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Campus food wastage believed to be below average

When we go to buy our lunches every day we don’t think about all the food that’s going to be thrown out that night.

There are more than 65,000 students and staff and about 11 different food establishments on campus. Naturally, a lot of food is processed daily.

But according to executive chef of the Marketplace Food Court, Russell Weir, the college is below typical wastage in the industry, which is between three and five per cent of food purchased.

“I think that the food waste in our department is very minimal,” he said.

The Marketplace Food Court located in the D-building is one of the busiest and most popular cafeterias on campus, which means they process and sell the most food.

Asked whether any of the unsold food gets donated to the college food bank, Weir said he didn’t believe so.

The cafeteria has donated to The Ottawa Mission and Shepherds of Good Hope in the past. But Andre Villeneuve, food services senior operations manager, said the strict requirements of food banks and shelters sometimes make it difficult to donate.

“These places don’t necessarily accept the food that we prepare.”

And that food is needed for thousands each day.

“We touch over 13,000 people per day through our food service outlets. We have a mandate to be ready for them. If everybody came everyday like clockwork, we would have no waste,” said Weir.

“We’re the producers but the end users have a huge factor in this as well,” added Villeneuve. “We try to control as much as what we can control.”

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