Iowa hospital responds to criticism, starts composting

Hospital reportedly threw away $181,000 worth of food last year.

April 1—Discarded food from Iowa's largest hospital will soon be part of a composting program in Iowa City. 

The landfill will soon see an influx of more material from the cafeterias at the University of Iowa Hospitals. Two months ago, the hospital received criticism after the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported they threw roughly 12 percent of the food prepared in the dining halls—or about$181,000 worth of food in a year.

Scott Turner, an associate director for U-I Hospitals, says they’ve since reevaluated their food preparation methods to reduce the amount they waste. “We’re cooking food in smaller batches to reduce the amount of food that needs to be discarded,” Turner says. “We’ve taken additional steps to make sure food can be safely donated to other organizations.”

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Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

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