What should I be doing instead of this?
January 6th, 2012 By Martin Brennan | Food & Drink |

Food for Thought – Where Do Our Leftovers Go?

1 Comment

I occasionally work security at stadium/arena events in the area. My supervisor typically sticks me down on the bottom floor of the stadium. My  job's pretty easy - most of the time I either sign people in or sit around making sure people aren't wandering about areas they shouldn't be. It's pretty busy most of the time. Several different companies operate at these events: the security firm I work for, media people, caterers, athletes and entertainers.

The people I typically see the most where I am though, are the caterers and food vendors. A lot of the time my supervisors stick me on the freight elevator, so I'm taking them up and down to various levels of the stadium so they can deliver food and ingredients to the concession stands, premium seating areas and press boxes. And let me tell you, there's a lot of it.

What oftentimes bothers me, however, is the fact that a lot of the already prepared food seems to go to waste. What doesn't get eaten typically gets shipped back to the main kitchen on the bottom floor and is thrown out. Or at least, I'm pretty sure it gets thrown out seeing as the caterers don't seem to have any qualms about either giving out leftover food to other staff members who don't get fed on their shift or taking said leftovers for themselves.

Depending on how busy it is I know a lot of it does get used up. Still, at the end of the day I see plenty of people rolling carts back with a bunch of leftover food on it that just gets thrown out. The dessert carts are always the worst. I assume they don't keep the leftover cake and other baked goods around - who wants to buy leftovers when a fresh one's gonna get made in the morning, right? People want that stuff right out of the oven. No one's going to pay for a slice of cake that's been sitting around for three days.

Bottom line, there's always bunch of food left over that I see and it strikes me as a pretty big waste. I mean, this is one of the reasons we've got people starving on the streets, probably. I'm not saying it's the only reason, or even a big reason.  But it certainly isn't helping to solve the problem.

Isn't there something else we can do with this food? Hell, let's have a day where we invite homeless people and give 'em the leftovers.

Given, I don't work for the companies in charge of providing food. I'm not entirely certain what they do with their excess food stock and leftovers. I'm only making observations as I see them.

I'm not saying I'm any better. I'm sure I've thrown away my fair share of perfectly good food too. Still, when you think about it, the amount of food that gets wasted each day from catering services, restaurants and other such places must be pretty astounding. 

Sit down places probably aren't that bad seeing as most of the food's made to order. But what about all the fast-food joints? What happens to all the leftover burgers that don't get eaten? Whoops! Into the trash they go! What a waste...

Why do we have so much excess food when there are people in other places who struggle just to feed their families? It sort of puts things in perspective when you think about it.

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