Problem Essay

Dear fellow UC Davis students,

Unfortunately, I witness the same thing repeatedly almost every single day in the short amount of weeks that I’ve been here. Whenever people go to any of the three dining commons on campus, a lot of food end up being wasted and thrown away. This is a highly serious issue because we cannot afford to take any of the food provided for granted.

First of all, just think about the countless number of people in other impoverished countries facing starvation and hunger due to lack of nutrition. They would go to the extent of risking their own lives just to find food in order to end their struggles of survival. Now, look at us. It’s a vast difference because we don’t even have to bother worrying about not getting anything to eat. If you try imagining how it feels to live in their shoes, you’ll understand right away. Please, if we all just take a second and reflect on every action that we make, I’m sure that things will turn out very differently.

Apart from putting our minds on the unfortunate individuals in poor countries, think about the money and resources used to produce all the food that many of us often toss out without a backward glance. That’s just unidealistic and unwise. A big proportion of the students at this university pay a large amount of tuition that goes into the meals that are offered to them every day, but if we end up throwing away food due to lack of consideration and thought, a whole bunch of money will be wasted in the process. The school should feel obligated to spend extra dollars just to buy more ingredients and produce food that many of you guys don’t even appreciate and value. In addition, a lot of the food in the dining halls are locally grown here on campus, so it’s highly wasteful and unsustainable for people to carelessly discard uneaten and untouched food that took a really long time to produce. It’s highly important to consider everything needed to make the food we all eat every day and to cherish what the school provides for us.

Not only do each and every one of your actions affect the environment, but also other individuals as well. The workers in the dining commons have to do extra work just to take care of everyone’s uneaten or untouched food. So much more water also have to be used to clean up the overwhelming amount of plates and utensils that many of you guys end up taking. It’s clearly not right for things to turn out this way. We should all know better and to reflect on the mistakes that we make.

I feel very passionate and heated about this particular topic because I’ve seen it everywhere when I was growing up. Whether it be a fast food shop, restaurant, buffet, or the school cafeteria, the same thing occurs over and over again. Many people, of all ages, would indifferently toss out scraps of perfectly fine nourishments. Even though they spend the money to buy these various foods, it doesn’t stop them from discarding what they didn’t finish eating. Just looking at the overflowing stacks and piles of wasted food in the trash cans tugs at my heartstrings. Even though I realize that it is human nature to be easily tempted by delicious food, but that is no excuse to excessively grab more plates than your stomach can digest or buy more food than you can possibly even handle. It’s unbelievable that we waste forty percent of our food in just the United States alone. It’s about time we set our priorities straight and make a difference, striving towards lessening the amount that we waste.

Even though this issue has been brought up and recognized continuously by our society, we should really take action and start from our very own campus. To start off, every time any of you guys go to the dining commons, be sure to look carefully at the menu to decide what you like and will finish eating. It only makes sense to take whatever is needed and nothing more, to satisfy your hunger for the current time being. It’s honestly not a difficult task because everyone should have the conscience to be mindful of what’s right and wrong. I highly doubt that dumping so much valuable food into the trash can will make anyone feel good about themselves. Going through the trouble of getting ahold of a lot more than you can possibly consume is not worth it. Now, I do realize that even though some of the dishes in the dining commons are already prepared beforehand, the portions are not too much so it shouldn’t be too hard to finish. UC Davis does encourage the lessening of food waste through various programs, so it only makes sense if we students start to acknowledge the seriousness of this problem and begin to make a difference.

All in all, instead of blindly ignoring the issue that has been widely viewed in the world today, it’s best to slowly rethink our morals and thoughts. In order to change the world for the better, preventing the waste of food is one of the best actions to take. After all, it’s never too late to start improving the way we should live our lives.


Sydney Tsao


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