Blown Away by Waste Buffet

On Tuesday, I gave a talk at Keene State College in New Hampshire. In conjunction with the visit, the progressive folks of Keene State Dining created this amazing tableau of waste: 

image courtesy of Keene State Dining

Dining workers pulled untouched and nearly untouched breakfast and lunch items from the plate return and assembled a visually appealing, yet haunting “waste buffet.” The attractive display was part of the point. This was not just edible, but appealing food items. Accordingly, the staff covered the food to prevent any impulse eating (and comply with health code regulations).

The students I spoke with were uniformly surprised by what they had helped create. And a few even admitted that they found the sight disgusting. And with 49 million food insecure Americans, that is a sensible response. Indeed, it is absurd that this kind of waste is commonplace on college campuses.

I found the unsullied sandwiches and whole fruits especially striking. And while I can understand leaving behind some fries for health reasons, who takes a piece of pizza and doesn’t even take a bite?!? (Sigh.)

Here are a couple more images from this wonderful awareness exercise:

image courtesy of Keene State Dining


image courtesy of Keene State Dining

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