By Emily Pizza
Seeking Solutions for The Book Club’s waste
The Book Club café is a new addition to the school this academic year. The Book Club serves Water Street coffee, baked goods, and prepackaged meals from Kalamazoo College Dining Services, which are loved by staff and students alike.
Too bad tons of these sandwiches, scones, salads and fruit cups end up in the trash every week.
I work at The Book Club as a barista, and as employees we are required to throw out all leftover food at the end of the day, which was unknown to General Manager of Dining Services James Chantanasombut. He was unable to reach for further comment.
So much of the food is thrown away prematurely due to this requirement. It would make the most sense to start putting expiration dates on all of the food, so it can be thrown away at a reasonable time.
Another more useful option would be to donate food to the Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes program, which accepts perishable donations. Its location is in downtown Kalamazoo, only a short drive for any dining employee.
This option gives the food to a good cause, and prevents the useless wasting of perfectly good food.
Finally, if all else doesn’t seem to be a good fit, Dining Services could decrease the number of food items they send over to The Book Club. Simply removing items, such as pasta salads that don’t sell, could save plenty of food.
Of course, there will still be some instances where sandwiches just need to be thrown out and health code laws will always need to be abided by. But the method of doing this could be much less wasteful than throwing them into the trash.
Composting is the simplest and cheapest option Kalamazoo has while still being environmentally friendly. Simply providing a bin for The Book Club employees to empty the food into would be a much better way of getting rid of the food. Since the College already composts and with the addition of the new Earth Tubs, there is no reason why this is should be too difficult.
Either way, something needs to be done about the amount of food wasted in The Book Club cafe. With all the effort we put into the “Clean Plate Initiative” in the cafeteria, the Kalamazoo College community can surely remedy the situation quickly and effectively.