October 2, 2006


St. Paul's cuts cafe trays; saves food (AP, October 1, 2006)

They are trying a new way to stop wasting food at St. Paul's School -- leaving cafeteria trays behind.

Rector Bill Matthews and Kurt Ellison, the school's director of food services, are boosting a plan to remove dining trays from the cafeteria. Their theory, supported by practice at at least one other school, is that students and teachers will take less food if they have to balance plates in their hands.

Ellison said studies over the past two years showed the 1200 people who eat in the St. Paul's cafeteria were throwing away more than 350 pounds of food, worth about $112,500, every day. [...]

After several failed attempts to persuade St. Paul's diners to take less food, Ellison visited a boarding school in Massachusetts that was experimenting with the no-tray rule. Out of 700 students in the school's dining hall, Ellison said he saw only two with trays. And the food service director there reported they were saving money.

"It was such a no-brainer when I saw it that I had to suggest it when I came back," Ellison said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 2, 2006 1:31 PM

Why not just fill up a couple of large troughs and have the little monsters all belly up to it, then hose 'em all down afterwards?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 2, 2006 2:44 PM

350 pounds of food is worth $112,500? OJ may have to give up on his "nothing costs more than it used to" series...

Posted by: nobrainer at October 2, 2006 3:34 PM

"Please sir, may I have some more?"

Posted by: Twn at October 2, 2006 3:59 PM

Bart: If you really wanted us to be neater, you'd serve us out of one long bowl.
Marge: You're talking about a trough. We're not going to eat from a trough.

Yes, there's something missing from that calculation. Perhaps it's $112,500 worth of food per month.

Posted by: PapayaSF at October 2, 2006 4:04 PM

It's Al Gore's prep school--lunch is fouiex grass and caviar....

Posted by: oj at October 2, 2006 4:45 PM

That $112,500 must include the cost of union labor.

Posted by: erp at October 2, 2006 4:49 PM

Frivolously wasting food is an economic sin: it bids up the price of a necessity of life for no reason but the actor's indifference.

Dead-bang serious about this.

What ever happened to, "Take all you want, but eat all you take?" I'll tell you: the same anti-nomian narcissism that wears baseball caps sideways makes unintellegible the effect of our choices on the lives of others.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 2, 2006 5:52 PM

Frivolously wasting food is an economic sin

Venal for a citizen, mortal for an illegal immigrant?

Lou, cut it out.

Posted by: Peter B at October 2, 2006 6:44 PM

I thought all these Waspy preps wanted to be English.

Why not go whole hog? Cold water baths, no heat, gruel 3x a day, with tepid tea, and savage beatings inflicted by the older students on the younger.

Algore would've turned out better in such a system.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 2, 2006 8:00 PM

Food is dirt cheap. Why do you think restaurants don't hesitate to pile it on your plates?

Posted by: RC at October 3, 2006 2:06 AM

I smell nonsense. The school cooks X amount of food. Getting them to take less will not save money. The school will still have to throw away all of X that was cooked, but not consumed, or left behind on the tray. There's no "leftovers" served at school. X is what the school district says shall be cooked per student enrollment.

Posted by: AllenS at October 3, 2006 6:30 AM

Upon cooking X and finding G left over every day they'll cook X - G.

Posted by: oj at October 3, 2006 8:09 AM