Gulliver worked to reduce food waste in the past, but with the use of food displays, it seems that the cafeteria is wasting more food than it is producing. Aside from taking away trays, the cafeteria does little to reduce waste. The food displays especially waste by using cooked food. Some of the food displayed is reusable and according to food service director Mauricio Jaramillo they discard meats because they are health hazards, but it seems then that there is no real purpose in displaying meat.
The displays are used to present seasonal foods. They show where the food in the cafeteria is from and what foods are grown during the current season. During holidays the displays present foods that are popular for the occasion. This year for the Thanksgiving display, a whole cooked turkey and ham were both presented. The turkey was used at the Prep and at the Academy throughout the day, but was finally thrown away. Additionally, beans, cornbread, apples, and stuffing were shown in the presentation. Head Chef Larry Cash explained that the turkey was 10 pounds, the ham was 5 pounds, and the other foods were 45 pounds to equal around 60 pounds of food used in the display. All of the cooked food, including the turkey, ham, stuffing, and cornbread are unable to be reused.
Aside from wasting the food itself, the school also wastes money. The budget for each display is around $100 to $150. Rather than spending the money on the displays that the students do not care for, it could be spent on real food that the school can actually eat.
Instead of educating the school about seasonal foods, why not teach the students to reduce their food waste? The school seems to make more of an effort trying to show students where their food is coming from than trying to keep students from throwing it away. Jaramillo said that the displays are used to teach the students to appreciate their food more. I found that to be hypocritical on the cafeteria’s part though because the food is not appreciated, it is wasted. If the students are going to throw away their food, then what is the purpose of educating them on where it is from?
Food and money are both wasted on these seasonal displays that send across the wrong message to the students. Instead of promoting saving food, the school wastes and spends money unnecessarily. In the future, hopefully the school will do more to prevent wasting food in the cafeteria.