Study: Students throwing away nearly 50% of food

Vegetables were the most likely item to be found in the trash.

Aug. 1—School cafeteria food may be healthier these days, but new research from Virginia Tech finds a lot of it is going to waste.

This past spring, the research team went into a Montgomery County elementary school (they're not allowed to reveal which one) for one week, where they weighed all of the school food one pre-K and four kindergarten classes threw away.

Now, rising junior Lindsey Kummer and Professor Elena Serrano are spending the summer compiling the data and analyzing it.  Preliminary results show that 44 percent of the food served in the cafeteria during that week ended up in garbage cans.

"The tremendous amount of resources that go into getting food on a plate -- we're talking about growing, we're talking about transportation, processing, and then afterwards disposal -- when you think of all those inputs, it's just an inefficient use of resources," said Serrano.

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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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