Dunkel ’15 Gains Appreciation for Sustainability

Tim Dunkel ’15 – It is hard to believe that I have a little time left of being the Wabash Community Garden intern. This opportunity that I have had was only made possible by the generosity of the Lilly Endowment and friends of Wabash.  As part of my internship, I work alongside with the new head chef of Bon Appétit, Jason Anderson, and the general manager, Mary Jo Johnston.

Tim Dunkel ’15 at the Community Garden.

When I first started working with Bon Appétit, I was unaware of the dedication that they have towards sustainability and making the world a better place to live in. The main project I have been working on with Bon Appétit has been their Farm to Fork initiative. Farm to Fork is a program that promotes buying more locally. Buying more locally reduces the “food miles,” which are the distance food travels from harvest to table. This program helps reduce air pollution, water contamination, traffic congestion, and the need for oil, but most importantly, this program helps small, locally owned businesses, and many of these businesses are family owned.

Chef Jason Anderson’s dream is to one day have over 50 percent of their food be locally grown and produced, and I have been a part of helping him try to achieve this goal. We are planning to visit Hodgson Mill, where they produce multiple all natural or organic products. Visiting Hodgson Mill will allow us to see their facilities, how they make some of their products, and we will be able to learn more about their business. Hodgson Mill, which is located in Effingham, IL, will help Bon Appétit buy more locally produced goods, and will allow the Bon Appétit chefs to make freshly baked goods for the Wabash students.

The most important thing that working with Bon Appétit has taught me is that living humanely and acting responsibly can be the foundation for any business. Bon Appétit lives humanely because they strive to achieve the goal of having fresh and healthy food that taste delicious for Wabash’s students and faculty. They also act responsibly because they have realized that they can make a difference in changing the world for the better by practicing and promoting sustainability. Bon Appétit has taught me that a business can achieve success, and can also be committed to sustainable actions and helping people live a healthier and better life.

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