An assessment of food waste conducted by an international team of researchers showed that American school cafeterias waste more food than schools in other developed countries. In Sweden, only 23% of the food served is waste, in Spain, it is about 30%, in the United States, it is about 27% to 53% of all food served.

Christine Costello, a reseacher herself, was quoted saying the food waste audit done by the researchers was unusually thorough. They used direct weighing and digital photography to see the amount and specific types of food wasted. They also sorted through the plate and kitchen waste to see what foods students didn’t eat.

A private school in Missouri was chosen for the study because their administration was interested in lessening food waste and they were a k-12 school. Their cafeteria is shared by 300-plus students, faculty, and staff in turns. It was discovered students in all grades waste fruits and vegetables the most, over 50% of the waste. But eggs and poultry was the least wasted food category. One specific example of food waste was when the school bought a 5-gallon-bucket of baked beans. The study showed that almost all the baked beans were thrown away, not only wasting food but also money.

Overall, the study was less for science and more for helping people manage cafeterias and lunch programs to help food-production systems.

I encourage you to read the full article here:

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