January 15, 2009

Going ‘trayless’ changes food habits

Students at some of the dormitories at the University at Buffalo, N.Y., are making more careful food choices because they no longer use trays, officials said.

The initiative is designed to substantially cut food waste, but it may also result in more careful food choices.

We anticipate saving nearly 48,000 pounds of food waste this semester by going trayless in the three dining centers, said Jeff Brady, interim executive director for UB Campus Dining & Shops.

The program can help reduce food waste and consumption of water and energy because students have to think more carefully before selecting their meals, Brady said. This results in less food waste, as students are less likely to take foods they will not end up eating, Brady explained.

Many students commented on how it felt more comfortable, like eating at home, said Rob Lewin, a dining hall manager.

UB's Campus Dining & Shops also introduces a new nutrition program, Take A Fresh Look, which provides information about portion sizes and nutritional content placed on grab-and-go food containers to help consumer make informed choices about what they're eating.