You sure you’re done?

Food waste at colleges (or any all-you-can eat cafeteria) can reach upwards of one pound per person per meal. That’s why I’m always excited to hear about campus efforts to slow the taking-too-much phenomenon.

Rutgers University dining services posted a sign asking students to take only what they’ll eat. But JP Kemmick, a graduating senior at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., has done them one better:

He and other students created a program called “Are you Going to Eat That?” in which he and others in the group stood at the trash cans in the cafeteria, eating food off diners’ plates to point out how much they wasted.

While participating students are taking a bit of a health risk, that kind of in-your-face awareness will make students’ recognize their food waste. The same tactic could be used more safely to collect wasted food for to compost or feed animals.

Either way, a little guilt can be a powerful tool. And I love a group that targets food waste while their name reminds me of my practical, omnivorous grandpa.

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