For the first time in recent memory, the average annual weight of food waste in each dining hall has dipped below 200,000 pounds, marking a 56.5 percent decrease in wasted food since spring 2005.
This semester’s food waste audit - which was conducted during the week of October 3 through 7 - also showed a drop of 21.6% drop in food waste since last spring. This figure represents a one-semester dip of more than 50,000 annual pounds per dining hall.
Yearly figures are based on the average food waste projected over the number of meals served annually.
During the most recent audit week, students left an average of 1.22 ounces of food waste on their plates. Winthrop residents took the prize for the lowest per-person waste, leaving an average of only 1.07 ounces of food each. Currier residents took a close second place, wasting just 1.09 average ounces of food.
We were also pleased to notice that students became more mindful of food waste as the audit week progressed. Nearly consistently across the board, students wasted less food each successive day, which indicated to us that students responded to reminders about the food audit by consciously reducing the amount of food they put on their plates.
Why minimize food waste? We donate perishable leftovers from the dining hall kitchens to area food banks. Each year, we donate about 8000 pounds of leftover food from dining halls and catered events to the Greater Boston Food Bank, which redistributes the food to local feeding programs to provide 6000 meals.
To dispose of the food waste that does inevitably accumulate, HUDS composts in 12 of 13 dining halls. Annually, we compost 583 tons of waste. This is one of our many initiatives to reduce our environmental impact.
To cut back on food waste at your next meal, try to serve yourself small portions during your first trip to the serving stations. Remember, you can always go back for second helpings if you’re hungry for more food.
Thank you for continuing to be mindful of your food waste!
NOTE: This story is re-posted from a recent HUHDS blog post.