What To Do With Waste?

Ali Scheig – Real Food Challenge Team

I am currently working in conjunction with the Environmental Center and Sodexo to complete my senior research. I am writing my senior thesis on solutions to the waste produced at post-secondary educational institution dining halls, and what we can do with it to increase campus food security. I wanted to research these issues and their connection because of my passion and interest in these two topics within the food system. To me, food is the most important aspect of our lives. Not only does it sustain us, but the connection it brings is so strongly tied to our communities and lives. There is connection between you and the person who grows your food, if you grow your own food you have a special connection with that soil and those plants that you helped cultivate, you connect with people by cooking with them, sharing food for tradition, and the people that you share the food with are often so dear to us. Over the years, as I got more involved and passionate about the food system through my studies and hugely with the RFC, I realized that I am fortunate to have such a positive reflection of food in my life. I also realized the stark reality that many people in our country, state, community, and school, don’t have these same feelings. For many, food is a source of stress and systematic oppression. 14.5% of households in the United States experience food insecurity, living in food deserts, utilizing government programs and food banks, and worrying about how and what they will feed themselves and their families next are daily realities for most. Food security is important for our communities because healthy people support healthy communities. Without food security, our communities and societies are driven further apart from each other. Donating food, supporting government programs and officials that are proponents for food insecure citizens, supporting fair wages through what we spend our money on and what companies we buy from, and supporting local efforts that promote food sovereignty are a few ways that we can advocate for those that experience food insecurity around us. Connecting this back to my paper and the EC, I hope that I can show connection between food waste and insecurity, and hope to create a positive food system at FLC for the future.

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