If it’s Processed and Packaged, Skip It
Foods that are processed will have a larger carbon footprint than their raw or minimally processed alternatives. This is not only because of the energy that goes into cutting, cooking, and packaging and the box, bag, or wrapper they end up in, but also because of the additional sweeteners and preservatives that often accompany them. For example, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, mechanically (versus sun-) dried fruits, coffee, and chocolate, are all energy-intensive products. (This is as opposed to sweetening agents such as fruit, which don’t go through such extensive processing).
What You Can Do
- Try to substitute whole foods such as fruit and nuts for processed snacks and sweets. Instead of chips, eat carrots and hummus.
- Cook from scratch! Instead of purchasing hummus, buy chickpeas and tahini and blend it yourself. If you love cookies, make them at home. That’s the easiest way to understand what they contain.
- Choose the least processed alternative, especially when it comes to grains. For example, brown rice is unprocessed; white rice has been processed to have the nutritious bran removed.
- Make it count. If you’re craving chocolate, eat the least processed option — a bite of a dark chocolate bar, perhaps, instead of a handful of cookies that have cocoa mixed into them along with dozens of other ingredients.
What Bon Appétit Management Company Is Doing
As part of our founding philosophy in 1987, our chefs cook everything — including stocks, sauces, and soups — from scratch using fresh, whole, seasonal ingredients. We do not take shortcuts with cans or soup mixes. However, a small percentage of the food that we serve guests is processed and packaged, such as sweets and snack foods; we continue to try to reduce even that small amount.