City of Boulder: Food Waste Audit
Part 2: At the Table… What You Can Do!
By Devon Reynolds
Have you checked out the Boulder Food Waste Audit yet? It’s a study released by the Boulder Food Rescue (BFR) in collaboration with researchers at CU Boulder. It investigates the impact of current food recovery operations in Boulder; perceptions of food donation among city grocery stores, restaurants, and cafés; and the potential for rerouting more food away from the trash and onto the table. Last week, we covered the general findings of the study in Part 1 of our series on the Food Waste Audit. This week, we’re taking a deeper look at what’s causing waste at restaurants. Turns out, it’s probably those of us innocently enjoying our rushed work lunches and date night dinners.
When asked why food is thrown away rather than donated, employees said that their customers were responsible for most of the food waste at restaurants. Eating out has become more and more common over the last century, with 2015 marking the first time that Americans spent more money at restaurants than at grocery stores. So, whether you eat out once a month, once a week, or once a day, it’s worth considering how your behaviors may be contributing to the huge food waste problem in the US.
Ok, I’m guilty. Last week, I had some beautiful leftover salmon all boxed up and ready to take home with
me…but I accidentally left it sitting on the table. An easy mistake to make, but one that cost me a whole extra meal, and, on a larger scale, is part of the 47% of all seafood wasted in the US. So, next time you’re out at a restaurant, consider the following:
This may all seem obvious, but take it from the perpetrator of the Leftover Salmon Incident of 2016—it’s worth going the extra mile to make sure that good food gets eaten. When it gets thrown away, all the valuable resources that went into producing that food get wasted along with it—think water and fuel. This is a problem that we, individuals, can actually solve.
Keep an eye out next week for Part 3 of our Food Waste Audit blog series, or get your very own copy today. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the BFR website for more information about how to get involved in the effort to reduce food waste in Boulder.