Trayless Time of Year

Sad as it may be, the summer is coming to a close. And that means school year is fast approaching, if not already here.

On this tab, I’ve been tracking the colleges that have removed trays from all-you-can eat cafeterias in an effort to reduce food waste. Happily, the announcements have been coming fast and furious this summer and I’ve had a hard time keeping up.

In the coming weeks, I will try to get the list more up to date. In the meantime, know that the University of Minnesota, UNLV and Virginia Tech are going trayless this fall.

As I wrote about last month, food service provider ARAMARK considered the topic this summer. After finding that traylessness cut food waste by 25 to 30 percent, the food company expects that more than half of its 500 schools will go trayless this school year.

photo by klynslis (via Creative Commons)Of course, there is one downside to removing trays–students will no longer be able to receive inspirational words on plastic (see photo).

I’ll get to discuss trayless dining in more detail at the Politics of Food Conference, when I moderate the “Politics of Campus Dining” session. While the panel won’t focus on food waste, per se, I have a sneaking suspicion that the topic will arise…

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