Event Website

http://www.vet.upenn.edu/research/news-events-conferences/last-food-mile-conference

Start Date

9-12-2014 3:30 PM

End Date

9-12-2014 3:50 PM

Description

Pilot research was conducted by a team of students in the Politics of Food class at the University of Pennsylvania, with the aim to characterize the different streams of food waste arising from a single dining hall on the university campus. There is little available information about food waste streams at this level of detail. This study builds on the work of a previous group of students, who developed a proposal for an institutionalized food recovery program that Penn Dining and Bon Appétit Management Corporation agreed to put to trial in a single dining hall for the 2014-2015 academic year. The present team continues to collaborate with Penn Dining and Bon Appétit, with the goal of identifying food waste streams comprising the total waste from an all-you-can-eat style dining facility. This site offers an ideal context, as the dining hall closes between each meal service, thereby allowing for more accurate data collection and reduced interference with kitchen operations. Food waste streams were measured from a single meal period (dinner) over the course of 10 days (weekdays of two weeks), including: unavoidable (kitchen trims during food preparation), recoverable (cooked but not served), non-recoverable (service station remains), and plate waste (dumped by individual dinners). Daily plate waste ranged from 110-167 lbs, with a mean of 138 lbs and a standard deviation of 21 lbs; whereas the other three food waste streams (unavoidable, recoverable, and non-recoverable) averaged between 13-17 lbs each. On a percentage basis, plate waste accounted for 76% of the total food waste with the other streams accounting for 7-9% each. Plate waste per person averaged 0.64 lbs over the 10 days (ranging 0.43 to 0.99 lbs), compared to the average 0.18 lbs "perceived" to be wasted by the typical diner surveyed. Our data indicate that over the 10 days a considerable amount of food (169 lbs) could be recovered from this particular dining hall, which would be enough to feed 140 people (one meal is 1.2 lbs, according to Feeding America). The amount of plate waste generated by every two diners would be enough to feed a third person. Furthermore, our results provide strong evidence that food waste reduction and prevention must focus on the consumers. We need to improve our understanding of factors that affect consumer behavior and identify ways to raise awareness, encourage responsible eating habits, and change wasteful behaviors in order to build a sustainable food system. This work is done with supervision from faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Veterinary School, as well as with the active collaboration of Penn Dining and Bon Appétit Management Corporation at Penn.

Comments

Student research team, University of Pennsylvania

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Dec 9th, 3:30 PM Dec 9th, 3:50 PM

Food Waste Streams at a Campus Dining Hall

Pilot research was conducted by a team of students in the Politics of Food class at the University of Pennsylvania, with the aim to characterize the different streams of food waste arising from a single dining hall on the university campus. There is little available information about food waste streams at this level of detail. This study builds on the work of a previous group of students, who developed a proposal for an institutionalized food recovery program that Penn Dining and Bon Appétit Management Corporation agreed to put to trial in a single dining hall for the 2014-2015 academic year. The present team continues to collaborate with Penn Dining and Bon Appétit, with the goal of identifying food waste streams comprising the total waste from an all-you-can-eat style dining facility. This site offers an ideal context, as the dining hall closes between each meal service, thereby allowing for more accurate data collection and reduced interference with kitchen operations. Food waste streams were measured from a single meal period (dinner) over the course of 10 days (weekdays of two weeks), including: unavoidable (kitchen trims during food preparation), recoverable (cooked but not served), non-recoverable (service station remains), and plate waste (dumped by individual dinners). Daily plate waste ranged from 110-167 lbs, with a mean of 138 lbs and a standard deviation of 21 lbs; whereas the other three food waste streams (unavoidable, recoverable, and non-recoverable) averaged between 13-17 lbs each. On a percentage basis, plate waste accounted for 76% of the total food waste with the other streams accounting for 7-9% each. Plate waste per person averaged 0.64 lbs over the 10 days (ranging 0.43 to 0.99 lbs), compared to the average 0.18 lbs "perceived" to be wasted by the typical diner surveyed. Our data indicate that over the 10 days a considerable amount of food (169 lbs) could be recovered from this particular dining hall, which would be enough to feed 140 people (one meal is 1.2 lbs, according to Feeding America). The amount of plate waste generated by every two diners would be enough to feed a third person. Furthermore, our results provide strong evidence that food waste reduction and prevention must focus on the consumers. We need to improve our understanding of factors that affect consumer behavior and identify ways to raise awareness, encourage responsible eating habits, and change wasteful behaviors in order to build a sustainable food system. This work is done with supervision from faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Veterinary School, as well as with the active collaboration of Penn Dining and Bon Appétit Management Corporation at Penn.

https://repository.upenn.edu/thelastfoodmile/sessions/session/1

 

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