By: Evan Myers, Assistant News Editor
The week of Jan. 28 – Feb. 1, Furman students may have noticed a small change in their dining hall. Bon Appetit Fellow Peter Todaro visited campus in order to, among other things, conduct a plate waste study. Rather than leaving dirty plates in the DH turnstile, students were asked to scrape any food that remained on their plates into a designated bin.
Todaro’s most recent study, however, forms only part of a comprehensive effort that is focused on promoting sustainable food practices in the Furman Community. Spearheading these efforts, Sophomore Elise Dudley is Bon Appetit’s Sustainable Food Service Fellow and works as an intermediary between Furman and the Dining Hall Staff. She also promotes responsible consumption through weigh your waste days, Healthy Kids cooking class with the Kroc center, and various events around campus to discuss how nutrition and sustainability are intertwined.
Dudley was encouraged by Todaro’s visit. Based on various conversations she had with students and staff, she believed that people were becoming more conscious of the impact of their food choices.The data backs her up. Based on based on early results, Furman students are, on average, leaving 2.5 rather than 3.5 ounces of wasted food on their plates – one less ounce of food on their plates than in previous years.
Less food waste is a win for everyone. For Bon Appetit, less wasted food equals less lost money. For Furman, students’ responsible food choices not only impact their “own personal well being, but also their environment and community,” explains Dudley. Thus, if each student makes a small effort to throw away less food in the dining hall, that helps Furman achieve larger sustainability goals – such as becoming a carbon neutral by 2026.
In the end, Dudley believes that “the health of our bodies is inextricably connected to the health of our environment both natural and built.” In this sense, it seems that often times, small changes are the most impactful.