Next Thursday, April 20, Bon Appétit will celebrate Earth Day with free samples given out at Marvin Plaza.

According to an email from Amy Jackson, Macalester’s Catering Director, “Every year, U.S. farmers discard more than 6 billion pounds of produce because they’ve been told it’s too small, too big, too crooked, or just too ugly to sell – even if it’s perfectly flavorful and safe to eat.”

Bon Appétit looks to do their part in resolving this problem through their Imperfectly Delicious Produce (IDP) program. IDP takes fresh, nutritious foods that don’t meet the “beauty standards” set forth by the industry and uses them in soups, stir-fried dishes and salads.

According to Jackson, “By rescuing cosmetically challenged food from going to landfills, we are able to conserve the resources that went into growing and processing that food, and also prevent the greenhouse gas emissions that result from fresh food decomposing in a landfill.”

Bon Appétit’s table on Marvin Plaza will, weather permitting, feature information on the IDP program, samples of roasted carrot and carrot greens salads. Additional, there will be more details on how Bon Appétit is trying to save imperfect produce. A Produce Photo Booth will be present, where Earth Day participants can take photos with some produce that defies industry beauty norms.

Are you going off campus for Earth Day (or any day)? Did you know that you can order bag lunches and group pack-outs from Bon Appétit online to save time? These bagged lunches are in place of a meal swipe. If some members of your group are not on a meal plan, payment, often in the form of a foapal number, is necessary.

The bagged lunch choices consist of a variety of sandwiches, including peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese with lettuce, tomato, mayo and mustard, and a vegetarian option. All lunches come with a choice of soda, sparkling water or juice, as well as chips and a piece of fruit. For group lunches, options also include the “sunrise meal pack,” which includes bagels, cream cheese, peanut butter and a granola bar, amongst other items. If students want to build their own sandwiches, the “deli meal pack” contains a platter of deli meats and cheeses, white and wheat bread and a variety of vegetables.

Bagged lunches can also be purchased with aux points or cash/credit for $6.50. To place a bagged lunch order for individuals or groups, please use the following link: http://macalester.cafebonappetit.com/catering/

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