All images via mcmenamins.com
You should definitely check them out if you are ever in the area-- specifically, their historic Edgefield location in Troutdale, OR (my fave!)
Anyway. So we were at dinner at their Corvallis location, and I ordered a bowl of cheesy potato soup, which of course came with the little prepackaged pairs of Saltine crackers, like these:
I didn't eat them (because I had the previously mentioned cajun tots as well). So that got me to wondering: What happens to those packaged crackers if I don't eat them? They are completely sealed and perfectly good. Of course, I knew the answer to my own question, but decided to ask the server anyway.
She told me (as I already knew) that they are not allowed to serve the completely wrapped and sealed crackers again-- or anything that has previously been served for that matter (because of health codes and whatnot). So they get thrown away.
I casually mentioned (in complete seriousness) that perhaps they could collect them in a bucket and take them to the local soup kitchen once a week. Her reply? "Haha...yeah..." *advert eyes quickly*
Now, I realize it is not this individual server's job to carry out my brilliant idea (hah!), but I was kind of hoping for "That's a good idea" or "Yeah, we should do that". But no. I got nothing. And then I got to thinking-- what about all of the ketchup bottles on the tables? Or any condiment for that matter. Why is it okay to serve the same bottle to multiple tables (an opened bottle that people can put their fingers in) but not okay to serve sealed crackers?
It just amazes me the amount of waste that I don't even think about. No matter how much I do my part to recycle and reuse things-- there's always going to be someone that doesn't. Plus, those crackers are perfectly edible, and although they may not be the most nutritious item to eat-- they are much better than no food at all. I would think a soup kitchen would be glad to have them.
Alas, these were my observations on our night out. I'm thinking about contacting the manager of the restaurant, as well as the local soup kitchen just to see what they both say. Is that crazy? Or maybe I'm taking it too far and should just let it go? What do you think? I'd love your thoughts!