Do you have a question for EM? Send an email to with ‘readers’ questions’ in the subject line.

Collect and divide

What actually happens to all the left-over food in the cafeterias, the food court and the pavilion? A green student

Firstly, as far as possible, EUR tries to avoid making waste beforehand, says a University spokesperson. Wherever possible, any waste that is nevertheless produced is separated for recycling. “For example, we collect five different waste streams in the Sanders Building. We do this with the aid of innovative, biodegradable waste bins.”

But let’s focus on food – starting with the commercial outlets. ‘Cooked’ food waste, which is produced during food preparation, is separately disposed of. As is discarded food at the Food Plaza. Which sounds okay, but hardly spectacular. Fortunately, EUR is working hard to get an ‘innovative’ (and still-to-be-determined) private-sector party to further improve the entire process (from waste prevention to the weighing, collection and even re-use of residual streams). And they’re always interested in new ideas, of course. Both students and staff are welcome to submit their suggestions to

The best available opinion

My uncle is always saying that science is ‘just another opinion’. How can I put a stop to this nonsense once and for all? Greetje W. from V.

“If your uncle’s point is that we can never be absolutely sure about anything, then he’s right: this is a clear point of principle that you will never be able to disprove,” says EUR Philosophy lecturer Tim de Mey. “But assuming that your uncle is like most people and takes a car now and then, goes to the doctor, etc., you can remind him of his own – and in a wider sense, everyone’s – actions as a human being. In almost everything we do, we base ourselves on ‘scientific hypotheses’ that, while they are indeed ‘merely’ opinions, are nevertheless the best opinions available – the most well-considered, well-substantiated and coherent perspectives. It is precisely because ‘scientific hypotheses’ are the best available opinions that we do well to rely on them.