In my four years of being a student here at ENC, I’ve heard most of the student body complain about the food and other services in the cafeteria. Most of the complaints are “There’s nothing to eat!,” “This food is crap!,” and “Why do we pay for this?” As someone who has worked in the cafeteria, these complaints really bother me. I don’t cook a lot, but I do cook breakfast twice a week and the full-time cooks are some very good friends of mine. In other words: I have a little background on what goes on behind the kitchen doors.

To be honest, there’s no reason that students should be complaining as much as they do about the food. The food gets excellent care when it’s being made. Between cutting, paring, and slicing, the cooks put a lot of effort into preparing the basic foods. The cooks try to make sure that the food is balanced, so there is always a good selection to choose from. Every day, students can choose from a variety of vegetables, meat, pizza, a rotating specialty bar, and the grille, which has different foods every day.

But the cafeteria does a lot more than just make food for students. The workers serve at events for the Wollaston Church of the Nazarene now and again, host dinners for faculty, and hold a special theme dinner for students every month. The cafeteria provides food for other groups of people, but ENC students are the only ones who tend to complain. The cafeteria also has a nice little box at the entrance/exit where students and other customers can place their complaints; those notes go directly to Rick Harmon, the food service director, who takes each into account.

So, to be completely frank, the food may not appeal to the student body all the time, but there’s more than enough for you to eat—and more than enough food that’s thrown out by students to feed an entire town in Africa. This isn’t a joke: There’s a large compost bin in the back of the kitchen filled with students’ leftover food. The bin has to be dumped at least once every other day and sometimes once a day.

To all those students who complain all the time and throw out the food that they get but decide that they don’t want: stop being unproductive. If you have a complaint, send it to someone who can look at it and change it if it really needs to be addressed. Stop sending complaints to your friends. And stop wasting all that food.