University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics threw away 355,000 servings of food worth $181,600 in the year that ended Nov. 30 — a waste of 12 percent of food prepared for employees and visitors at the state’s largest hospital.
Among unsold food tossed in a single November day were 160 servings of meatloaf, 174 servings of ham and au gratin potatoes and 140 sides of mashed potatoes. On another day, 85 servings of macaroni and cheese went in the trash. On a third day, staff prepared 77 servings of spicy French fries. None was eaten.
Forty percent of food in the United States goes uneaten, according to the National Institutes of Health. More than 34 million tons of food waste was generated in 2010, with most of that going to landfills where it creates methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
UI Hospitals does not regularly donate unsold food, nor does the hospital recycle food waste into compost, which is striking at a campus with a Sustainability Office that promotes the UI goal of 60 percent waste diversion by 2020.
Read the story linked above for more details. How would you reduce food waste at institutions like the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics?