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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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

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gluten free diet

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A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.

In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.

According to FoodService Director , 77% of college and university operators purchase their gluten-free...

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

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