firm favors antiobiotic-free poultry,
cage-free eggs, rBST-free milk
Food-service innovator Bon Appetit Management Company has made
commitments to purchase cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free turkey
and significant amounts of local and regional foods for its 190
cafes in 26 states. Cage-free eggs will be phased in to the sites
in the next 12 months, with the eventual goal of having all eggs
from uncaged birds.
Bon Appetit, which serves 55 million meals a year, made its move
on antibiotic-free turkey meat based on its existing policy for
chicken, with the goal of reducing antibiotic use in poultry. All
of its cafes served 100 percent locally grown foods from within
150 miles of the serving point on an Eat Local Challenge day last
To secure rBST-free milk in the upper Midwest, the company revived
a plant in Bismark, North Dakota, that had been closed for two years.
Great Plains Dairy Partners, LLC, took over the dairy and revived
its Deja Moo brand, thanks to Bon Appetit’s contract to buy
its milk for its regional school and corporate food service accounts.
Union persists to launch $4 million project
featuring family farm life, an experienced chef and food with a
There were set-backs along the way and there are logistical hurdles
to work out, but sometime this spring groups of farmers across the
country will begin marketing their crops, livestock and value-added
products directly to an upscale eatery in the nation’s capitol.
The business’s buyers are starting with Farmers Union members
to source their pantry. Larry Breech, president of the Pennsylvania
Farmers Union, told NewFarm.org that he is optimistic that his members
will have excellent marketing opportunities at Agraria, being the
easternmost NFU state chapter. He says demand is strong for farmer-food
themed restaurants that deliver on top quality with style.
Consumer Reports cites
organic produce benefits
by crop, type of food and marketplace venue
In its February 2006 issue, Consumer Reports® magazine outlines
the best bargains in organic food. It says new studies show that
by eating organic food, “you can greatly reduce your exposure
to chemicals found in conventionally produced foods.” The
coverage considers the “dirty dozen” crops where USDA
figures show the highest levels of pesticide residue as clearly
worth the average 50 percent premium.
The magazine says benefits in meat and dairy are clear, but premiums
are higher, while buying organic seafood and health care products
are not recommended because organic standards are vague. Shoppers
are given a list of ways to cut costs, including “go local”
and in season at farmers’ markets, join a Community Supported
Agriculture (CSA) farm operation and use internet guides for price
comparisons. Full story by subscription.
Short US organic food supply,
creates incentives for increasing imports
A London-based food industry source cites short supply in the US
dairy and orange juice markets as major contributors to a huge organic
food trade gap: $1.5 billion in imports to the US, and only $150
million in exports. Unless more US farmers begin the organic conversion
process and work at securing markets at home, processors and marketers
will turn overseas, according to the Dec. 19, 2005 story by Organic