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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Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

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Menu Development
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Industry News & Opinion

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In the fall 2016 study, researchers labeled vegetables in one of the school’s dining halls using terms from four categories: basic, healthy restrictive, healthy positive or indulgent.

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Ideas and Innovation
sparkling water

Our carbonated soft drink sales at Earls.67 reflect a national trend; we’re continually down on carbonated soft drink sales by 8% to 9% on an annual basis,” says Cameron Bogue, beverage director at the contemporary-casual chain Earls Kitchen + Bar.

The issue with spa water

Many operators are intrigued with the offering, but they are learning that infused water can’t be offered at a cost to guests unless there is added value beyond cut-up fruit. Bogue says, “I was adamant that I didn’t want to charge for spa water.”

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At the original location of

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