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Cook shares frustration about workplace's food policy: 'The food waste feels like a crime'

"It's all about profit there, which makes no sense."

"It's all about profit there, which makes no sense."

Photo Credit: iStock

In some commercial kitchens, like PizzaPlex in Detroit, menus are planned around using ingredients efficiently and creating the minimum amount of food waste. This saves money for the business and customers and is all-around better for the environment. Some establishments, however, take it to the other extreme, like the casino where one frustrated Redditor works.

What happened?

The fed-up food service worker posted pictures from their workplace to r/KitchenConfidential. "Limes we have to use for a dish for my work," they wrote. "On the right is what we use for the dish; on the left is what we throw away."

"It's all about profit there, which makes no sense."
Photo Credit: Reddit
"It's all about profit there, which makes no sense."
Photo Credit: Reddit

The photos show limes being prepared by slicing off four sides and sometimes the ends, forming rough, elongated cubes. This likely allows cooks to pack the limes together with no gaps between them.

However, it also means a lot of each lime is cut off to make a round object fit a square hole — and unlike in a more efficient kitchen, those scraps aren't used for another dish.

Why does it matter if a restaurant wastes part of a lime?

One slice of lime seems like a small amount of food, but when you consider the number of people this kitchen serves daily and the number of limes they go through, those slices add up. Excessive food waste means the casino has to buy more ingredients, so they probably raise the prices of each dish to cover costs, and their customers lose money.

"All of us cooks have made comments about the waste, but the uppers don't care," said the original poster in a comment. "It's all about profit there, which makes no sense because they always seem to be wasting money with labor and food waste."

"...honestly the food waste feels like a crime half the time," they commented further. "But whenever I can and if I'm able to, I'll take as much food home."

Meanwhile, the more food gets thrown away, the more food our agricultural industry has to grow. That means more water used on crops, more land devoted to farms and orchards, more resources used for farming equipment, and more fuel burned transporting food and ingredients — all of which strains our environment.

What could the casino do instead?

As commenters pointed out, juicy lime slices have plenty of uses. "Make a Moscow mule?" suggested one user, while another Redditor said, "Toss 'em in a pot, add some veggies, some broth, [and] baby, you've got a stew."

Even scraps that can't go into dishes have other uses. Food waste from restaurants makes great pig feed, and if it's going bad, it can be turned into compost.

What can I do about food waste?

You can cut back on food waste by growing your own produce and making the most of your ingredients in your kitchen.

When you go out, try to choose restaurants and stores with money-saving, eco-friendly policies. Many establishments are starting to participate in composting programs, and you can often find out which businesses are taking part online.

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