Concordia College has actively worked to reduce plate waste, the amount of edible food left on one’s plate after finishing in Anderson Commons, the main dining center on campus, by more than 25 percent.
In November 2016, President Craft announced Concordia’s goal to reduce the amount of plate waste by 50 percent by 2020.
The effort to reduce plate waste is led by Dr. Meredith Wagner in the nutrition and dietetics department and Dr. Joan Kopperud of the English department. Concordia's Taste not Waste campaign is one of the main ways the college has been advertising the reduction. The objective is to provide tasting spoons at each food station to promote trying the food before putting it on one's plate. This way, there is less waste due to disliked food.
Looking at the results gathered from this past academic year, during a two-day period in October, there were 658 pounds of plate waste. In March, the results were much lower – only 485 pounds during the two days. Overall, there was a reduction of 26 percent during this past academic year alone. At this point, Concordia is well on the way to reaching its goal.
"The drastic reduction in plate waste reflected in the March data demonstrates that students are taking this commitment seriously and are doing their part to make a difference, and it’s clear their efforts matter,” said Kopperud. “We continue to feel confident that we can reach our goal by 2020."
The annual study will continue with Kopperud and Wagner hopeful of positive results.
"Thank you to the Concordia community for raising awareness of this important issue. We look forward to further reduction next fall when we collect plate waste data again," said Kopperud.