Hunger is a primal urge, one that people seek to satisfy as quickly as they can, and to the most extent. Yet in this typical, everyday concept, it becomes easy to think only of satisfying that feeling, that craving, without regard to how much food is actually being taken and consumed.Though there are many dining establishments at West Chester University, Lawrence Dining Hall is the only place offering buffet-style options. While this is convenient, students oftentimes will take multiple dishes of food back to their table before realizing “I don’t like this” or “I’m not that hungry.” This leads to a lot of leftover food that becomes waste product.
The staff of Lawrence Dining Hall conducted an experiment during the lunch period on Tuesday, Feb. 10. Throughout the lunch period, a total of 340 pounds of waste was accumulated, which averaged out to be slightly over a quarter pound of waste per person who had swiped their card at Lawrence for that meal zone. That’s equivalent to someone buying a burger, fries, and a shake at McDonald’s and just throwing away the burger.
At the Dining Advisory Board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 11, board members announced they wish to make a 20 percent cut in wasted product by later on this spring semester. Students can help achieve this by taking a small sample of a product prior to loading it on a plate, or even just by acknowledging how much they’re willing to eat before dishing out humongous helpings of food.
Students should also note that this problem is not only located in Lawrence Dining Hall. Establishments all across campus are forced to throw away wasted product, resulting in massive and excessive amounts of garbage. Though most of the waste at the dining establishments is leftover food, other sites, such as printing centers and Sykes Student Union, encourage recycling as another means to cut down on waste.
Along with their new “reduced waste” goal, Lawrence Dining Hall is making another effort to “go green” with their more efficient dish washing products. Though the chemicals themselves cannot be improved upon (after all, they are “chemicals”), the Ecolab products are proven to reduce energy and water usage.
The board would also like students to provide feedback on two main ideas: the first is keeping Einstein’s Bagels open on weekends.
Originally, in exchange for having Einstein’s open, the Diner would remain closed until 4 p.m. However, since Lawrence closes at 2 p.m., a negotiation of opening the Diner at that time would allow students who prefer using a meal plan to have a meal-accepting establishment open at all times.
The second idea that the board is offering is the idea of a student-submitted recipe contest. Ram’s Head Food Court is interested in hosting such a contest, but before actions can take place, the student interest must be polled. The winner of said contest would instruct the Ram’s Head staff on how to prepare the dish, and possibly see their recipe as a new menu item. Students may also be offered a reward in Flex Dollars if their recipe is chosen.
The next Dining Advisory Board meeting will take place on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 3:15 p.m. in the Traditions section of Lawrence Dining Hall. Students are encouraged to come to share their opinions and discuss new ideas and products with the board.
For more information on West Chester University Dining Services, please visit: http://www.campusdish.com/en-US/CSE/WestChester/.
Tara Tanzos is a second-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at TT649875@wcupa.edu.