PORTLAND -- Every kitchen inevitably has waste, but for many kitchens it's out of control, especially for large kitchens that serve colleges, casinos, and the military.
In the United States, families throw away 25 percent of the food they buy.
At Portland’s Concordia University, finding a solution to its growing food waste was a priority. They wanted to know why so much food was not making it to the cafeteria tables.
They enlisted a program by Oregon’s LeanPath, a simple-to-use food waste tracking system that everyone in the kitchen can use.
The program measures by weight what food has expired along with putting a dollar value to it. So now, the chef knows how much money is going in the garbage.
“In the long run its saving us money and time because if we're not over-producing and throwing money away, the culinary is not spending as much time making those products,” said Joel Schaefer, executive chef at Concordia College.
“We find that in food service between four and ten percent of what's brought in the back door of a food service operation gets thrown away in the kitchen before it ever reaches a customer, over-production, spoilage, expired items, trimmings,” said Andrew Shakman, co-founder of LeanPath.
After nine months of using the system, Concordia found there is more waste on Monday and Fridays, and the majority of that waste is from over-production of its "simply to go" menu.
With steps in place to curb the waste, the college has prevented three tons of waste going into landfills