Staff Editorial: Let’s go trayless, NMU

NW Staff

You may have noticed something missing from campus cafeterias this week: Trays. For the second time this semester, Dining Services has decided to remove trays to again test a proposed trayless initiative.

As the dialogue has been heating up, however, some students around campus have become upset, even creating a Facebook group – now with almost 500 members – to plan a protest against the move. The North Wind, however, thinks this resistance is unwise.

Advocates for going trayless emphasize how much money such a transition could save. We agree that this is a valid concern, especially during a recession. But more importantly, going trayless will promote food conservation and will create a healthier and more environmentally friendly campus.

Our mothers used to warn us that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. Mom was right. By the time busy college students make it to a cafeteria, they are often extremely hungry, and will pile trays with heaping plates of food. Often, they’re unable to finish such a copious amount, and end up throwing much of it away. But without trays, the amount of waste created can be decreased, and that should provide some relief for both the environment and the university’s pocketbook.

When the food is already in front of a person, they don’t have to actually think about eating that second cheeseburger. Instead of taking the time to go order another (and thus, allowing the body to begin digestion and to recognize whether or not it is still truly hungry), they just have to slide a second, or third, plate in front of them. This overindulgence is certainly not the basis of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, according to the American Obesity Association, over 60 percent of Americans are overweight, and over 30 percent are considered obese – these numbers have been consistently increasing. This epidemic obviously affects NMU as well, and we applaud any efforts to combat it on our campus.

Both of these issues can be addressed by removing trays from campus cafeterias. Without trays, you will only be able to eat what you can carry. If you are still hungry when you are finished, you can go get some more. This solution will cut down on wasted food and will force you to eat smaller amounts of food at a healthier pace.

Though permanently removing trays in campus dining areas may seem like an inconvenience at first, the benefits of such an action — for students, the environment and the university — far outweigh the nuisance.