Edited Problem Essay

Dear fellow UC Davis students,

Unfortunately, in the short amount of weeks that I’ve been here, I have witnessed the same thing repeatedly almost every single day. Whenever people go to any of the three dining commons on campus, a lot of food ends 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 worry about not having anything to eat. If you try imagining how it feels to walk a mile in their shoes, you will understand right away. Please, if we all just take a second and reflect on the actions that we make, I’m sure that we can slowly lessen the severity of this problem.

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 we end up tossing out without a backward glance. That’s just unidealistic and unwise. When we waste food, we seem to forget about the hard-earned money we are wasting along with it. 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 shouldn’t feel obligated to spend extra dollars just to buy more ingredients and produce food that many of us 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 is highly wasteful and unsustainable for people to carelessly discard uneaten and untouched food that took an immensely long time to produce. It’s necessary 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 go through the extra trouble just to clean up everyone’s uneaten or untouched food. A larger amount of water also have to be used to wash the overwhelming amount of plates and utensils that many of you guys end up taking. It’s clearly not right for us to inconvenience the dining commons employees with our mess and we should all know better than to give unnecessary work to others.

I feel very passionate about this particular topic because I had seen the excessive waste of food everywhere growing up. Whether it be a fast food restaurant, diner, 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 meals. Even though they spend the money to buy these various foods, it doesn’t stop them from discarding what they did not finish eating. Just looking at the overflowing stacks and piles of wasted food in the trashcans tugs at my heartstrings. 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. Unbelievably, we waste forty percent of our food in just the United States alone. It’s about time we set our priorities straight and decrease the amount that we waste.

Even though this issue has been brought up and recognized continuously by our society, the problem will not be solved unless we change. We should take action and start from our very own campus because we depend on it the most. 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 trashcan will make anyone feel good about themselves. Going through the trouble of getting a lot more than you can possibly consume is not worth it. Now, I do realize that some of the dishes in the dining commons are already prepared beforehand, but the small portions should not be too hard to finish. In addition, they provide samples of the various dishes at their dedicated stations so that students can have a taste test before they decide to get the food. UC Davis encourages the reduction of food waste through several 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 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 live our lives.


Sydney Tsao


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