To take what you eat, and eat what you take.
We challenge YOU to adopt this standard for yourself. Two major breaks from school approach, and many a large meal are to be consumed among family and friends in the next few weeks. It’s our hope that after reading this blog post that you can join in the FoodWISE spirit that our students embody in Eagle Bluff’s dining hall by lowering your food waste footprint at home!
Our FoodWISE program (Food Waste in Schools Elimination) was established around 10 years ago. Every group that comes through our dining hall is given the expectation that they should try to lower their food waste by making smarter choices. We recognize that it’s very hard to eliminate all food waste from meals, especially at first, and that’s why during our FoodWISE program, we often set a food waste goal for the groups. If they don’t exceed the goal, they will get their school name on the Golden Clean Plate. Just about every single one of our schools have gotten their name on the plate so far this year. (Learn more specifics about our FoodWISE program on our website.)
Because lowering your food waste is a foreign concept for many people, and we’ll be honest, adults are much worse at it then children, we wanted to give you some tips. We asked students and teachers from our current on-site group, Hastings Schools, on how to best approach this challenge of lowering your food waste! Hastings has been coming to Eagle Bluff for 16 years, and in recent memory, have had food waste amounts so low, it’s almost unbelievable. They bring anywhere between 350-500 people each year, always right before Thanksgiving. In the past five years, they’ve only had around 1 pound of food waste. To give you some perspective, 2.5 apples weigh about one pound.
So on that note, here are some fantastic tips that we hope you can incorporate not only into your everyday family meals but also your bigger gatherings with extended family and friends.
Mike, Kade and Ally are a part of the Hastings Kitchen Patrol Party. They manage our FoodWISE carts, at which visitors separate out their waste.
1. Take only the food you really WANT to eat on your plate.
2. When adding stuff like ketchup or salad dressing to your plate, start with a small amount. You can always add more to your plate or food if you run out.
3. If you eat something like an apple, try composting the apple core so that it doesn’t end up in the landfill just taking up space.
4. If you take too much food, see if you can find a friend to share with. Always have a backup plan!
5. When selecting your food, you might want to try taking less than you think you want. If you’re still hungry, get a second helping!
And last, but not least, here’s an adult perspective on the whole thing. The lovely Hastings teachers offered some superb advice:
7. Hold them accountable. Once you set that expectation, make sure you work with them to follow through on it. Some students need to be watched more than others. As teachers, they will often work one on one with a struggling student to help them finish their food. Encouragement also goes a long way.
8. Don’t be afraid to lower your portion sizes! This goes for both adults and kids alike. Many of us often struggle to finish a whole chicken sandwich or hamburger. Don’t hesitate to start with half.
We sincerely hope that you can incorporate these tips and words of advice into your upcoming meal schedule. We’ll leave you with some astonishing “truth bombs” about food waste, gathered by A to Z Solutions. Follow the link below to learn more. We can all do our part to lower our food waste!!