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Would y'all be willing to help me out a bit? If you read my previous blog post, I spoke about my school's cafeteria. I would be really appreciative if you helped me write the letter that I am planning to send to the food services on my campus. Just leave a brief statement here about why you feel that it is so important to be more careful about food usage. Even better, if you have any ideas on how they can improve, please share. I will incorporate these messages into the letter, mention EVOKE, and maybe my school will become a role model for others.

The more input I get, the better, so please ask you friends and fellow agents to comment. I'll copy and paste what I will use below so that this stays up to date (I will include my ideas as well).

Views: 28

Comment by Megiddo Tell on April 2, 2010 at 8:15pm
Two words Jamie Oliver
Comment by Shanna on April 10, 2010 at 1:06am
Hey Reema,

Not sure if you've sent the letter yet, but if not, I might have a few suggestions. One of the biggest issues with cafeterias, even those that are conscientious when they dispose of their waste, is that once food is put out for distribution on the line (no matter how much is then doled out to consumers) it is destined for the trash. Most food banks are very picky about the food they will accept (ie: no partially eaten meals).

Your best bet to reduce waste on the producer end is to have your cafeteria institute some sort of monitoring policy that allows them to keep track of how much of each item is eaten on (not just dished out but actually eaten) and how much is thrown out on any given day so that they can match the production of that food to its consumption more closely. This is also a great way for the cafeteria to cut down on expenditures as well as to reduce the amount of food travelling over long distances. Complete leftover trays can be donated to local food banks and shelters rather than tossed, but you should make sure that it meets the requirements of those banks/shelters.

Of course, working on the consumer side is just as important as the producer side, so educating people on the benefits of eating healthier foods (and portions) is essential. Focus on the positives: the taste and better quality/freshness of locally sourced foods. Maybe you could have a student run taste test that compares locally sourced foods to the conventional foods brought in by your cafeteria.

Positive signage is also a great way to encourage people to eat better. We may not read things actively, but we are influenced by what we see.

And finally, see if you can't find other students who share your interest in better, more conscientious dining options and get them to ask dining services for better options. If enough students come forward, the cafeteria will respond.

Hope that helps.


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