Teaching Waste

For anyone who’s visited a school cafeteria as an adult, the opening to this Chicago Tribune piece will likely ring true:

On visits to lunchrooms in Chicago public schools, the Tribune watched as vast quantities of unpeeled fruit, vegetables, milk cartons and other items got pitched into the garbage.

The piece cited some staggering numbers, detailing that one school tossed 334 pounds of uneaten whole food in one day. Sad. Yet, without knowing how many students attended the school, that amount is less useful.

Of course, this is far from a Chicago-specific problem. I remember the many, many cartons of unopened milk tossed into a waste bin when I visited a Mississippi school in the decidedly unaffluent Delta.

I’m so glad the Trib is examining the topic of school food waste. And highlighting possible solutions, like redistributing whole, unopened foods, especially fruit. Apparently, Seven Generations Ahead is increasingly making that a reality.

Plus, the idea of sharing tables sounds ideal, allowing students to leave foods they’re not going to eat for other students. And allowing some choice in school lunch will only help. Same goes for having lunch after recess.

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