Metz T.A.S.T.E. reduces waste

Published in FSD Update

Students at Lebanon Valley College, in Annville, Penn., are not wasting away—food waste that is. A pilot sustainability initiative started in the fall semester, Taking Action for a Sustainable Tomorrow Everywhere (T.A.S.T.E.) encourages students to actively participate in reducing waste at dining hall facilities.

In partnership with student organizations and college student research teams, data was collected, tracked and analyzed regularly. By the end of the first semester, data show that the program has yielded an overall savings of more than $25,000 and a decrease of 40 pounds of waste per meal.

“Initially the goals were more for our team back of house to focus on how to limit the amount of food we’re putting in the trash,” explains Bill Allman, general manager for Metz at Lebanon. But after assessing the amount of food on plates coming back to the kitchen, Allman and his team realized that waste was a front-of-house issue that had to be addressed as well. So “part of our program is really partnering with the student body and getting them involved in the front-of-house collection of food waste,” Allman explains.

Four tactics allow for students to participate and earn rewards for reducing waste:

  • Sample It! encourages students to sample food before wasting a helping in the event that they don’t like the dish;
  • Take What You Like, Eat What You Take shares food facts with students on signage, menus and flyers to help them understand the impact of tossing food that they don’t eat. For example, more than 4.5 million tons of food is wasted every year in the U.S.—that is enough food to fill the Rose Bowl every single day of the year;
  • Mom’s Clean Plate Club invites students to consume everything they have taken and prove it by showing their clean plate to Lebanon Valley’s “Official Mom,” Mary Anne Anspach, a 45-year veteran of the dining services team; and
  • SMART Plates—Sustainable Meals Aiding Responsible Tastes—are meals that help students make healthy, sustainable choices. Entreés incorporate local foods and whole grains, have less than 500 milligrams of sodium and 5 grams of saturated fat and are under 750 calories.

Students receive a T.A.S.T.E. card, which is stamped by dining services staff when tasks are completed. When 10 stamps are collected, students turn it in for a T.A.S.T.E. token. Tokens can then be exchanged for prizes, such as a free drink (one token), a free meal (three tokens) or 25 flex dollars to use in the dining hall (six tokens).

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
roasted butternut tartine

In a bid to meet customers’ growing interest in plant-based dishes, foodservice vendor Aramark will soon roll out a number of new meatless dishes on the college campuses it serves.

Some of the new plant-centric items it’s taking to colleges this fall include the Greek-inspired Spanakopita Quesadilla, an open-faced sandwich topped with roasted butternut squash and the Sweet Potato Smash sandwich (sweet potato, cranberry sauce and goat cheese on ciabatta bread).

Nearly a third (30%) of the entrees Aramark serves up at colleges are either vegetarian or vegan, the...

Industry News & Opinion

$1.5 million will be used to increase farm-to-school programs in the state.

Sponsored Content
cheese and pretzels

From AFP advanced food products llc

Foodservice operators are tasked with doing more with less—and managing food inventory is no exception.

All foodservice operations want to keep inventory at minimum, and operators are reducing the ingredients needed in their kitchens through strategic and savvy menu building.

There are a few primary reasons for the reduction in ingredients: cost, quality and space. By buying larger quantities, an operator can get better per unit ingredient costs. And by functioning on a limited number of ingredients, the inventory is used faster...

Industry News & Opinion

Bakersfield City School District is expanding the number of schools participating in a program to donate leftover cafeteria food to local shelters, Bakersfield.com reports.

The program, called Waste Hunger, Not Food, began last April in partnership with the county health department. Due to its initial success, the program is expanding from one elementary school to six schools starting this school year.

Under the program, students place unopened milk cartons, whole fresh foods and unopened prepackaged food that they don’t want into three separate bins. The health department...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code