Article

Impact on Plate Waste of Switching from a Tray to a Trayless Delivery System in a University Dining Hall and Employee Response to the Switch

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Abstract

A potential strategy for decreasing food waste in foodservice operations is trayless dining. The objective of this 2010 study was to compare the impact of using a tray vs a trayless system on plate waste and on employees' attitudes. To test the hypothesis that going trayless would reduce waste, liquid and solid plate waste were measured for 1 week with the then-existing tray system and again after a new trayless system was implemented in a buffet-style university dining hall serving roughly1,000 meals a day. Foodservice staff were invited to participate in a focus group about the impact on their jobs. The investigators calculated plate waste per patron under the two systems and used an independent samples t test to examine the significance of the difference. Comments from the focus group were analyzed for themes. A significant decrease in solid waste per patron (0.81 oz; P=0.001) was observed in switching from the tray to the trayless system (4.39±0.24 oz vs 3.58±0.08 oz per patron). A nonsignificant reduction was observed with liquid waste (49.77±2.62 mL vs 46.36±4.51 mL; P=0.18). Most of the employees preferred the trayless system as long as it did reduce waste, but felt that increased breakage of dishware and increased need to wipe down tables were possible concerns resulting from the switch. This study demonstrates that trayless dining can reduce plate waste, and that employees can be supportive of the change.

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... While each study provides key information on plate waste, estimates taken from students may not yield estimates that translate well to the broader food sector as (1) it only considers consumption patterns of students, (2) most studies involve meals with predetermined portion sizes (rather than self-selected by the participant) chosen from a limited set of available menu items and (3) many students do not bear the cost of the food that is chosen because school meals are free or paid for by parents. Studies featuring adults that report percent waste figures range from 7% to 18% [21][22][23][24][25] while studies that only report amounts range from 15g-124g per person per meal [18,[26][27][28][29]. ...
... The studies featuring participants 18 years and older occur either in a no-price fixed-menu buffet setting [18,21], in fixed-price all-you-can-eat buffets [22][23], in buffets included as part of lodging costs [29], or pre-paid meal plan settings [24][25][26][27][28]. However, less than one-third of calories are consumed in food-away-from-home settings in the United States [30] and, among these eating occasions, buffet-style restaurants account for less than 3% of sales from that sector [31][32]. ...
... Qi and Roe [21] find plate waste of 11% (41g) at a free buffet provided to survey respondents; Wansink and Van Ittersum [22] Plate waste of adults in the United States measured in free-living conditions estimate plate waste between 8% and 14% among paying customers at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet; Just and Wansink [23] estimate plate waste between 7% and 10% among customers paying half and full price at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet; Freedman and Brochado [24] find 18% plate waste for French fries in an all-you-can-eat university dining service; and Norton and Martin [25] estimate 17% plate waste at a college dining hall. Other university plate waste studies [26][27][28] yield estimates of the volume of waste in the range of 63g-124g per patron per meal. Hotel breakfast buffet guests are found to generate 15g of plate waste per patron [29]. ...
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We analyze food-item level data collected from 50 adults from the United States using the Remote Food Photography Method® to provide the first estimates of plate waste gathered from adults across multiple consecutive meals and days in free-living conditions, and during laboratory-based meals with fixed food items and quantities. We find average plate waste in free-living conditions is 5.6 grams (7.7 kcals) per item and that 3.3% of all food selected is returned as plate waste, where the percent waste figure is substantially lower than previously published plate waste estimates gathered primarily from dine-out settings in the United States such as buffets and institutional settings with limited-choice meals (e.g., school cafeterias). Plate waste from the same participants during the laboratory-based meals is significantly higher with an average of 203.2 grams of solid plate waste per meal (531.3 kcals) or 39.1% of the food provided, which is similar to the plate waste percentages found reported in some school cafeteria settings. The amount of plate waste generated in free-living conditions is significantly positively associated with portion size selected for an item. In a multivariate analysis that controls for macronutrient profile, items selected from the vegetables, fats/oils/dressings, and grains categories are associated with significantly greater amounts of plate waste per item. We find no significant associations between free-living plate waste and gender, age, race or body mass index but find that women leave more plate waste in the lab meal where portion sizes are pre-determined by the researcher and similar for all respondents. We discuss possible implications of these findings for programs focused on reducing plate waste and food waste among consumers.
... In Finland, researchers studying workplace and student canteens found that 25.3% of the total food waste was initially edible, with too larger portions being the primary cause (Silvennoinen et al. 2015). At Indiana University in the United States, there was 606 kg of solid waste when meals were served on trays and 435 kg during the trayless week (Thiagarajah and Getty 2013). At Rhodes University in South Africa, average food waste per meal was found to be 555 ± 107 g per student per day. ...
... Researchers have also found that females tend to have more plate waste than males (Lorenz et al. 2017a). Having fewer options, serving special dishes that are more palatable, having trayless dining facilities, and reducing portion size have all been shown to contribute to a reduction in plate waste (Freedman and Brochado 2010;Thiagarajah and Getty 2013;Mirosa et al. 2016;Lorenz et al. 2017a;Lorenz et al. 2017b). ...
... Even though few universities have a specific policy on food waste, 60% of the analyzed sample declared they pursue efforts in this direction, focusing on separate collection and utilization for biogas or composting. Following previous studies, some of the measures deployed include staff serving reasonable portions during meals, trayless dining or the payment by weight for buffet service aiming at reducing plate waste (Thiagarajah and Getty 2013;Mirosa et al. 2016;Lorenz et al. 2017a;Lorenz et al. 2017b). Just 30% of the universities declared to be really engaged. ...
Article
Food waste is a considerable sustainability challenge, and many universities around the world are engaged in food waste prevention. University canteens offer opportunities for prevention of food waste by steering the amounts of food served in meals at central locations. Nevertheless, there is a paucity of international studies which look into this matter at a greater depth. This paper discusses matters related to university policies and strategies, best practices as well as deficiencies that are seen in preventing food waste. An international study was conducted, including a sample of 52 higher education institutions, in order to provide pieces of evidence of current trends. The study reveals that even though food waste is as an essential issue in many Higher Education Institutions, prevention efforts are not so widely spread as they should be. The majority of universities represented in the sample implemented particular initiatives for food waste reduction, focusing on collection for disposal and composting as well as for external donation. Other examples for implemented efforts include training staff to serve adequate portions, use of trayless dining, and provision of regular information for staff and students. However, 60% of the sample does not have to follow a particular strategy or measure the amount of food waste produced. About 15% of the universities in the sample reported no engagement. ARTICLE HISTORY
... In the trayless dining hall there was a significant decrease in number of lunch servings, drink servings, and dessert servings taken, as well as a decrease in food waste, compared to a control dining hall with trays [72]. Other studies of college/university dining have also reported decreased food waste when trays are removed [73,74]. This suggests that removal of dining trays could help attenuate the overconsumption seen in unlimited access dining venues [25]. ...
... In addition to the potential for improved student health outcomes, trayless dining likely has positive implications for food service cost-savings, making it a strong candidate for garnering campus stakeholder support. One study of trayless college dining conducted focus groups with dining hall staff, who reported supporting the trayless initiative as a way to reduce food waste [73]. However, concerns of staff members included increased dishware breakage and need for wiping down tables [73]. ...
... One study of trayless college dining conducted focus groups with dining hall staff, who reported supporting the trayless initiative as a way to reduce food waste [73]. However, concerns of staff members included increased dishware breakage and need for wiping down tables [73]. It is important that potential unintended consequences such as these are understood when campuses look to make shifts in dining practices. ...
Article
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Research indicates most college students are not meeting dietary and physical activity guidelines, and the average student gains an estimated 1.6‐3.0 kilograms during four years of study. College administrations are well‐positioned to influence student weight‐related health behaviors by ensuring that campus environments/policies promote health. However, to date, campus health interventions have largely addressed individual and interpersonal factors rather than environmental/policy‐level changes. Using an ecological perspective, this narrative review synthesizes the literature on campus environmental/policy‐level factors (e.g., food availability, physical activity requirements) associated with student diet, physical activity and weight, as well as campus interventions to address these factors. Web of Science and PubMed databases were searched between December 2018 and November 2019. Results indicate that campus food environments may contribute to overconsumption and weight gain, and the number of campuses requiring students to participate in physical activity courses is in decline. Eight examples of environmental/policy‐level campus interventions are presented: nutrition labels in dining halls, campus‐wide healthy choice marketing campaigns, restricted payment methods for à la cart dining, trayless dining, health‐themed residence halls, peer health education programs, active classroom spaces, and physical activity course requirements. Implications for research and health promotion programs/policies in the field of college health are discussed.
... Their results suggest that a reduction of 3 cm in plate size reduces plate waste by 22% without decreasing the customers' satisfaction. Moreover, Thiagarajah and Getty (2013) show removing the trays from a university dining hall significantly reduces the amount of food waste. These studies demonstrate the effectiveness of intervening in the foodservice operations on reducing food waste. ...
... The proposed flow-rate yields 302.5 and 544.7 guests on average for the moderate and high traffic scenarios respectively. This visit rate is in line with the recorded visits during one meal in the study by Thiagarajah and Getty (2013). For both scenarios, we assign equal values to the operation-duration and arrival-period parameters to establish a baseline for comparing the behavior of the scenarios. ...
... A similar field experiment conducted by Hansen et al. (2015) reports that 3 cm reduction of plate size during lunch buffets decreased plate leftovers by 25.8%. Moreover, Thiagarajah and Getty (2013) show that removing trays from a university dining hall can reduce tray leftovers by 18.4%. We also find that switching from a large to a medium plate and a small plate decreases the number of food-items left on the plates by 21.1% and 43.5% on average respectively. ...
Article
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Food waste is a substantial contributor to environmental change and it poses a threat to global sustainability. A significant portion of this waste accounts for plate waste and food surplus from food-service operations such as restaurants, workplace canteens, cafeterias, etc. In this work, we seek to identify potential strategies to optimize food consumption in all-you-can-eat food-service operations, in terms of minimizing food waste while ensuring quality of service (i.e., maintaining low wait-time, unsatisfied-hunger, and walk-out percentages). We treat these facilities as complex systems and propose an agent-based model to capture the dynamics between plate waste, food surplus, and the facility organization setup. Moreover, we measure the impact of plate size on food waste. The simulation results show reducing plate size from large to small decreases plate waste up to 30\% while ensuring quality of service. However, total waste as the sum of food surplus and plate waste is lower with large plates. Our results indicate the need for optimizing food preparation along with designing choice environments that encourage guests to avoid taking more food than they need.
... Another recommended intervention to reduce waste was the removal of trays. Trayless systems were discussed in nine papers, including as the central objective of some, such as the studies of Kim & Morawski (2012) and Thiagarajah & Getty (2013). In these studies, the authors tried to determine how the use of trays can negatively impact the amount of food wasted in university restaurants. ...
... The authors documented a 32% reduction in waste when trays were not available, suggesting that tray removal is a simple way for universities to reduce their environmental and economic impacts. Similarly, Thiagarajah & Getty (2013) identified a waste reduction of approximately 23g/consumer when comparing a tray system and a trayless system at the Indiana University (U.S.) university restaurant. ...
Article
Full-text available
About one-third of the world's food production is lost or wasted annually at different stages of food supply chains (FSCs). Food loss usually occurs in the early stages of FSCs, while waste is more prevalent in their final stages. Thus, the main objectives of the present study were to investigate the causes of loss and waste, as well as strategies that can minimize them. Decreasing food waste in collective catering organizations, including university restaurants, is situated in the context of these concerns. In order to contribute to this discussion, the authors investigated the causes of wastage in university restaurants and possible interventions recommended in the literature to reduce it. A search considering the “food waste” and “university restaurant” constructs in five different databases found 352 publications related to the theme, of which 21 supported to answer the two questions that guided this search: Q1: “What are the causes that contribute to food waste in university restaurants?” and Q2: “What are the interventions that can be or are used in university restaurants to reduce food waste?” The literature search identified 13 causes (portion size; quality; price; emotion; palatability; preparation/cooking; menu; time; satiety; storage; service; overbuying; security) and 14 possible interventions (campaigns; trayless systems; waste management; portion size; quality; changing menus; planning; preordering; charity/donations; nutritional information; coercion; changing the dishes; preparation/cooking; storage). From this perspective, the present article provides a holistic view of food waste in university restaurants, in order to guide mitigation interventions and future research on this theme.
... In the food industry, studies argue that clearer communication and stronger cooperation amongst the main actors in the food supply are essential for food waste reduction, through waste avoidance and donations of edible fractions to charitable organisations [63,64]. Case studies in universities have explored food waste reduction interventions such as tray-less delivery systems [65], written messages encouraging pro-environmental behaviour [11,66] and a social mediabased food sharing tool [67] with mixed results. ...
... Have restaurant staff stationed by the buffet to serve the food onto the customers' plates and explain the dishes and ingredients. Tray fewer systems have been proven to reduce plate waste especially in canteen settings [65]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Food waste has formidable detrimental impacts on food security, the environment, and the economy, which makes it a global challenge that requires urgent attention. This study investigates the patterns and causes of food waste generation in the hospitality and food service sector, with the aim of identifying the most promising food waste prevention measures. It presents a comparative analysis of five case studies from the hospitality and food service (HaFS) sector in Malaysia and uses a mixed-methods approach. This paper provides new empirical evidence to highlight the significant opportunity and scope for food waste reduction in the HaFS sector. The findings suggest that the scale of the problem is even bigger than previously thought. Nearly a third of all food was wasted in the case studies presented, and almost half of it was avoidable. Preparation waste was the largest fraction, followed by buffet leftover and then customer plate waste. Food waste represented an economic loss equal to 23% of the value of the food purchased. Causes of food waste generation included the restaurants’ operating procedures and policies, and the social practices related to food consumption. Therefore, food waste prevention strategies should be twofold, tackling both the way the hospitality and food service sector outlets operate and organise themselves, and the customers’ social practices related to food consumption.
... On the other hand, nudging strategies aiming to reduce PW have been proved to be effective in previous studies focused on restoration services such as hotels (e.g. Kallbekken and Saelen, 2013), restaurants (Duursma et al., 2016) and university canteens (Pinto et al., 2018;Thiagarajah and Getty, 2013;Whitehair et al., 2013). For instance, Whitehair et al. (2013) or Pinto et al. (2018) were able to reduce 15% of PW after putting posters with messages at university canteen walls. ...
... Even if those implemented in the present study were designed for young students, it might be easier to understand visual messages and posters, in general, for older students such as those in the university. In the same context, Thiagarajah and Getty (2013) showed a 18.4 % MW prevention rate per student when using a tray-less canteen system compared to the current tray system used, also in an USA university canteen. Results from the present study showed a total daily MW potential prevention rate (41%) in comparison with the previous mentioned studies. ...
Article
Food waste (FW) prevention is an essential measure to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal target 12.3, achieve more sustainable food systems and tackle the climate crisis. This paper aims at evaluating nudging strategies’ impact on FW prevention in school canteens. To do so, it applies a four-stage methodology in 4 school canteens of the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona as case studies. This study has three main contributions. First, it provided real FW data by estimating a daily FW of 46 g per dinner. Secondly, it observed a 41% FW prevention impact when specific nudging strategies were applied. Dessert was the course with bigger reductions, especially when fruits were served. In addition, strategies involving canteen staff seemed to be more effective. Third, it proposed a methodological framework to co-design and evaluate the impact of FW prevention strategies by quantifying plate waste at school canteens. Thus, this study suggests nudging strategies as innovative interventions to improve food systems’ sustainability by preventing FW in school canteens.
... Another recommended intervention to reduce waste was the removal of trays. Trayless systems were discussed in nine papers, including as the central objective of some, such as the studies of Kim & Morawski (2012) and Thiagarajah & Getty (2013). In these studies, the authors tried to determine how the use of trays can negatively impact the amount of food wasted in university restaurants. ...
... The authors documented a 32% reduction in waste when trays were not available, suggesting that tray removal is a simple way for universities to reduce their environmental and economic impacts. Similarly, Thiagarajah & Getty (2013) identified a waste reduction of approximately 23g/consumer when comparing a tray system and a trayless system at the Indiana University (U.S.) university restaurant. ...
Article
: About one-third of the world's food production is lost or wasted annually at different stages of food supply chains (FSCs). Food loss usually occurs in the early stages of FSCs, while waste is more prevalent in their final stages. Thus, the main objectives of the present study were to investigate the causes of loss and waste, as well as strategies that can minimize them. Decreasing food waste in collective catering organizations, including university restaurants, is situated in the context of these concerns. In order to contribute to this discussion, the authors investigated the causes of wastage in university restaurants and possible interventions recommended in the literature to reduce it. A search considering the “food waste” and “university restaurant” constructs in five different databases found 352 publications related to the theme, of which 21 supported to answer the two questions that guided this search: Q1: “What are the causes that contribute to food waste in university restaurants?” and Q2: “What are the interventions that can be or are used in university restaurants to reduce food waste?” The literature search identified 13 causes (portion size; quality; price; emotion; palatability; preparation/cooking; menu; time; satiety; storage; service; overbuying; security) and 14 possible interventions (campaigns; trayless systems; waste management; portion size; quality; changing menus; planning; preordering; charity/donations; nutritional information; coercion; changing the dishes; preparation/cooking; storage). From this perspective, the present article provides a holistic view of food waste in university restaurants, in order to guide mitigation interventions and future research on this theme. Keywords: Systematic literature review; Plate waste; Factors; Actions; Causes; Interventions.
... In comparison, many studies quantified only edible or avoidable food waste (Whitehair et al., 2013;Thorsen et al., 2015). The items considered edible or avoidable food wastes are meat protein, soy protein, fruits, rice, potatoes, bread, pies, juice, beverages, milk, vegetables and salads (Langley et al., 2010;Thiagarajah and Getty, 2013;Blondin et al., 2017Blondin et al., , 2018Eriksson et al., 2018b). Conversely, the inedible or unavoidable food wastes are fruit or vegetable peels and spines, eggshells, bones and skins, and seeds (Langley et al., 2010;Whitehair et al., 2013;Derqui and Fernandez, 2017). ...
... Pre-consumer level: The barriers to mitigating food waste exist at the pre-consumer level, even though the food service establishment is the one that will benefit financially if waste is reduced. Operational level: The barriers to the implementation of operational strategies to reduce food waste include the following: (a) short lunch breaks and too few kitchen staff to allow the adoption of the batch cooking approach as a waste mitigation strategy (Prescott et al., 2019b); (b) the increased breakage of meal utensils and the need to wipe dining tables more frequently, which made it challenging to use the strategy of going trayless to reduce waste (Thiagarajah and Getty, 2013); (c) parents scolding their children for bringing home leftovers and providing bins at school, which presents an easy way to dispose of unconsumed food through the reuse of leftovers (Boulet et al., 2019); and (d) the timing of recess (Chapman et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Purpose In the recent past, academic researchers have noted the quantity of food wasted in food service establishments in educational institutions. However, more granular inputs are required to counter the challenge posed. The purpose of this study is to undertake a review of the prior literature in the area to provide a platform for future research. Design/methodology/approach Towards this end, the authors used a robust search protocol to identify 88 congruent studies to review and critically synthesize. The research profiling of the selected studies revealed limited studies conducted on food service establishments in universities. The research is also less dispersed geographically, remaining largely focused on the USA. Thereafter, the authors performed content analysis to identify seven themes around which the findings of prior studies were organized. Findings The key themes of the reviewed studies are the drivers of food waste, quantitative assessment of food waste, assessment of the behavioural aspects of food waste, operational strategies for reducing food waste, interventions for inducing behavioural changes to mitigate food waste, food diversion and food waste disposal processes and barriers to the implementation of food waste reduction strategies. Research limitations/implications This study has key theoretical and practical implications. From the perspective of research, the study revealed various gaps in the extant findings and suggested potential areas that can be examined by academic researchers from the perspective of the hospitality sector. From the perspective of practice, the study recommended actionable strategies to help managers mitigate food waste. Originality/value The authors have made a novel contribution to the research on food waste reduction by identifying theme-based research gaps, suggesting potential research questions and proposing a framework based on the open-systems approach to set the future research agenda.
... This is critical as there is only increasing global need for food choices with lower environmental impact due to growing agricultural demands (McKenzie & Williams, 2015). In addition to ingredient sourcing, waste of food by end consumers is also a high concern, particularly in all you can eat dining venues such as university dining halls (Al-Domi et al., 2011;Aschemann-Witzel, De Hooge, Amani, Bech-Larsen, & Oostindjer, 2015;Thiagarajah & Getty, 2013). Worldwide, high proportions of food produced ends up being wasted, with higher income countries wasting a larger proportion at the later stages of the food chain (Gustavsson, Cederberg, Sonesson, Van Otterdijk, & Meybeck, 2011). ...
... There is also no guarantee that subjects will necessarily eat the dessert after the entrée and in fact we observed many students in the free choice follow up taking a dessert before eating an entrée. There is also no information how this intervention would affect food waste outside of a trayless dining setting, as trayless dining results in decrease in food waste and may impact students' food choices and waste (Rajbhandari-Thapa, Ingerson, & Lewis, 2018;Thiagarajah & Getty, 2013). ...
Article
The Dessert Flip is a plant-forward strategy to increase the sustainability and healthfulness of desserts that “flips” the relative proportion of full-calorie desserts like cake with fruit garnishes—simultaneously increasing servings of fruit and reducing added sugar, saturated fat, and calories. In a university dining hall, students (n=86) were served a full-sized entrée followed by a dessert randomized over three weeks: a conventional plated dessert (20% fruit, 80% cake), a flipped dessert (60% fruit, 40% cake), and a subtle “stealth” flipped dessert with peach purée in the cake (45% fruit, 55% cake). The flipped dessert was preferred over the conventional and the stealth versions in ranking and in overall, appearance, color, and flavor liking (p<0.05), and the stealth dessert was not significantly different than the conventional cake. Food waste (%) was significantly lower in the flipped dessert than in the conventional or the stealth flipped desserts and the proportion of cake waste not significantly different between treatments. Subjects rated strawberries as the most suitable fruit for dessert by itself or as part of a dessert, while fruits commonly eaten as snacks such as apples, oranges, and grapes were considered significantly less dessert-like. In a follow-up free choice study with all dining hall users, students took significantly more servings of the flipped dessert than the conventional, although the average food waste was not significantly different. These data suggest that both the Dessert Flip and the stealth Dessert Flip can be successful strategies for plant-forward dietary change.
... The canteen typically serves three "all-you-can-eat" buffet style meals per day, six days per week (excluding Sundays); however, post-COVID, table service was introduced for all meals. This site was chosen because it represented a typical format for a male-only Indian university canteen [33]. ...
Article
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A food-waste initiative was conducted at two university canteens in the UK and India to examine food-waste attitudes and opportunities for food-waste reduction. Interventions were carried out to reduce food waste in both canteens. In the Indian canteen, postintervention data also included COVID-19-related changes, such as a change from self-service to table service, as well as reduced menu choices and an improved estimation of the number of students requiring meals. Surveys and focus groups were conducted with students to better understand their food-waste-related attitudes, while interviews were carried out with university staff to better understand food-waste management. The study in the UK university canteen found that introducing table cards, posters, and signs led to food-waste reductions of 13%. Meanwhile, the study in the Indian university canteen found that the interventions and COVID-19 impacts led to food-waste reductions of 50%. Concerning food-waste-related differences between the UK and India, culture and food preferences were key reasons for food waste in India, with 40.5% more participants in India stating that they wasted food because the ‘food didn’t taste good’. Students in India were more concerned about social issues and food poverty related to food waste, with around 9% more participants stating that the ‘food could be used by others’. Meanwhile, students in the UK were more bothered by the economic and environmental impacts of food waste, with around 31% more participants stating food waste is ‘a waste of money’, and is ‘bad for the environment’ when compared to India. Key opportunities for both countries included adopting food-sharing initiatives, informed menu choices, and meal planning, as well as student-led engagement projects.
... However, other authors, such as Wansink and Van Ittersum [27], estimated a PW between 8% and 14% among customers at an allyou-can-eat Chinese buffet, and Freedman and Brochado [16] found a 18% PW from French fries in an all-you-can-eat university dining service. Other PW studies performed at university environments [28][29][30] yielded estimates of the volume of waste in the range of 63-124 g per meal. These values are much higher than our results, which may be explained in part by the different PW assessment methodologies applied, as most of these studies focused only on a single meal, usually lunch, while our study data were acquired and recorded overall, daily. ...
Article
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Food waste is a major environmental issue that must be tackled in order to achieve a sustainable food supply chain. Currently, in Spain there are no studies that examine the amounts and sources of plate waste (PW) produced by both household and out-of-home consumption. The present study aims to provide this information from a representative sample from the Spanish population. A total of 2009 individuals aged 9–75 years, from the ANIBES study (“anthropometric data, macronutrients and micronutrients intake, practice of physical activity, socioeconomic data and lifestyles in Spain”), completed a three-day dietary record, collected by a tablet device. Photographs of all foods and beverages consumed both at home and outside were taken before and after meals. Median PW across the total population was 7.3 (0.0–37.3) g/day and was significantly higher in females than males (p < 0.05) and in children vs. adolescents, adults, and elderly (p < 0.01). Regarding meals, PW across all age groups was higher at lunch (40%), dinner (27%), and breakfast (11%). The highest PW was observed for bread (25%) main courses (16%), first and second courses (15%), vegetables and fruits (12%), ready-to-eat meals (10%), cereals and grains (10%), oils and fats (10%), pulses (10%), meat products (8%), sauces and condiments (8%), and starters (8%). Our results reinforce the need for new strategies to focus on reducing plate leftovers, which are crucial from a nutritional, economic, and environmental point of view. Additionally, this evidence is important for relying on more accurate information on actual intakes when using dietary surveys.
... Similarly, multiple studies have shown that removing the tray from canteens (but allowing plate refills) makes it slightly harder to take too much food, significantly reducing food waste by up to 40% (e.g. Thiagarajah & Getty, 2013). ...
Chapter
Conservation Research, Policy and Practice - edited by William J. Sutherland April 2020
... Many such strategies can easily be employed in a college dining hall setting with relatively little cost or effort. For example, several colleges have gone 'trayless', simply eliminating the availability of trays that enable students to carry larger quantities of food, and have reported a reduction in both the amount of food students take and waste levels (13) . Intervening via payment method, specifically a restricted debit card v. cash v. unrestricted debit, resulted in a reduction in energy consumed in a dining hall (14) ; however, utilizing restricted debit cards may not be easily generalizable to some dining hall systems. ...
Article
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Objective To test an obesity prevention strategy derived from behavioural economics (optimal defaults plus delay), focused on changing the college dining hall service method. Design After a uniform pre-load, participants attended an experimental lunch in groups randomized to one of three conditions: a nutrient-dense, lower-fat/energy lunch as an optimal default (OD); a less-nutrient-dense, higher-fat/energy lunch as a suboptimal default (SD); or a free array (FA) lunch. In the OD condition, students were presented a menu depicting healthier vegetarian and omnivore foods as default, with opt-out alternatives (SD menu) available on request with a 15 min wait. In the SD condition, the same menu format was used with the positioning of food items switched. In the FA condition, all choices were presented in uniform fonts and were available immediately. Setting Private rooms designed to provide a small version of a college dining hall, on two campuses of a Northeastern US university. Subjects First-year college students ( n 129). Results There was a significant main effect for condition on percentage of optimal choices selected, with 94 % of food choices in the OD condition optimal, 47 % in the FA condition optimal and none in the SD condition optimal. Similarly, energy intake for those in the SD condition significantly exceeded that in the FA condition, which exceeded that in the OD condition. Conclusions Presenting menu items as optimal defaults with a delay had a significant impact on choice and consumption, suggesting that further research into its long-term applicability is warranted.
... Larger serving sizes were indeed found to result in more PW (Lorenz et al., 2017b). Changes in the infrastructure, such as smaller plates, smaller serving spoons and the removal of serving trays, have been found to reduce PW in self-service restaurants and cafeterias (Kallbekken and Saelen, 2013;Thiagarajah and Getty, 2013). In food services with fixed meals, the introduction of smaller servings proved to reduce PW significantly, although relatively few consumers were in favour of their introduction (Berkowitz et al., 2016;Vermote et al., 2018). ...
Article
Two interventions were systematically evaluated in two university canteens on their effectiveness to reduce visitors' plate waste. The evaluation was theory-based and focused not only at the effects on the amount of plate waste, but also at the psychological predictors underlying plate waste behaviour. In Intervention A, visitors received information about food waste over a period of three weeks. In Intervention B, in addition to information, smaller servings were offered. The actual amount of plate waste and visitors' attitudes, personal norms, beliefs, perceived behavioural control, intentions and plate waste reduction behaviour were measured before and after the interventions. Intervention B reduced the amount of plate waste by 20%, whereas no reduction was found after Intervention A. In both interventions, the provided information resulted in more positive beliefs and stronger personal norms regarding avoiding plate waste. The information also caused attitudes to have a stronger influence on plate waste reduction behaviour, whereas intention to reduce became less important for reducing plate waste. Personal norms regarding food waste were the strongest predictor of plate waste reduction behaviour, before and after the interventions. The provided information was thus insufficient to reduce plate waste, simply offering smaller servings could achieve this. Although our intervention study only included two university canteens and was conducted for a short period, our data seem to imply that a combination of both information and smaller servings reduces plate waste in the food service industry.
... Alternatively, the focus could be on acting on information, rather than just quantifying more intensively. However, some efficiency measures could be implemented without detailed or long quantifications, for example reduced plate size (Kallbekken and Saelen, 2013), going trayless (Thiagarajah and Getty, 2013), better demand forecasting and more effective stock management (Filimonau and Delysia, 2019), and prompting guests to take only as much food as they will eat (Whitehair et al., 2013). A way forward could be to design control measures that incentivize or force catering units to: 1) Conduct a short and simple quantification to raise awareness; 2) ensure that a handful of simple measures (or a checklist) are implemented based on findings during the quantification period; and 3) begin more ambitious quantifications, to form the basis for well-designed food waste reducing actions in a system of continuous improvements. ...
Article
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One innovation developed to tackle food waste in professional catering units is different versions of smart scales and softwares designed to simplify food waste quantification. The intention with this is to managing meal production more efficiently based on previous outcomes. However, quantification can be performed in different ways and having a catering unit quantify its food waste does not necessarily guarantee a reduction. Therefore this study sought to identify factors that could make food waste quantification more efficient in terms of waste reduction, and to determine the waste reduction payoff from more ambitious quantification set-ups. Data on 735 hotels, restaurants, and canteens in Europe, especially Sweden and Norway, that use a spreadsheet, a dedicated scale, or an internet-based service to track food waste were analyzed and parameters describing initial waste, number of guests and length, resolution, and completeness of quantification were determined. These parameters were then compared against the waste reduction achieved, in order to test their influence. It was found that 61% of the catering units studied had reduced their waste and that initial mass of waste per guest was the most influential factor for waste reduction. Catering units using more automated quantification tools recorded more data and reduced their food waste by slightly more, but also had a higher level of initial waste and therefore a greater opportunity for reduction. From this, it can be concluded that prioritizing catering units with the greatest waste volume could be an efficient strategy to reduce overall food waste in the most cost-efficient way.
... Because of their complex consumption characteristics and the prevalence of increasing food waste profiles, such studies have been widely analyzed in developed countries. Food waste is generated by spilling of food or by taking more food than one will eat; such waste creates environmental, social, and nutritional problems [70]. So, they conducted a study about a potential strategy for decreasing food waste in food service operations: tray-less dining. ...
Article
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Food is wasted all along the food chain. An estimated 35 percent of wasted food occurs at the consumer level. It is an increasingly important consideration for consumers, food services, governments, as well as international organizations and institutions. Only limited studies of food wastes have been published during the recent years. The purpose of this research was to investigate the amount of lunch plate waste and to find a solution for the reduction of food waste in university dining halls, used by students as well as administrative and academic staff. For this research, the food waste at the Çukurova Univer-sity's dining halls in Adana, Turkey was examined, incorporating 54.987 meals from 3 dining halls of the University. The results show that, according to weighing, about 10,7% of the served food is going to be wasted. When focusing on the different groups and the periods of the study, it was detected that there were differences among the groups and periods. From the three groups examined in this study, the students produced the most plate waste. It was also discovered that this group has the lowest sensitivity about waste of food as well. As a result, it can be derived that strategies for the reduction of food waste of the different groups have to be diverse. As detected during this research, students are not interested in the bulletins, adverts, and visual aids.
... The Office of Sustainability estimates, based on this pilot, that approximately 18,849 gal of water and 107,142 pounds of food would be saved per semester due to elimination of waste from going trayless. Similar decreases in solid waste have been reported in switching from tray to a trayless system [17,18]. ...
Article
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Background Students live outside of their family homes for the first time in college and are expected to make their own decisions regarding dietary choices. College food environment could be a major determinant of dietary intake and is of importance in relation to obesity. This research determines the impact of removing cafeteria trays on student’s food choice. Method A quasi experimental pre-post research with control treatment was conducted in university dining halls. The participants were the dining hall patrons at a large public university in Southern US, spring 2015. The dining hall trays were removed from the intervened dining hall for five consecutive days during regular university session. Outcome measures of food choice were collected by observing tray waste before and after the tray removal in the intervened dining hall with parallel observation in the control dining hall. Difference-in-difference analysis was done to find the intervention effect. Results A total of 3153 trays were observed (N = 1564 in control and N = 1589 in intervention dining). Removal of trays resulted in a significant decrease in the total number of lunch plates (1.76 vs 1.66 servings, p < .006), drink glasses (1.32 vs 1.02 servings, p < .0001), dishes with leftovers (0.56 vs 0.39 serving, P < .001), and lunch plates with leftovers (0.51 vs 0.35 servings, p < .005). Conclusions Student food choices can be affected by removing trays from dining halls, specifically favoring fewer beverages, and without sacrificing salad consumption. Studies with more precise measures of tray waste are needed to understand the direct effect on energy and nutrient consumption.
... Consequently, one pathway to reducing the impact of individuals on the environment is by understanding people's actions in areas such as recycling, waste management, water and energy consumption and other activities that reduce negative impacts on the environment [3]. Beyond technical solutions, the promotion of pro-environmental behaviour (hereafter PEB) in individuals is garnering support as an intervention for achieving environmental sustainability in different settings [1,[3][4][5][6]. Literature on individual pro-environmental behaviour is widespread and provides the foundation for designing interventions for promoting PEB. ...
Article
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Human behaviour is at the centre of most environmental problems; hence, the promotion of pro-environmental behaviour is considered to be a pathway towards sustainability. Despite the availability of insights gained from pro-environmental behaviour studies, mainly from household and workplace settings, a key question remains—can these insights be applied in university residence settings? Within university campuses, student residences are a major entity in sustainability debates because they are major consumers of resources including paper, water and energy with severe repercussions for university budgets and the environment. Using a questionnaire survey, this study explores reported pro-environmental behaviour and its determinants at Rhodes University, South Africa. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics where relevant. The findings show a high level of heterogeneity in reported pro-environmental behaviour, attributed to a suite of internal and external factors. Internal dispositional factors seemed to constrain students from acting pro-environmentally. This study highlights the need to encourage environmental behaviour in university residence settings by supporting the antecedents of and getting rid of barriers to pro-environmental actions.
... Kuo and Shih (2016) suggest that gender differences might be a factor influencing plate waste, as they found that female plate waste in universities was significantly higher than male plate waste. A significant decrease in plate waste was also found in a study where trays were removed from a university dining hall (Thiagarajah and Getty, 2013). ...
Article
Public sector food service is a major contributor to food waste generation in Sweden, with schools, pre-schools, elderly care homes, hospitals etc., producing approximately 70,000 tons of food waste each year. Sweden has appropriate infrastructure for handling food waste in place, recycling nutrients and energy, but there is still great potential to move upwards in the waste hierarchy and prevent waste. An important step in designing waste reduction measures is to identify and quantify the importance of different risk factors, in order to start by solving the problems with the greatest potential benefit and the lowest cost. This study sought to identify and quantify risk factors for food waste generation in public sector canteens by correlation analyses and statistical modelling. The empirical material comprised food waste quantifi-cation data for 177 kitchens in the Swedish municipalities of Falun, Malmö, Sala, Uppsala and Örebro, supplemented with quantifiable information about the kitchens obtained using a questionnaire. According to the findings, plate waste in schools and pre-schools increases with children's age. Schools with older children could potentially reduce plate waste by introducing more structured lunch breaks. Plate waste also increases with dining hall capacity, potentially due to rising stress and noise levels. Both plate waste and serving waste increase with greater overproduction, as indicated by calculated portion size, and could be reduced by schools and pre-schools estimating their daily number of diners and their diners' food intake more accurately. As serving waste was significantly higher in satellite units (which bring in cooked food), due to lack of cooling and storage possibilities, than in production units (which cook, serve and sometimes deliver hot food), satellite units in particular would benefit from more accurate quantification of the food required on a daily basis. These findings were confirmed by multiple linear regression models, which explained >85% of the variation in plate, serving and total waste per portion. When used for quantification after changing the value of different factors, these models confirmed that the main factors influencing serving waste and total waste per portion were type of kitchen and rate of overproduction, while plate waste was mainly influenced by children's age and factors indicating a stressful dining environment.
... changes in the item order on the menu, see Dayan & Bar-Hillel, 2011; others see e. g. Rozin, Scott, & Dingley, 2011;Swanson, Branscum, & Nakayima, 2009;Thiagarajah, & Getty 2013) are popular strategies to make desired behaviours more attractive to target groups. ...
Article
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Sustainable out-of-home nutrition can help achieve overarching sustainability goals through a transformation in demands of consumers in this growing market. Studies indicate that individual food choice behaviours in out-of-home settings relate to a wide set of personal, social and situational factors. These factors can be influenced by various intervention strategies. In an expert meeting and a focus group we invited caterers and consumers to generate, discuss and evaluate various practical intervention ideas. Both parties largely perceive the explored ideas as useful and agree on key intervention ideas. Overall caterers and consumers state to prefer nudging strategies over information and participation interventions.
... Although it is not certain what proportion of food is rescued in universities, an estimated 18,105 tons of food is rescued annually in Australia [39]. Plate waste is also an important component of wasted food, and USA initiatives that have removed trays from cafeterias have seen a 20% food waste reduction [40]. One governance document described employing this strategy but found it to be ineffective, attributing the lack of success to differences in foodservice and lack of buffet-style dining. ...
Article
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Background: Transitioning towards sustainable food systems for the health of the population and planet will require governments and institutions to develop effective governance to support the adoption of sustainable food practices. The aim of the paper is to describe current governance within Australian and New Zealand universities designed to support sustainable food systems. Methods: A systematic search of governance documents to support sustainable food systems within Australian and New Zealand universities was conducted. Data were obtained from 1) targeted websites 2) internet search engines and 3) expert consultations. Inclusion criteria consisted of university governance documents including by-laws, policies, guidelines, frameworks, and procedures that support sustainable food systems. Results: Twenty-nine governance documents across nineteen Australian and New Zealand universities were included for synthesis, including waste management policies (n = 3), fair-trade/procurement policies (n = 6), catering and or event guidelines (n = 7) and catering policies (n = 2), and environmental management plans (n = 11). The main strategies adopted by universities were sustainable waste management and prevention (e.g. reducing landfill, reducing wasted food, (27%)), ethical procurement practices (i.e. fair-trade (27%)) and environmentally sustainable food consumption (e.g. local, seasonal, organic, vegetarian food supply (14.5%)). Only 12.5% of universities addressed all three of the main strategies identified. Conclusions: This study indicates that while sustainable food systems are considered in some university governance documents, efforts are predominantly focused on aspects such as waste management or procurement of fair-trade items which as stand-alone practices are likely to have minimal impact. This review highlights the scope of universities to provide strong leadership in promoting and supporting sustainable food systems through holistic institutional policies and governance mechanisms.
... 51 Another study examined the effect removing trays had on food waste in a university dining hall. 52 Just as a slow elevator door added friction to the habit of taking the elevator, removing trays added friction to patrons' tendency to pile on excess food. The result was a reduction in food waste of approximately 18%. ...
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Public awareness and concern about climate and environmental issues have grown dramatically in the United States and around the world. Yet this shift in attitudes has not been accompanied by similar increases in eco-friendly behaviors. We propose that this attitude–behavior gap is partly driven by the difficulty of changing unsustainable habits. Governments and businesses can reduce this gap through interventions that draw on insights from research into the psychology of habits and behavioral economics. First, they can reduce or add friction, making it easier for people to engage in eco-friendly actions and making it harder to continue environmentally damaging practices. Second, they can set up action cues—prompts that trigger pro-environment actions—and deliver these cues where and when they will have the biggest impact. Finally, they can provide psychologically informed incentives and disincentives that steer people toward environmentally beneficial actions. We also describe how even initially unpopular policies can become accepted through habitual repetition. In these ways, habit psychology represents a promising addition to the policymaker’s toolbox.
... Third, and most broadly, governments and institutions can shift the choice architecture, such as when cafeterias remove trays, diners consume less food(Thiagarajah and Getty 2013), or how municipal governments, by building sidewalks and bike lanes and implementing traffic calming infrastructure (like speed bumps), can draw people from cars to more sustainable modes of transportation(Aldred and Goodman 2020). In order to reduce car traffic and to encourage walking, biking, or public transport use, London introduced the Congestion Charge, which vehicles must pay in order to drive within the charge zone in central London. ...
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This report continues the science-based approach of linking concrete changes in lifestyles to measurable impacts on climate change in order to keep with the 1.5-degree aspirational target of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The 1.5-degree lifestyles approach examines GHG emissions and reduction potentials using consumption-based accounting, which covers both direct emissions in a country and embodied emissions of imported goods while excluding emissions embodied in exported goods. It analyses lifestyle carbon footprints of ten sample countries, representing high-, middle-, and low-income countries, and identifies hotspots, or consumption domains with the highest impact on the environment. The report also fills the knowledge gap arising from most prevailing climate scenarios that underplay the potential contributions of lifestyle changes to climate change mitigation and focus entirely or mainly on developing new technologies and on changes in production. For each country in the report, the footprint gap between current and sustainable target levels are determined for the years 2030, 2040, and 2050. To bridge these gaps, options for reducing footprints in each country are introduced, estimating potential impacts from various adoption rates in each country. Finally, two scenarios are developed for each country, one focused on systems change and another on behaviour change, showing indicative pathways for achieving the 2030 target.
... Some previous studies investigating the effect of single interventions mainly targeting plate waste, such as information campaigns (with written messages such as posters and table talkers), have reported a range of results, from no food waste reduction to a 28% reduction (Visschers, Gundlach, and Beretta, 2020;Whitehair, Shanklin, and Brannon, 2013). Other interventions, including redesigning schedules so that lunch is in relation to recess (Getlinger, Laughlin, Bell, Akre, and Arjmandi, 1996), introducing tasting spoons (Tocco Cardwell, Cummings, Kraft, and Berkenkamp, 2019) and nudging initiatives (Kallbekken and Saelen 2013;Thiagarajah and Getty 2013), have been found to reduce food waste by up to 20%. Forecasting has also been identified as a potential solution to reduce food waste and especially serving waste, in theory by 20-40% (Malefors, Strid, Hansson, and Eriksson, 2021b;Ryu and Sanchez 2003;Yurtsever and Tecim 2020), although few studies have examined how well actually forecasting works in terms of food waste reduction. ...
Article
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Food waste is a problem that needs to be addressed to achieve sustainable development. There is a need for interventions that can reduce food waste, including in organisations already aware of the food waste problem. Swedish school canteens have experience of food waste reduction, but need tools to achieve further reductions. This study tested four interventions (tasting spoons, awareness campaign, a plate waste tracker and a guest forecasting tool) designed to reduce food waste in school canteens. Each intervention was introduced in two school canteens, while seven school canteens acted as a reference group. The interventions were compared with baseline food waste before the intervention and with the reference group. All interventions reduced total food waste (by 6 to 44 g/guest) compared with the baseline, but the reference group also reduced its food waste. The awareness campaign reduced plate waste most, by 13 g per portion, which was 6 g/portion more than the plate waste reduction in the reference group. The forecasting and plate waste tracker interventions reduced serving waste most, by 34 and 38 g/portion, compared with 11 g/portion in the reference group. Some interventions also had an effect on waste fractions they were not designed to target, affecting the total waste by shifting the waste. Interventions should always be seen in a context and be implemented in combinations that increase overall sustainability. Thus forecasting is an effective way to reduce serving waste, plate waste tracker and awareness campaign are effective tools to reduce plate waste in school canteens.
... Nudging might be a better option for changing the underlying behaviour of guests throwing away food. As an example Kallbekken and Saelen (2013) found that reducing plate size significantly reduced plate waste, while Thiagarajah and Getty (2013) found that removing the trays from a university dining hall reduced food waste. Kuo and Shih (2016) suggest that gender is the main driver of food waste, and especially plate waste, as they found that female plate waste in universities was significantly higher than male plate waste. ...
Thesis
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An estimated one-third of all food produced is wasted, meaning that much of the negative environmental impact caused by food production is in vain. Global ambitions to reduce food waste include halving the levels by 2030, while the new EU food strategy views reducing food waste as a key issue in achieving a sustainable food system. This thesis presents detailed information on the volumes of food waste, where it occurs, why it occurs and what can be done to reduce it. The information originated from 1189 kitchens operating in establishments such as canteens, care homes, hotels, hospitals, preschools, schools and restaurants throughout Sweden, Norway, Finland and Germany. The results indicated that approximately 20% of food served in the catering sector is wasted, although there is large variation, with canteens reporting 50±9.4 g/portion of food waste and restaurants 190±30 g/portion. To identify risk factors and reasons for food waste, a more detailed subset of data on Swedish preschools and schools was analysed. Some of the risk factors identified related to kitchen infrastructure and guest age, which could be difficult or expensive to tackle as a first option. The main risk factor was the amount of food prepared relative to the number of guests attending, an issue that kitchens can tackle by forecasting. This thesis demonstrated the potential of forecasting attendance as a tool in planning catering operations. The current business-as-usual scenario, where food is prepared for all pupils enrolled, results in a mean error of 20-40%, whereas the best forecasting case, using neural network models, resulted in a mean error of 2-3%. However, forecasts can underestimate demand, creating shortages, so some margin must be added in practical use. Providing kitchens with information about roughly how many guests will attend a meal, plus a sufficient margin, and encouraging them to serve food from a backup stock in cases of forecast underestimation would overcome the problems of shortages, reduce food waste and contribute to a sustainable food system.
... Some limited work examines the temporal and spatial organisational practices that shape university life, including Chatterton's (1999) depiction of students' consumption patterns and use of leisure spaces in the city of London and an analysis of the configuration of sustainable food in dining halls at academic institutions or cafes in the United Kingdom by Jones et al. (2008). Despite some exceptions, however, much of the implied onus for social change still rests with individual students in this literature (Thiagarajah & Getty, 2013;Whitehair et al., 2013), resonating with the aforementioned normative literature on convenience food. ...
Article
This article addresses questions about sustainability outcomes and the convenience‐oriented eating practices that tend to dominate some urban universities and that are largely associated with intensive resource and energy consumption. Instead of considering food consumption on campus as a product of individual behaviours and choices (commonly the normative frame for provisioning of eating sociospatial infrastructures), we use social practice theory to examine how timespace infrastructures shape and are shaped by eating practices on campus. The digital ethnographic methods used to capture these practices include focus groups, food maps, and discussions on a facilitated Facebook group. Our analysis suggests that university eating times and spaces normalise and promote unsustainable forms of convenience eating. For university leadership teams concerned with promoting sustainable practices, the findings highlight the limitations of individualistic solutions that aim to encourage students to make healthier and more sustainable food choices. We show that by rescheduling timetables to provide dedicated mealtimes and by providing more shared eating spaces and associated infrastructure, those leadership teams could work to reimagine and intervene in the timespaces of campus life and steer taken‐for‐granted food practices in more sustainable directions.
... A study reviewed a university that serves nearly a thousand meals a day and explored the effect of different food delivery scenarios on the amount of waste produced at the university dining hall. This study has investigated the shift from the tray-based system of food delivery to a non-tray-based system in which food waste and customers' perspectives are evaluated, thus leading to reduced solid food waste and high customer support at the buffet dining halls (Thiagarajah and Getty 2013). ...
Article
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Food waste planning at universities is often a complex matter due to the large volume of food and variety of services. A major portion of university food waste arises from dining systems including meal booking and distribution. Although dining systems have a significant role in generating food wastes, few studies have designed prediction models that could control such wastes based on reservation data and behavior of students at meal delivery times. To fill this gap, analyzing meal booking systems at universities, the present study proposed a new model based on machine learning to reduce the food waste generated at major universities that provide food subsidies. Students’ reservation and their presence or absence at the dining hall (show/no-show rate) at mealtime were incorporated in data analysis. Given the complexity of the relationship between the attributes and the uncertainty observed in user behavior, a model was designed to analyze definite and random components of demand. An artificial neural network-based model designed for demand prediction provided a two-step prediction approach to dealing with uncertainty in actual demand. In order to estimate the lowest total cost based on the cost of waste and the shortage penalty cost, an uncertainty-based analysis was conducted at the final step of the research. This study formed a framework that could reduce the food waste volume by up to 79% and control the penalty and waste cost in the case study. The model was investigated with cost analysis and the results proved its efficiency in reducing total cost.
... Current food waste reduction strategies based on a food waste hierarchy include reducing the amount of food waste generated (prevention), redistribution of surplus food, the use of food waste in animal feed and industry, composting, anaerobic digestion, and disposal [22]. Effective strategies to reduce waste at the consumer level include consumer awareness campaigns [23][24][25], nudge interventions, such as reduced portion sizes or the implementation of trayless dining [26][27][28], and retail initiatives, such as the Ugly Fruit Campaign which promotes the sale of imperfect fruit and vegetables to reduce food waste [25,29,30]. Food waste reduction strategies at a household level include meal planning, effective use of leftovers, correct storage of food, and the avoidance of overconsumption and excess purchasing. ...
Article
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Food waste and nutrition are intrinsically linked in terms of environmental health and public health. Despite this, it is unknown whether these topics have been previously synthesized into a review. The aim was to identify the interdisciplinary parameters that exist in public health and nutrition literature in terms of food waste and plastic waste associated with food, and to identify how these parameters currently contribute to food sustainability messaging and interventions. A rapid scoping review was conducted. Data were mapped into concepts and synthesized in a narrative review. Four main concepts were identified: (1) food waste and diet quality, nutrient losses, and environmental health, (2) food waste reduction interventions and diet quality, (3) food banks/pantries and diet/nutritional quality, and (4) food and plastic waste messaging in nutrition or dietary guidelines. Food waste is associated with nutrient wastage, and interventions to reduce food waste can successfully address food sustainability and nutrition quality. Food redistribution systems do not currently address access to sustainably sourced foods that are also nutrient-dense for lower-income communities. Opportunities for future research and practice include aligning food waste, plastic waste, and nutrition priorities together and developing better food redistribution systems to limit wastage of high-quality foods.
Article
Considerando a importância econômica, social e ambiental que o setor dos restaurantes industriais (RI) vem alcançando no mundo contemporâneo, este estudo objetivou quantificar resíduos gerados em um RI de grande porte do estado de São Paulo. As coletas foram realizadas durante 12 meses em 2009, nos três turnos de distribuição das refeições. A determinação da geração de resíduos/refeição foi realizada nas quatro fontes geradoras: retorno de bandejas, pré-preparo e preparo, sobra limpa e recicláveis. Foram gerados, no total, 29.356 kg de resíduos, correspondendo a 72,5% de matéria orgânica e 27,4% de recicláveis. O índice médio de geração de resíduos foi de 59,3g/refeição, destacando-se a devolução com a maior contribuição (19,6g/refeição) e a etapa de sobra limpa como menor produtora de resíduos (12,5g/refeição), indicando um protocolo de rotina eficaz. A notória quantidade de resíduos orgânicos gerados deve ser minimizada por práticas como compostagem, utilização de alimentos que produzem menos resíduos ou pré-processados, bem como investir na educação ambiental de usuários e funcionários.
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University dining facilities generate nearly 3.6 million tons of waste annually with 10-20% estimated as food. The study’s purpose was to determine the impact of portion plates on reducing plate waste in a university dining hall. Data were collected in a Midwestern university in two phases. Phase 1 utilized normal service plates, while Phase 2 introduced the choice of a portion plate. Results showed a reduction in edible and aggregate plate waste per person from Phase 1 to Phase 2. Participants who utilized portion plates reported a greater awareness of their food choices and intentionally chose less food while dining.
Article
We explore production planning in all-you-care-to-eat food service operations, where lack of marginal revenue associated with lost sales constrains the applicability of cost-minimizing strategies. We integrate forecast uncertainty considerations into an operational model of food service production, and derive strategies that minimize food waste subject to target shortfall probabilities. We model this situation using a nonlinear penalty function formulation, utilizing kernel density estimation to characterize deviations from demand forecasts, allowing enumeration of the efficient frontier between conflicting objectives of demand shortfall and food waste, where food waste is measured by either its mass or its embodied CO2-equivalent emissions. When food waste is measured using the weight of wasted food, reducing the substitution threshold (minimum-allowable production level for leftover substitution) for meat-based items at certain meals is preferable. Alternatively, when using CO2-equivalents embodied in wasted food, a variety of strategies, including reducing the substitution threshold at certain meals, increasing the percentage of demands that are satisfied from leftovers at certain meals, and increasing the allowable shortfall probability for beef-based meals, are all attractive. The results provide insight into targeted production level modifications, rather than broad increases or decreases, that can help food service operators manage the tradeoff between these conflicting objectives.
Article
Emerging economies, particularly China, are likely to play a critical role in determining global food waste. The paper investigates plate waste from a staple food consumption pattern perspective by surveying 9,192 Chinese university students at the on-campus canteens in 29 provinces of mainland China. A significant finding is that diet culture is closely related to food waste. Southerners who consume rice as a staple food are found to waste more food than Northerners who are wheat-based eaters on average. A robust test confirms the finding when matching the student's hometown and university location and setting the "Southerners studying in South China" as the reference group. Taking into account the possible self-selection problem, the robustness test based on the PSM model also confirms the association between staple food consumption patterns and food waste in Chinese university canteens. Comparative analyses based on the components of food consumption and the compositions of wastage further suggest that the differences in staple food consumption patterns determine the food wastage variations. This study provides empirical evidence that differences in consumption patterns bring about the disparity in food wastage within a country.
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Dramatic reductions in carbon emissions must take place immediately. A human-centric method of reducing environmental impacts is to “nudge” employees away from single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs) toward more sustainable commuting options. While an abundance of research has focused on external determinants of mode choice, we know much less about the behavioral determinants. The field of behavioral science is overdue for a focus on transportation. This paper is meant to facilitate communication between researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in part by developing a behaviorally-informed framework that can be leveraged by policymakers, government, and companies worldwide. We also describe the founding of our multidisciplinary team and outline lessons learned.
Article
The foodservice industry generates food waste by disposing of unserved food in the kitchen as well as uneaten food from consumers’ plates. In all-you-care-to-eat dining settings, such as university dining halls or buffet-style restaurants, food waste can be problematic because there is little monetary incentive to take less food. In addition, university dining facilities primarily serve young consumers who tend to be more wasteful than the average adult, further increasing the likelihood of waste. Appeals to money-saving have generally been identified as the best motivator to reduce consumer food waste; however, alternative motivators are needed when the quantity of food and its associated cost are not directly linked in all-you-care-to-eat settings. The purpose of this study is to determine the efficacy of a food waste reduction campaign in a university dining hall. Consumer plate waste was collected, sorted, and weighed in a treatment and comparison dining hall for a semester to assess the impact of the campaign on the quantity and type of food waste. Results reveal that the campaign had a modest, though insignificant, impact on waste behavior, but there were changes in students’ beliefs related to food waste, which may be an important first step to achieving behavioral change.
Article
We show that a fixed financial incentive reduces the amount of food waste in an all-you-can-eat university-dining hall. Results indicate that the incentive increased the likelihood of students cleaning their plates, but did not affect the amount of food taken. These results raise important questions about implementing well-studied policies in modifying food consumption. An unintended consequence of the monetary incentive might have led students to consume relatively more food, thus encouraging unwanted eating habits.
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Purpose Calls for theoretically informed interventions and a more reflexive stance are apparent in social marketing. Moving from a “prove” to “improve” mentality requires evaluations that learn from experience gained to identify improvements to inform future programme success. This paper considers the value of inclusion of stakeholders in process evaluation. Design/methodology/approach Two participant groups ( n = 90, n = 182) and one key stakeholder group ( n = 22) were surveyed in person, over the phone and online. Open-ended qualitative responses were analysed for recurring themes. Findings Key stakeholders contribute unique and valuable insight into programme implementation and engagement, expanding evaluation beyond participant feedback. Most notably, the process evaluation illuminated the engagement insight of programme volunteers, mid-level expansion opportunities offered by participating chefs and the perceived value of involvement across all stakeholder groups. Research limitations/implications The study is limited by a lack of systematic stakeholder identification and to a single context, namely food waste. Practical implications This paper affirms the importance of process evaluation and application of stakeholder theory to social marketing. These contributions suggest a widened focus for the widely accepted NSMC benchmark criteria which centre attention on the end users targeted for change. Stakeholders should be included in process evaluations given they contribute important and unique partnership insights. Originality/value This paper extends stakeholder theory use in social marketing providing showcasing potential for this approach to deliver a more reflexive stance.
Article
Background: Assessing nutritional intake in all-you-care-to-eat dining facilities poses unique challenges. New methods that streamline accurate data collection would facilitate better nutrition intervention research in this dining hall environment, which is common on university campuses. Objective: To compare nutrient and food group intake data of university undergraduate students from a single visit to an all-you-care-to-eat campus dining hall, collected by two methods: multiple-pass dietary recall interview and self-administered, electronic survey. Participants/setting: Undergraduate students (n=42) ages 18 and older were recruited as they exited the dining hall during lunch service hours during 1 week. Design: Using a cross-sectional design, participants completed two dietary assessment methods in random order: an electronic tablet-based exit survey listing the available menu items at that service with drop-down menus to report portion size consumed and a multiple-pass structured dietary interview by a single, trained interviewer. Statistical analyses performed: Agreement of nutrients and food groups between the two methods was assessed by Pearson and Spearman correlations and paired t tests. Significance was set at P<0.05. Results: Respondents were primarily underclassmen and women who lived on campus, with 16 of 42 students identifying as white. Students reported an average of 1.1 additional food items via the diet interview method compared with the survey. Average kilocalorie intake by the interview and survey methods was 837±561 and 860±586, respectively. Mean intake of all measured nutrients and all food groups except total and lean protein was not significantly different across the two methods. Spearman correlations between method results ranged across nutrients from r=0.541 to r=0.998 and across food groups from r=0.507 to r=0.948; all were significant at P<0.001. However, mean differences between methods exhibited notable variation. Conclusions: The electronic survey method performs similar to a multiple-pass dietary interview in assessing mean nutrient intake of ethnically diverse university undergraduates in a single eating occasion at an all-you-care-to-eat dining hall, but the survey may not be as efficient at capturing the total number of food items consumed.
Article
RESUMO O estudo das causas do desperdício alimentar e das potenciais intervenções para a sua minimização está entre as preocupações centrais daqueles que trabalham com alimentos. A alimentação na educação, que inclui os refeitórios das universidades, está entre os setores que merecem atenção, uma vez que quantidades significativas de alimentos são desperdiçadas pelos consumidores. Entretanto, ainda há uma escassez de estudos que abordem o problema. Este estudo teve como objetivo geral investigar o desperdício de alimentos em um refeitório de uma universidade brasileira, bem como a percepção dos consumidores em relação às refeições servidas. Por meio de um questionário, foi possível investigar quais as principais percepções dos consumidores, e o que poderia estar por trás da geração do desperdício. Utilizou-se a correlação de Spearman a fim de verificar a correlação entre o desperdício alimentar e a percepção dos consumidores sobre as razões por trás da geração do desperdício. Verificou-se um desperdício médio de 68 g/consumidor. Além disso, foi observado que os consumidores que colocavam os alimentos em bandejas desperdiçavam mais alimentos do que aqueles que optavam por comer em pratos. As informações coletadas foram utilizadas para propor potenciais intervenções voltadas à redução do desperdício de alimentos em refeitórios universitários.
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Approximately 31% of food is lost or wasted at the retail and consumer levels in the U.S. Among consumers, young adults have been identified as one of the more wasteful segments of the population. In the U.S., many young adults (ages 18–24) attend a post-secondary education institution where they are often provided housing and meals through the college or university. Because of this, university dining facilities make an excellent target for food waste reduction strategies. The purpose of this study is to evaluate one food waste reduction strategy: changing the plate shape and size in university dining facilities. Specifically, this study compares individual food selection, consumption, and waste between round plates (9″ x 9″) and smaller oval platters (9.75″ x 7.75″) in a self-serve, all-you-care-to-eat dining environment. Compared to larger round plates, smaller oval platters significantly reduced average food selection (359.9 g vs. 318.0 g, P<0.001), consumption (302.9 g vs. 280.5 g, P = 0.0012), and waste (57.0 g vs. 37.5 g, P<0.001). Our results suggest changing the plate shape and size can be an effective waste reduction strategy in all-you-care-to-eat dining halls at colleges and universities. Future studies should consider how such changes impact dietary quality and whether waste reduction effects persist over time.
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Food waste in the hospitality industry is a major problem, and solutions to change wasteful behaviours in professional kitchens are scarce. De Visser-Amundson and Kleijnen contribute to this knowledge gap by exploring how nudging can be used to stimulate employees to save more food without impacting the customer experience. In a field setting with a perspective of cost-effective service excellence (CESE), they specifically show that cost-saving behaviours realised by either a social norms nudge or a pre-commitment nudge are promising paths to explore as solutions to reduce food waste in professional kitchens and to achieve CESE. To that effect, the social norms and the pre-commitment nudge reduced daily food waste with 25.02% and with 33.50%, respectively.
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The last few years, a lot of measures addressing food waste have been proposed and implemented. Recent literature reviews call for more evidence on the effectiveness or food waste reduction potential of these measures. Furthermore, very few information is available on the extent to which food waste measures have been evaluated based on their economic, environmental and social performance. This review closes this knowledge gap by looking at the methodologies currently used in literature to evaluate food waste prevention measures, using a pre-defined assessment framework with quantitative evaluation criteria. In total, evaluations were examined for 25 implemented measures with measured outcomes and 23 proposed measures with projected outcomes. The paper concludes that there is a great variety in how an evaluation is performed. Additionally, in many cases, economic, environmental or social assessments are incomplete or missing, and efficiency is only seldom calculated. This is particularly true for implemented measures whereas proposed measures with projected outcomes tend to have a more thorough evaluation. This hampers practitioners and decision-makers to see which measures have worked in the past, and which ones to prioritise in the future. Moreover, more complete information on the effectiveness and efficiency of measures would make incentives for reducing food waste at various levels along the food chain more visible. At European level, work is ongoing on the development of a reporting framework to evaluate food waste actions. This paper complements these efforts by providing an overview of the current gaps in evaluation methodologies found in literature regarding food waste prevention measures within EU and beyond. [Journal: Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems]
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Background With increasing pressure on the Earth’s finite resources, there is significant demand for environmentally sustainable practices in foodservice. A shift to sustainable foodservice operations can decrease its environmental impact and may align with consumer expectations. Objective This systematic review explored consumer expectations (attitudes pre-intervention) and responses (behaviour, cognitive attitudes and affective attitudes post-intervention) towards environmentally sustainable initiatives of foodservice operations. Methods A systematic search following PRISMA guidelines was conducted across MEDLINE, EMABASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science databases. English and full text research articles published up to November 2019 were identified. Consumers’ expectations and responses to interventions were extracted. The quality of the studies was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT). Results Thirty-four studies were included and given the heterogeneity of the studies; results were synthesized narratively. The main outcomes analyzed included changes in behaviour and attitudes (cognitive and affective) including knowledge and satisfaction. Intervention strategies were interpreted and categorized into three groups: food waste reduction, single-use item and packaging waste reduction, and initiatives related to menu, messaging and labelling. Most studies resulted in significant pro-environmental changes towards decreasing food waste, decreasing single use-item and packaging waste, and engaging consumers in sustainable eating. Conclusions There are a range of successful environmentally sustainable strategies that when implemented by foodservices can have a mostly positive impact on consumer attitudes and responses. However, positive consumer attitudes did not always translate to changes in behavior. Foodservices should carefully consider implementing interventions which support changes in consumer behavior.
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Cambridge Core - Ecology and Conservation - Conservation Research, Policy and Practice - edited by William J. Sutherland
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Foodservice is estimated to produce 12% of the total food waste in Europe, and it is a major target for policies against food waste. The amount of food lost during foodservice operations has been assessed in the literature as a figure ranging from 10% to 41% of the quantity prepared in the kitchen, either as non-served food or as plate waste. In this paper, a systematization of the current initiatives against food waste in EU school foodservice is provided. This background is used as a base to discuss the results of a direct assessment of food waste conducted in 78 primary schools in Italy, where 28.6% of the food prepared was not consumed by the diners. Part of it was saved for reuse, while the rest was disposed and treated as organic waste or, to a lesser extent, as unsorted waste. The flows of food waste, represented by a Sankey diagram, show that some actions may be implemented in order to save more food from disposal; for example, implementing donation programmes for non-served food or using doggy bags to avoid the disposal of plate waste. A greater effort shall be put on preventive actions, aimed at avoiding the generation of food waste; in this sense regular monitoring at schools may act as a first preventive measure as it can increase the awareness of students, teachers and foodservice staff over the issue of food waste.
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Obesity and food waste are related issues, both exacerbated by an overabundance of food. Efforts to reduce food waste can have varying unintended, obesity-related consequences, which further underscores the need for a systems approach to food waste reduction. Yet, these 2 issues are rarely examined together. It is the authors’ point of view that for nutrition educators and other public health practitioners to develop interventions that simultaneously address food waste and obesity, they need to understand how actions at the consumer-level may impact waste and its related food system consequences earlier in the supply chain.
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Based on the questionnaires of 9192 students, we found 74% of them have generated plate waste in university canteens and food waste amounted to 61.03 g per student per meal, of which the largest percentage comprised of wheat (25.78%), rice (20.36%), and vegetables (18.61%). Also, this paper found that the factors that affected university students’ food waste generation are multidimensional, including individual-level and family-level characteristics, catering features, and regional locations. In this study, eight factors impacted both indicators of plate waste. Specifically, females wasted more food than males. Education helps in reducing food waste. Bad daily waste habits could exacerbate food waste. The improvement of family economic conditions encourages food waste. Relative to eating alone, dining together with peers caused more serious food waste. The greater the time pressure, the more serious is the food waste. The higher the satisfaction of food taste, the less is the food waste. Compared with students from the north of China, food waste among students in the south is more serious. To reduce plate waste in university canteens, it is recommended that university decision-makers and canteen managers attach great importance to food waste of Chinese university students, by introducing targeted measures to reduce food waste, such as finding effective ways to reduce staple food and vegetable waste, introducing differentiated policies for university students with different individual-level and family-level characteristics, and reducing plate waste caused by unfavorable catering characteristics.
Article
Objective: To evaluate implementation of nutrition/physical activity-related policies/practices at colleges participating in a healthy campus initiative and campus health leaders' perceptions of policies/practices' support for student health and ease of/barriers to implementation. Participants: Health leaders at colleges participating in the Healthier Campus Initiative (HCI), with completed or ongoing three-year HCI commitments. Methods: Surveys asked which of 41 guidelines were implemented and perceptions around support for student health and ease of/barriers to implementation. Qualitative interviews explored similar domains. Results: Campuses with completed HCI commitments (n = 17) averaged 27.6 guidelines implemented, versus 21.1 on campuses with commitments ongoing (n = 13; p = 0.003). Perceived support for student health and implementation ease varied by guideline. Common implementation barriers included financial costs and time. Interviews largely reinforced these findings. Conclusions: Completion of a campus environmental change initiative may be associated with more health-supporting practices. Campuses may benefit from implementing coordinated policy/practice changes supporting healthy eating and physical activity.
Article
The ultimate goal of this research was to understand the process of food service sustainability through a limited “cradle-to-grave” analysis of Southern Illinois University's (SIU) campus dining facilities. The process of researching the dining halls' sustainability was broken into three separate stages: food mileage analysis, food waste analysis, and vermicomposting analysis. The first stage results determined that the dining halls were 15.67% sustainable in its food purchasing process. The goal for the university was to obtain a 20% purchase rate of sustainable products. The total carbon foot print for the university was 1533.5 tons of Co2 for 1,990 items. This carbon output is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 278.82 passenger vehicles. The total mileage of the food items was 775,394.50 miles.The second stage of the research calculated the average amount of waste that was produced per student. SIU's dining halls utilize a new system of service called trayless, where trays are removed and students have to fill up a plate instead of a tray. The average food waste per student was 1.04 oz a day. Currently, the waste produced is very limited. This demonstrates that trayless dining has proven effective and needs to be continued.The final stage was a vermicomposting analysis in which a pre-composting phase was introduced to expedite the vermicomposting process. The amount of time taken for this pre-composting phase was still longer than anticipated. The longer time frame translated into additional monies to pay for utilities for the building and payroll for the workers. Vermicomposting, although, ecological friendly does not appear cost effective in this setting.This study demonstrates how universities can begin the process of sustainability. By using several methods that have been investigated to increase sustainability (food mileage calculations and tray-less dining), university food services should be able to implement more sustainable practices in order to encourage making our universities green.
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National data indicate that 91 billion pounds of food are lost by consumers and food service annually. With growing concerns about the environment, economy, and food production, it is important to be resourceful about food. The goal of this study was to analyze differences in food and compostable waste with and without the use of trays in an all-you-can-eat university dining facility. The results indicated that the use of trays resulted in significantly more waste (p < .05) than no access to trays, with 5829 pounds of edible waste and 1111 pounds of inedible waste being generated in 1 week.
Food Waste. Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. 2003. Encyclopedia website
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Sobal J, Nelson MK. Food Waste. Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. 2003. Encyclopedia website. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/ 1G2-3403400261.html. Accessed December 6, 2011.
From the Farm to the Fork, Increasing Sustainability Implications Surrounding Food on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus. University of Minnesota, Institute on the Environment website
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Gomez A, Glaubitz C, Hines M, Lawson MM, Zeglen L. From the Farm to the Fork, Increasing Sustainability Implications Surrounding Food on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus. University of Minnesota, Institute on the Environment website. http://sustainabilitystudies.umn. edu/prod/groups/cfans/@pub/@cfans/sustainability/documents/article/ cfans_article_188616.pdf. Accessed December 6, 2011.
Food and non-edible, compostable waste in a university dining facility AUTHOR INFORMATION K. Thiagarajah is a lecturer, Department of Applied Health Science, and V. M. Getty is senior lecturer and director Address correspondence to: Victoria M
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Sarjahani A, Serrano EL, Johnson R. Food and non-edible, compostable waste in a university dining facility. J Hunger Environ Nutr. 2009;4(1): 95-102. AUTHOR INFORMATION K. Thiagarajah is a lecturer, Department of Applied Health Science, and V. M. Getty is senior lecturer and director, Didactic Program in Dietetics, Department of Applied Health Science, both at Indiana University, Bloomington. Address correspondence to: Victoria M. Getty, MEd, RD, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, HPER Building 116, 1025 East 7th St, Bloomington, IN 47405. E-mail: vgetty@indiana.edu
From the Farm to the Fork, Increasing Sustainability Implications Surrounding Food on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus.
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