“That’s why I think Sweetgreen is taking off,” she said. “People don’t want to feel heavy because they want to feel productive.”
The trash cans, however, are getting very heavy indeed. Robert Buffolino, the general manager of American Recycling Management in Jamaica, Queens, said that it would be difficult to evaluate systematically whether the number of salad bowls in garbage cans had actually increased.
But if you were asking him anecdotally? “Yeah, sure, there’s been an increase. Just by sight and sound, sure.”
Moreover, “most waste occurs at the consumer level,” said Marc Bellemare, who directs the Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy at the University of Minnesota. “Restaurants and grocery stores don’t waste as much as consumers do.” He added, “most of what gets wasted is not frozen pizza, it’s not ice cream, it’s produce, it’s stuff that goes in salad. I suspect that the rise of those restaurants, my intuition is that those will mean the rise of food waste as well, because they sell this stuff to consumers, where the bulk of the losses tend to occur.”
It’s not just the food, it’s the food system.