Food Waste at Pomona Adds Up, PEAR Finds

Food thrown away at Frary and Frank Dining Halls can add up to more than 70 pounds per meal, an audit conducted last week by Pomona for Environmental Activism and Responsibility (PEAR) found. 

“We wanted to raise awareness about the amount of food that people throw away and don’t even compost,” PEAR member Juliette Walker PO ‘13 said.        

All the food scraped off of plates from Frank and Frary dining halls was weighed on Thursday and Friday. Frary food waste was also audited on Saturday but PEAR was unable to assess Frank because of its reduced weekend hours. Food was then sorted into categories of nonedible compostable waste, edible waste, and liquid waste.      

The results of the audit were computed on Saturday. Walker said that PEAR members were shocked by the numbers.    

“On Saturday the total edible food waste was 225 pounds, total non-edible food waste was 25.5 pounds, liquid waste was 68.8 pounds, for a total of 319.3 pounds of waste that could have been eaten or composted,” she said.    

The average food wasted per meal on Thursday and Friday was 71.2 pounds.      

“We never really see this part of the dining hall and it was really shocking to see these plates come through that were full of food that would have made a filling, good meal,” Walker said.     

PEAR is planning a Compost Awareness Day Feb. 28 and 29 to further discuss food waste. The organization is also planning to use posters and set up informational tables in the dining halls.    

“We want to get these numbers out there to show people how much of an impact just leaving a little bit of food on their plate is having,” Walker said. “All the little pieces add up.”

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