Trayless Update

Hook ‘em, Horns! The University of Texas is considering going trayless.

While I’m obviously biased towards traylessness, I try to keep an open mind toward other opinions. This rationale, however, makes no sense:

“I think if you have a tray, it’s a whole lot easier to see what you’re taking,” said UT student Katie Koehler. “So that would help reduce food waste.”

Boston University just eliminated trays, prompting these objections from one student and a rejection of those objections by the original student’s soon to be former friend.

What’s most interesting is that there’s no photo by ocherdraco (via Creative Commons)mention of avoiding food waste. BU must have emphasized water savings, because that and the possibility of reduced board fees are the only benefits discussed.

The University of Vermont recently eliminated trays. I appreciated this article‘s opening:

The cafeteria at UVM’s Harris Millis complex is still all-you-can-eat. But students are finding it’s more aptly described as all-you-can-carry.

The University of Minnesota has ditched the tray, with others in the Gopher State following suit.

Hamline, Concordia-St. Paul and Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall have removed all trays from cafeterias.

Without trays, there’s one-third less food waste at Iowa’s Mount Mercy College. And it’s spreading in Iowa:

Wartburg College in Waverly and Upper Iowa University in Fayette recently went trayless. Luther College in Decorah is considering it, and Grinnell College is beginning the discussion.

Last but not least, Minnesota’s Concordia College just held a two-day trayless experiment that reduced food waste by 40 percent and beverage waste by 43 percent!

School leaders are now deciding whether they should make it a permanent switch. My one cent: Yes!

Feel free to email Debra Lee, the head of dining to school to politely weigh in on the issue.

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  1. Posted October 3, 2008 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    As I read about the movement to go trayless, I am reminded of my university days living in residence…we would pick up our tray, grab a bowl of soup (of which we could take as much as we like), grab a plate of “main course” (of which we may only have one), and then glasses of milk, soda or juice (of which we can have as much as we wanted).

    I am embarassed to think of the food we wasted. We would fill our trays, because it was space to be filled. And I can honestly say, that at the time, we didn’t care much.

    I started to care when I moved off campus and was paying for my own food. Oh, then i cared A LOT of what was wasted and what was consumed.

    So going trayless will teach those “young ones” a valuable lesson, that I took a little longer to learn – that when you carry your food “alone” you will appreciate what is in your hands more.

  2. Posted October 4, 2008 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Wow…lots of encouraging news on the trayless front!

  3. Posted October 5, 2008 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Just got back from a cruise on Holland America’s Westerdamn. They too, are now trayless in their buffet dinning room. Accounts for alot less waste.

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