Tray less, Waste less

Filed under: Commercial Food Practices,Food Stories,Major Food Issues |

Once the province of mystery meat, sloppy helpings, and the ketchup-as-a-vegetable bureaucratic designation, school cafeterias are on the edge of a food conservation revolution.

Over the years, schools across the country have slowly implemented a rollout of trayless food service.

Why? Conservation and efficiency. By some estimates, students use as much as 25 – 30% less food when they aren’t carrying a tray, not to mention the savings in potable and sanitary water consumption. Indiana University in Bloomington researchers, Victoria Getty and Krisha Thiagarajah tackled the issue of trays vs plates in a systematic survey and found that the amont of solid waste saved was as much as 18% per diner.

For schools that take the plunge,  it’s a classic win-win for institutions as they not only reduce waste, but also trim both costs and the expanding waistlines of the college crowd. Jock cliques, nerd outcasts, and mean girls: grab a plate and save.



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