Institutional Waste: The English Department Buffet Lunch

I am continually shocked at the amount of waste produced by institutions such as universities and schools, especially when one would expect the minds at the forefront of society to be the first to change the wasteful habits of humanity. Last week, our department held it’s annual freshman seminar, which basically means a bunch of speeches by students who studied abroad, a big buffet lunch, topped off by badly designed and very not fun “get to know your teachers” game. Not once was I consulted regarding the event, which is a shame since I ran a series of very popular childrens camp programs and have rather a lot of experience with event planning. It seems to me that so very little thought was put into the event, it’s such a shame when something wonderful could have been done.

The buffet lunch – the primary consumers of which I should say were 18 year old girls that tend to watch their weight very carefully – consisted of huge tables of random cold pizza, cold burgers and sandwiches and other finger foods. Very typical affair with sub-standard food, but the proportions were shocking. The portions were piled high and it was quite obvious from the start that no one would be eating that much. In fact, it seems it was planned on from the start – one teacher had even had the forethought to bring plastic trays for everyone to take home leftovers. Here’s what I brought home, sorry I didn’t take any pictures of the actual tables of food – but imagine about 5 times this amount PER PERSON being leftover and you’ll get the idea. That’s for 100 or so people, by the way.


Really, it made me sick to think that so much money and so much food could be wasted – I’m sure these girls aren’t paying extravagant tuition fees to have them frittered away on horrendously bad quality food and blank videotapes

Not only was the food wasted, but the opportunity to make an enjoyable event that might be remembered by the freshmen for the rest of their university career was wasted by failing to consult the rest of us.

Submitted to Food Waste Friday @ FrugalGirl. Frugal Girl is one of my inspirations for starting this site, so do please go check her out.

5 thoughts on “Institutional Waste: The English Department Buffet Lunch

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