Virginia Tech II

Last week, I wrote about a food waste weighing week at Virginia Tech created and implemented by Andy Sarjahani, a soon-to-be registered dietitian.

Sarjahani (that’s him pictured below) and other student volunteers weighed the waste from each Andy Sarjahani tossing meal during a week with trays and a week without. After comparing the numbers, they found that removing the trays cut cafeteria food waste by 29 percent!

Furthermore, 60 percent of the tossed food came from plate waste, what students took, but didn’t eat. The remainder stemmed from the kitchen preparing more food than was needed.

Sarjahani, who is now working and blogging on a sustainable farm in New York, found it difficult to observe whole trays and whole fruits being tossed. After sorting through tons of edible food waste, he didn’t mince words:

I think “all-you-can-eat” is really the culprit. Going trayless is like a cortisone shot—it treats the problem on the surface, but not at the root.

Sarjahani, 25, presented his findings to the school administration and heads of campus dining in early May. They must have been impressed with the report because the school will go trayless in July!

While the root problem remains intact, a cortisone shot can be quite useful.

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