Anderson Commons went trayless in 2009 and immediately saw a 10 percent decrease in the amount of food wasted. Going trayless encourages students to only take what they plan on eating and is a step towards discouraging food waste.
We collect data during each meal period and are constantly updating the size a portions of our menu items in order to minimize food waste. We also are intuitive in food purchasing. We consciously purchase ingredients that can be used across the entire department. For example, we serve fresh bananas in Anderson Commons. When those bananas are overripe, they are made into banana bread, banana chocolate chip muffins and other favorites.
Through the distributors we work with, we strive to get local food whenever possible. From chicken farmed out of Minnesota to organic potatoes from local growers to honey sourced right here in Moorhead, we strive to purchase local ingredients whenever possible. Dining Services is also committed to making ethical purchasing decisions. For example, all of the coffee served in Anderson Commons, the Maize and by Catering by Concordia is certified fair trade.Local Food Purchasing Map
Plate Waste Reduction Goals
In October 2016, President Craft announced Concordia College’s goal to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2020, 10 years earlier than the national goal set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Dining Services is committed to meeting Concordia College’s plate waste reduction goal.
Plate Waste Studies
Since 1999, Dietetic Interns have been conducting plate waste studies in Anderson Commons. Starting in October 2016, the data has been used to work towards meeting Concordia College’s goal of reducing plate waste. The study results are used to increase awareness of plate waste. Together with an education campaign on campus called Taste Not Waste, Dining Services hopes to empower Concordia students to help us reach our goal and change the culture of plate waste on campus.
Tasting spoons are available in Anderson Commons. This encourages students to try a taste of new foods before they take a large portion of something they may not like. The single-use utensils reduce the amount of costly waste, impacting our planet and future generations.
We are proud to partner with the Great Plains Food Bank by donating uneaten food to those in need. As one of the food banks oldest partners, we donated roughly 1,400 pounds of food last year alone. Donations are picked up from the Knutson Campus Center every other week.
Help the Maize be more sustainable by participating in our Green-to-Go program. Pay a refundable $5 deposit in the Maize to receive a Green To-Go card. The card can be traded for a Green-to-Go container. Dirty containers are returned to the Maize and washed for you! When you return your container you receive a card and the process starts over. It’s an easy way to reduce the waste of paper and plastic to-go containers, plus if you ever want out of the program, simply return your card and receive your full deposit back.