Barry Estabrook on Bon Appétit

February 27, 2012

Tomatoland author Barry Estabrook rounds up the big changes announced last week by Bon Appétit:

By 2015, all of the pork the company buys will come from farmers who do not confine their sows in two-by-seven-foot gestation crates. Similarly, all of its “liquid” eggs that come to its kitchens pre-cracked and in containers will be from cage-free hens, as its in-shell eggs do now. Veal from crated calves will disappear from Bon Appétit menus, as will the small amount of foie gras it serves. “We’ve said, ‘That’s it. No more. It’s over,’” Bauccio said in an interview.

This will have a huge impact. The company buys 3,000,000 pounds of pork a year and 11 million pre-cracked eggs.

I’ve already seen a few so-called abolitionists—victims of all-or-nothing thinking—try to claim this announcement isn’t a big deal. It’s of course huge; a top food service company has closed the door on supporting several of the cruelest factory farming practices. And, as Estabrook reveals, some large-scale factory farms don’t like it one bit—and are in fact refusing to work with Bon Appétit on this initiative. Link.

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