Food waste is a major problem facing our society. Forty percent of food in the United States is never eaten. At UConn Dining, minimizing food waste and diverting waste from landfills is a high priority. The following is just a sampling of some of the things Dining is doing to address the issue.
- UConn Dining has a partnership with a firm, LeanPath, that will assist us to track pre-consumer and post-consumer waste. With this valuable technology, we will be able to identify areas of waste and arrive at viable solutions to decrease waste.
- UConn works with Quantum Biopower to ensure that any food that has to be disposed of is put to good use. Quantum Biopower uses an anaerobic digester to transform pre-and post-consumer food waste into biogas that powers Connecticut communities and also turns waste into compost.
- Good food should never go to waste and people should never go hungry. That’s why UConn Dining partners with Community Outreach and the Food Recovery Network to deliver unused food from our cafes to the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic. Want to get involved? Contact the SOS Food Recovery group here.
- Sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, we get it. Trayless dining curbs the urge to overload your plate, allowing you to choose your meals more carefully (that limits food waste). Plus, not having to wash all those trays saves water too! Currently, students at UConn waste approximately 2.2 ounces of food per meal. We hope with continued education on mindful dining that this number will decrease.
- We recycle our cooking oil through Mahoney Environmental Services to create biodiesel fuel.
- UConn Dining staff works closely with food suppliers to ensure we are minimizing excess packaging and purchasing from local growers to reduce our carbon footprint. Dining Services is the largest consumer of locally grown produce in Connecticut.
- Our chefs have developed recipes that allow us to make use of food that might otherwise be wasted.
UConn Dining is committed to serving students. If you have ideas, feedback, or want to get involved in supporting our initiatives, reach out! We’d love to hear from you: