Less food waste at MSU after study implemented - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Less food waste at MSU after study implemented

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Students are throwing away less food at Montana State University after a group implemented a study to cut food waste in half.

“Results showed that small changes in the food environment can lead to drastic changes in food waste and so this semester we continue to educate consumers in the dining hall about food waste,” said Dr. Selena Ahmed, Professor of Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems at MSU.

By using smaller plates and smaller serving spoons, MSU has been able to cut down on food waste

“So we serve lasagna and cut it into a few more pieces so the students had to come back up to get more as well as smaller utensils, so if you're going to take some lettuce from the salad bar, you maybe have to take two or three portions rather than just one. And that just makes people more aware of how much they are taking,” said Alicia Leitch, graduate student at MSU who was a part of the study.

This difference in portions and plate size has actually increased the number of students going into Miller Dining Hall

“Well since we implemented this plan, the dining hall has seen a huge change. A huge reduction in waste, but also a huge increase in the participation in meal plans, off campus meal plans, faculty and staff. We've seen a huge increase in numbers of people just coming through the doors now,” said Mike Kosevich, general manager for dining services at MSU.

This project is now in its next phase of determining uses for the compost.

So the first goal is to reduce the food waste as much as we can, and the food waste is generated hopefully a reduced amount, we're trying to make it useful and bringing it back into the food system,” explained Dr. Ahmed.

And the group hopes to go even further in the coming months by implementing waste reduction in the household, not just in a retail environment.

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