Students give positive feedback to trayless dining

Campus Dining Services expects a 20 percent decrease in food waste through trayless dining.

Since the summer of 2011, MU’s Campus Dining Services has been implementing a trayless dining policy in order to help reduce food waste. It was approved as an MU policy in August 2011.

The ultimate goal is to reduce food waste, but program might have other benefits, as well.

“The main purpose is that there is a lot of food waste being done simply because trays make it a lot easier to get more food than you need,” Missouri Students Association President Eric Woods said.

Woods said there were many benefits derived from keeping food waste down on campus.

“However, not only it is wasteful for the food but also it is a waste of money for Campus Dining Services,” he said. “Not to mention it is environmental, wasting less water, which actually works great, in (decreasing) water usage, which also saves money.”

Woods said the trayless dining policy also relates to student health issues. He said as trayless dining is being worked out, students will think more about the diet decisions they are making.

“They probably don’t need an extra piece of cheese cake,” Woods said. “You get filled with your meal, thinking ‘I don’t need a second plate.’ So, there is a health benefit there too.”

He also said even though there was a little bit of contention, the general response to this new policy has been positive so far.

“People realize that they are eating less, making an impact and not finding it too difficult to use tray-less plan.” Woods said.

In general, MU students who eat at Plaza 900, the largest dinning hall at MU, have already recognized the meaning of trayless dining. Some say it becomes inconvenient because now they have to move around the dining hall holding individual plates with their hands.

“Trayless dinning plan makes me eat less, (and I) end up wasting less food,” freshman Alexandra Greene said. ”But I would still prefer having a tray because it is more convenient to move around with a tray.”

Other students said though it is inconvenient without a tray, they would still prefer trayless to reduce the food waste.

“With a tray, it is more convenient because I can take it around,” sophomore Jessie Lodderhose said. “However, thinking about the waste of food, I would prefer having a trayless policy, though it is little inconvenient.”

Woods said with the trayless policy, Campus Dinning Services expects to see a 20 to 25 percent reduction in food waste.

“In the past with the similar exercises, we have seen upwards of 20 percent being reduced,” Woods said. “So there is a lot of potential.”

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