
Well Being

The Farm to Fork program seeks to purchase as much of the food as locally as possible, sustaining both local farmers and producers as well as local businesses.  Already, only a few months after Bon Appétit’s arrival, over 20% of the food being served at Penn is provided by local farmers, bakers and companies within 150 miles of the campus.  Other initiatives include using only seafood that is sustainably raised or caught and providing shell and liquid eggs that are Certified Humane and cage-free.

With these efforts, Bon Appétit at Penn Dining is a key partner in support of the University’s Climate Action Plan. Bon Appétit’s Circle of Responsibility Program provides a wealth of resources for individual staff, faculty and students to understand the impact the food we eat has on the environment and make dietary choices that fit their goals and values.

When you visit any campus dining facility, look for the colorful menu icons that will help you make dietary choices.

Members of the Penn community can also visit the Bon Appétit at Penn Dining website ( which has advice for working professionals on a variety of topics including weight management, balancing your energy, dieting, food allergies and vegetarianism.

Take part in the Low Carbon Diet Challenge this coming January and learn how decisions as simple as choosing chicken over beef can change your environmental footprint.

Bon Appétit at Penn Dining’s registered dietitian, Terri Brownlee, can also help with questions about nutrition and healthy, sustainable food choices.
She has worked in the field of health and wellness for more than 15 years. She is available for  small group lunch-and-learn sessions at your office, or will answer your individual questions.  She can be reached by e-mail at:

Look for “Food for Your Well Being” features each month at all Penn Dining locations. October focused on sustainable seafood. Diners could sample sustainable sushi or try a meal prepared with
seafood that met the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guidelines.

In November, attention shifted to portion control. With the holidays fast approaching, many of us are concerned about over indulging on our favorite dishes. “Food for Your Well Being” can help! Visit the website or one of our dining facilities to learn strategies for understanding portion sizes.

At Penn, eating meals that are tasty, healthy and sustainable is easier than ever. Bon Appétit at Penn Dining can help you make food choices that are beneficial for both your diet and your planet.

— Marie Witt, Vice President, Business Services

Originally published in the University of Pennsylvania Almanac.


Compost collection takes place at several locations on campus, including all campus dining halls, Golkin Hall, and Joe's Cafe at Wharton.

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