Cafeteria Cameras?

A Florida school district is considering placing video cameras on cafeteria trash cans to see what students are wasting.

While unlikely to happen, that move would be a total waste–of money. Cafeteria workers, teachers, and, heck, even I could tell you what kinds of foods are being wasted–vegetables, fruit and milk (often unopened).

Lake County school district is upset by the increase in food waste stemming from the 2010 change in federal school nutrition rules requiring more fresh foods. For educators, it’s a real conundrum–nutrition vs. waste (of food).

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Two tactics can yield better eaters and less waste. First, getting kids connected to their food by any means necessary. That can happen through a school or community garden, cooking at home or school (in Home Economics–remember that?) or simply learning about where food comes from. Kids who grow kale, eat kale.

The other idea is having school cooks learn how to hide veggies in foods that kids like. Such as pureed spinach in pizza sauce. Check with the Renegade Lunch Lady for further ideas and inspiration.

In the end, healthy lunches doesn’t have to mean more waste. If you have any thoughts or further ideas on the topic, let me know!

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