At your office event, I strongly encourage sharing the uneaten food so it doesn’t sit around and go bad. I have sent emails to entire floors of the office with “Food in the Pantry!” as a subject line. Usually that does the trick. I also like to pass food to maintenance crews or IT departments, as they are seldom appreciated for the extra effort they put in.
Another, more profound level of waste comes from higher-profile corporate parties or catered events. Those events are the ones in which the amount of waste can leave any sane person breathless. On just one occasion, I personally witnessed more than 100 portions of uncooked beef tossed into the garbage, along with bucket-sized, untouched salads. In fact, I left the catering business as a part-time job years ago, in part, because of the profound amount of food waste that I saw. Most catering businesses are not financially impacted by the waste, party because the event is paid for by the corporations they are servicing – said another way, by corporate fat.
Some catering and food service companies are well versed at encouraging over-ordering, because the more food that’s ordered, the more money they make. So, be aware that their estimates of the volume of food to order are usually way more than what’s necessary!
This pattern seems to be cultural – corporate cultural. The perception is, that by ordering more, we create abundance and by ordering less we create deprivation or lack. Also, in order to feel abundant, we must be able to waste or be left with a large amount of unused portions. All these perceptions are simply untrue. Ultimately, waste effects everyone negatively. Abundance is not about having waste-able excesses. Abundance is about the ability to allow and enjoy the perfect amount .
Ways to reduce office food waste:
- Engage in “Food Forwarding” - arrange for leftovers to be taken home or offered to others not involved in the event. Also, take responsibility for storing what’s left in the local refrigerator.
- Order less food – you can start by reducing the amount you order by a quarter, a third or even a half and see how that goes.
- Question the portions that are being offered by the caterer or restaurant providing the food.
- Understand that waste is not a prerequisite for abundance.
- Communicate with others about your outrage when you see waste of this kind.
- On the self-empowerment side, simply intend to order the perfect amount of food for your event and allow support from the Universe... ;)
- Edited by Carole S. Vaporean