Posted at 1 p.m. April 4, 2017
Sodexo strives to reduce food waste
Students gather in the LCCC cafeteria.
The Laramie County Community College dining hall accommodates hundreds of hungry students each day. When given an all-you-can eat dining experience, students often take more than they will actually eat in one sitting.
With so much food to go around, what happens to all the leftovers?
Food waste is inevitable when using perishable foods that don’t preserve well. Due to this, the campus gets rid of food waste on a daily basis.
“It always depends day to day. For regular dining hall services we have average customer counts for each meal period on each day. We prep our recipes according to that count, and if more customers show, then we have to cook more. Unfortunately, if there are less customers than expected, food will go to waste,” Jacob Menéndez, the former general manager of Sodexo dining services and catering at LCCC, said.
Uneaten-cooked food can sometimes be reused in other meals, but outside of that, the food is thrown away. For example, ground beef could be used for tacos at lunch and leftover ground beef can be used for spaghetti at dinner.
The college does not donate cooked food because of health and liability risks, but it does occasionally donate canned and packaged food to organizations such as The Food Pantry or national food drives such as the “Stop Hunger” campaign.
Unusable waste is thrown in the trash daily and is picked up three times per week. The waste does not get recycled but “the best thing a person can do is compost it and help out the soil of the land,” Menéndez said.