By: Maria Monterio Attie and Nicholas Mikellides
Food waste is a very serious global issue that happens all over the globe. After witnessing the food waste issue in the CATS Boston dining hall, it became quite apparent that the United States is one of the most wasteful countries in regards to food. When our teacher, Mr. Walecka, assigned us a Contemporary Issues project to raise awareness of about a global issue our topic was obvious. We chose to tackle the food waste issue at CATS and make students, faculty, and staff more conscious about this serious issue.
How did you decide to raise awareness for this issue?
In order to raise awareness, we concluded that the best option would be to show to the community at CATS how much food we actually waste. Once we received the support of Mr. Angell, Mr. Pendley, and the Aramark team, we created the idea to weigh the food waste from CATS for a two week stretch. The first week we decided the students would not be aware of the project, whereas the second week we would make students aware. We ended up discovering that we waste around 675 pounds of food in five days. We then compiled this information and create a video to put on the advisory homeroom announcements. After displaying the results, we started a campaign to create as little food waste as possible for another five days.
What were the results of the campaign?
Unfortunately, the results were not as good as we expected. The CATS community wasted 670 pounds of food during the second five day food challenge span. There was only a difference of a mere five pounds.
Why did the results not change?
After analyzing the unfortunate results, we started wondering why the waste continued to be practically the same. After talking to some of the students and teachers, we concluded that the waste continued the same due to the lack of community serious towards the issue and because some people were not “used to” the cafeteria food.
What can the CATS community do to solve this issue?
The CATS community could be more conscious about what they are wasting and why they are wasting the food in the first place. After this presentation, we could talk to the cafeteria and propose recipes and cooking styles many of our students are used to eating. Our final solution would be to have a house competition and whoever wastes the least amount of food would win house points.
Finally, it is our conclusion that the CATS community contributes greatly to the problem of food waste. It is really important for us to initiate change amongst all of our international students from all over the world. If people here become more conscious of this serious issue, they will, hopefully, spread this idea to different countries and help create less food waste.