Sodexo, Linfield’s food service provider, has chosen the college to be a test campus for waste reduction.
The trial program examines pre-consumer food waste in an attempt to make Sodexo more sustainable.
Bill Masullo, general manager of Student Dining Services, said that the trial began at the start of Fall Semester and will last for three months.
The study measures food waste before it makes it to students. Cantaloupe rinds, for example, are paid for but left uneaten, making them food waste, Masullo said.
“It’s just kind of going to waste at this point,” he said.
Masullo said that Sodexo hopes trends and patterns will emerge from the study that will help them become more sustainable.
“If I didn’t have to pay for food that would be thrown away in a landfill, we could reduce the number of trucks we have on the road,” he said.
Monica Zimmerman, director of public relations for Sodexo and creator of the sustainability campaign, echoed his sentiments.
“We spend all this time on how much it costs to grow and transport food, and then it gets thrown in the trash,” she said. “We need to think about food after it’s thrown out.”
Zimmerman described the waste reduction program as part of Sodexo’s Build a Better Tomorrow plan. The initiative aims to make the company more sustainable, Zimmerman said.
The blog, which can be found at blogs.sodexousa.com/bettertomorrow, describes it as a Green Marketing
Zimmerman said that Sodexo aims at influencing future public policy by implementing sustainability programs at colleges.
“We look at students as tomorrow’s leaders,” she said. “We want them to be leaders in the food revolution.”
Christy Cook, sustainability support for Campus Services, said that the test colleges were chosen based on geographic location and sustainable policies.
“Linfield was chosen because the leadership on campus and the dining team are known for their enthusiasm for sustainability,” Cook said.
Sodexo chose LeanPath, a Portland-based company that provides food waste tracking systems, to facilitate the program.
Andrew Shakman, co-founder and president of the company, said LeanPath provided automated food tracking devices, such as scales, touch screen terminals and reporting software.
“LeanPath is based in Portland, so we are particularly excited to see Linfield selected as one of eight sites across the United States to participate in this program,” Shakman said in an e-mail.
According to an e-mail from MS&L Worldwide, a public relations company contracted by Sodexo, the other colleges in the program are Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; California State University of Monterey Bay in Seaside, Calif.; Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa.; Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.; University of California at Davis, Calif.; and University of Wisconsin in River Falls, Wis.
The e-mail also said that Sodexo is, among other projects to make their company for sustainable, now sourcing food locally to reduce transport costs and the company’s carbon footprint.
Joshua Ensler/News editor
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