I’m not being sarcastic when I say I love Bon Appétit’s food. Really folks, I’m not kidding. I enjoy their food, I agree with their business practices, and I appreciate the lovely people who work at Fribley and Leutner.
I know it’s not a popular notion, but I love our food services here at CWRU. Every day I hear complaints about how amazingly tasteless, repetitive and unenjoyable the food at Fribley or Leutner is and understand the sentiments, but I simply cannot agree. To be completely honest, I don’t think the Case Western Reserve student body appreciates what they have. Just hear me out and perhaps you’ll start to appreciate that our cafeteria food might be even better than that tasty home cooking that you left behind.
Last year I was curious about the nature of Bon Appétit. I thought it rather important that I understand how the company that provides me food on a daily basis operates. So, I did some fairly mild research. I checked out their website, looked into their meat and produce sources and snooped around the dining hall.
When I say I snooped, I merely read all the signs in Leutner. It was nothing too detailed or specific. Nonetheless, ever since then I have ranted and raved about the superiority of our meal plan because I realized that Bon Appétit is a truly wonderful company.
Since 1999, Bon Appétit has been a food company that cares about where their products come from and how their products are made, and I can’t help but respect their dedication to quality. Out of the Princeton Review’s top 12 colleges with best food, Bon Appétit provided food for three of them, so I’m not the only one acknowledging the high quality their services.
Most of the meat in our dining halls comes from within a 130 mile radius of Cleveland and our tofu comes from a producer right here in the city. The providers are sustainable and organic as often as possible, which is most of the time.
In fact, Miller Livestock Co., a major beef and pork provider for CWRU, is the first farm in Ohio to achieve the esteemed Food Alliance certification from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. Doesn’t that sound fancy and impressive? Great, I think so, too. It’s kind of a big deal.
Our vegetables come from a myriad of extraordinary farms, each one fairly local and reasonably environmentally sound. The ingredients are seasonally chosen and our beef and turkey deli meats are made in house. That’s some mighty impressive food if you think about it.
Compared to what one can buy in a grocery store, Bon Appétit uses products that are quite superior. From a quality standpoint, as well as looking to the environmental impact of the sources, Bon Appétit does a better job than most families I know in choosing responsible sources on a daily basis.
Also, think about how often your grocery store requests were followed at home and then consider how quickly the dining halls respond to comments and suggestions. If a student writes a comment on those big corkboards, it will most likely be answered and any requests a student might have are taken into account.
Although our dining halls may go through some boring slumps and have a few unsavory dishes, I think we all need to give our school some credit for choosing Bon Appétit and respect our food for what it is. Since our food is fresh, healthy and environmentally sound, I don’t mind that the coffee is a bit weak or that the oatmeal is mushy.
It’s high time that we started appreciating our food, because at the end of the day, our meal choices are responsible and that is rather impressive and well worth some small sacrifices.
Ashley Yarus is a second-year student studying chemical engineering.