We have worked hard to make our meals healthier by restricting sodium and saturated fat, controlling calories for the appropriate age range, and offering ample fruit and vegetable selections. Even with all of this change, we still see students throw out portions of their meals each day.
A study done in Boston Public Schools suggests that not only are thousands of dollars being wasted each year in plate waste, but this means that students are not receiving the recommended amounts of important nutrients throughout day. The article concludes by pointing out that more focus needs to be given to palatability and quality of school meals.
Does this amount of plate waste in school lunch reveal a larger problem?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that people threw away $161 billion worth of food in 2010. This suggests that the food waste coming from home is greater than food waste coming from schools.
Denise Blake Green, the Executive Director of E.A.T. South in Montgomery, AL empowers students through nutrition education. Green says “I think it’s about starting the conversation, so let’s talk about it.”
What can we do to reduce plate waste in our schools?