2nd Annual Food Waste Audit [Results]

2nd Annual Food Waste Audit [Results]

On October 24 in the campus cafeteria the Sustainable Management Advisory Committee hosted its 2nd Annual Food Waste Audit. It is crazy that Americas’ per capita food waste has increased by 50% since 1974 and the average American throws away 20 pounds of food each month or about two-thirds of a pound per person per day! We were on … Read more

On October 24 in the campus cafeteria the Sustainable Management Advisory Committee hosted its 2nd Annual Food Waste Audit. It is crazy that Americas’ per capita food waste has increased by 50% since 1974 and the average American throws away 20 pounds of food each month or about two-thirds of a pound per person per day! We were on par with our results from the first year and hope that the event created a buzz on campus, and people will be more conscious of their waste.

519 pounds of net organic waste in one day!

Note: The 519 pounds is minus the bucket weight of what the waste was measured in. In total, there was 562 pounds of organic waste including bucket weight. Find out more about sustainability on campus here: http://www.mountunion.edu/sustainability.

Just as a refresher…a waste audit is a rather simple and a formal, structured process used to quantify the amount and types of waste being generated by an organization, in this case Mount Union’s student body. Information from audits will help identify current waste practices and how they can be improved. Being waste-wise can mean a more efficient and effective organization, reduced waste management costs and better use of limited natural resources.

Depending on the situation, there can be many objectives of an audit. Mainly it is to determine composition and quantities of waste being generated, to measure effectiveness of existing waste management systems, to identify opportunities for improving waste management systems and strategies and to collect baseline data for measuring the effectiveness of waste minimization strategies. For our event, it is more to create an awareness and try to change the mindset of a wasteful student body.

Don’t be wasteful. A lot of waste can be composted too. Find out how to build a compost bin here, and check out 75 things you can compost but thought you couldn’tincluding: toilet paper rolls, sticky notes, tea bags, coffee grounds, pizza crust and moldy cheese, among others.

2nd Annual Food Waste Audit

2nd Annual Food Waste Audit

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Who? The Sustainable Management Advisory Committee

What? 2nd Annual Food Waste Audit

When? All day | October 24th

Where? Campus Cafeteria

Why? To be more waste wise!

A year ago, I was studying abroad in Spain, but was able to keep up on some exciting things going on within the Sustainable Management Advisory Committee on campus. The biggest thing we had been working on was an Eco-Rep program, which is now a full-time paid position in most dormitories.

Another event that happened was a Food Waste Audit in the cafeteria to put on display how much organic waste we throw away as students. We have tried different events to raise awareness like “no tray” or “trayless” days, but it seems annoying to our student population more than anything. So, we decided something that was easy for us to put on and easy for students to do – handing your tray to someone instead of putting it on the conveyor belt is pretty simple. The idea is to create an eye opening scene, encouraging students to not be wasteful and take only what they can eat. Before we take a look into what an audit actually is, let’s look at a few eye-opening facts:

  1. Between 1/4 and 1/2 of the more than 590 billion pounds of food produced each year in the United States is squandered during the farm-to-table supply chain. Using this range, food writer and food waste expert Jonathan Bloom estimates that every day America wastes enough food to fill the Rose Bowl – the 90,000-seat football stadium in Pasadena, California – and sometimes it’s as much as two stadiums full.
  2. Americas’ per capita food waste has increased by 50% since 1974.
  3. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2010 discarded food represented the single largest component of municipal solid waste reaching landfills and incinerators.
  4. Approximately $100 to $160 billion is spent each year on producing food that is ultimately wasted. (This estimate comes from Jonathan Bloom’s American Wasteland.)
  5. A large portion of food waste occurs in households. The average American throws away 20 pounds of food each month or about two-thirds of a pound per person per day.
  6. Given the water- and energy-intensive nature of growing, processing, packaging, warehousing, transporting and preparing food, it follows that wasted food means wasted energy, water and agricultural resources. Approximately 2.5% of the U.S. energy budget is “thrown away” annually as food waste. This is equivalent to the energy contained in hundreds of millions of barrels of oil. In addition, 25% of all freshwater consumed annually in the US is associated with discarded food – about as much as the volume of Lake Erie.

A waste audit is a rather simple and a formal, structured process used to quantify the amount and types of waste being generated by an organization, in this case Mount Union’s student body. Information from audits will help identify current waste practices and how they can be improved. Being waste-wise can mean a more efficient and effective organization, reduced waste management costs and better use of limited natural resources.

Depending on the situation, there can be many objectives of an audit. Mainly it is to determine composition and quantities of waste being generated, to measure effectiveness of existing waste management systems, to identify opportunities for improving waste management systems and strategies and to collect baseline data for measuring the effectiveness of waste minimization strategies. For our event, it is more to create an awareness and try to change the mindset of a wasteful student body.

Don’t be wasteful. A lot of waste can be composted too. Find out how to build a compost bin here, and check out 75 things you can compost but thought you couldn’t, including: toilet paper rolls, sticky notes, tea bags, coffee grounds, pizza crust and moldy cheese, among others.

Hot Dog Eating Contest

Hot Dog Eating Contest

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Dinner is usually the same routine every night: swipe card, grab tray, grab plates of food, grab drink, sit with friends, eat and talk with friends, put tray away and leave.  Tonight there was the Ohio Platinum Chef Competition.  There were a few other schools around the area basically having a cook off.  I didn’t get to eat any of food they were making, but I did get a nice heaping pile of food on my plate.

I ate a hamburger first, then I heard that there was a hot dog eating contest about to begin.  I walked over because there was a good crowd gathering to watch and one of my teammates was in the competition so, of course I had to support him.  There were empty seats and I assumed it was too late to sign up.  It wasn’t, and the winner gets $50.  I could always use extra cash so I enter the contest.

The contest consisted of eating as many hot dogs as you could in five minutes.  I’ve always watched Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on television and I always see the winner eating 50+ hot dogs in 10 minutes.  This number obviously wasn’t my goal but as a smaller contestant, I hoped I could out-eat the bigger guys.  Considering I’ve been eating a lot lately and not been working it off, this was going to be challenging, especially since I just ate a hamburger not five minutes before.

I was getting nervous because cameras seemed everywhere, students, and people dressed nice, so this meant that they were here for business; this frightened me.  The contest began and I was keeping up with my teammate, dog for dog.  With two minutes left, I was at five, and the hot dogs weren’t settling well.  I kept eating, dipping the buns in water and trying to not even think about chewing, I just bit, chewed slightly and swallowed chunks of hot dogs and buns.  With two minutes left, I felt terrible.  I felt like the food wasn’t going to stay down, but I ended up finishing the sixth hot dog.  This didn’t matter because the first place contestant had eight hot dogs finished, my teammate had seven, and I had a respectable third place finish with six hot dogs in five minutes.

This was fun, but terrifying because of the amount of people, lack of training and all of my friends that I had let down (not really). Anyways, if you get the chance to go to the cafeteria on an eventful night, do it because it’s a great way to socialize and watching people suffer from eating mass amounts of hot dogs in a tiny amount of time.

Waffles or Pancakes?

Waffles or Pancakes?

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The age-old question must be answered. This is a very simple question. Which do you prefer, waffles or pancakes? I am a morning person, which means I love breakfast and everything about it. I love eating cereal, eggs, ham, bacon, yogurt and fruit, but when it comes to waffles or pancakes, I am not sure which I prefer sometimes.

My best friends and I cannot be better friends simply because we cannot agree on the biggest dilemma of them all. One day over the summer, we decided to go onto chatroulette.com and surveyed everyone to find out if they prefer waffles or pancakes. One rule of quick advice: go on that website during the day, it’s simply safer for your viewing. After around four hours of polling strangers, we came across a pretty even battle. It was like flipping a coin; you have the same chances every time. There are simple reasons why people like one or the other – sometimes the taste, sometimes it is easier to spread the butter or sometimes the pool of syrup or other fruit fits just perfect in those little pockets of the waffle. No matter what it is, people have a simple reason that forces them to choose one over the other.

We had to get more creative with this. We came up with a few other possible scenarios.

  • Best pancakes you’ve ever eaten VS. best waffles you’ve ever eaten
  • Frozen waffles VS. frozen pancakes
  • Kresge Court waffle maker VS. chef-made pancakes
  • Mother-made waffles VS. Mother-made pancakes
  • Gross waffles VS gross pancakes
  • Which one taste better at dinner?
  • Why isn’t French toast in this poll?
  • Why can’t I make two waffles with a pancake in the middle?
  • Well… why wouldn’t you make two pancakes with a waffle in the middle?

The list goes on, so much that you eventually get back to the same question, waffles or pancakes? I have to know everyone’s opinion on this important matter. Sometimes I can’t go to sleep simply because I can’t believe how even sided it is! There has to be a definitive one-sided winner.

Let me know what you prefer. Overall, I prefer pancakes.