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.