Getting Wasted at UK signThe Student Dietetic Association (SDA) is focused on getting wasted this year-wasted food, that is. In September, SDA members conducted a food waste study at UK's Blazer Cafeteria.  Members collected food trays from students and then weighed leftover food before it was trashed. The purpose was to determine how much food is wasted in campus cafeterias per day based on the average amount wasted at UK. 

The results of the food waste study proved interesting.  A total of 106 pounds of wasted food was weighed from 512 people.  Therefore, each person averaged wasting 3.3 ounces of food.  With approximately 10,300 patrons dining at either Blazer or Commons cafeteria during a typical week, the total food wasted would be 3,000 pounds.  This is a significant amount, and does not totally depict food waste on-campus as it does not take into account catering, smaller on-campus facilities, and the food court in the Student Center

"It is important for people in the United States to be aware of how much of the world lives in poverty," said Monica Fowler, co-chair of the initiative. "Even in Kentucky there are homes where children go to bed hungry at night, so imagine someone from a country devastated by drought and famine being allowed to walk into Blazer Cafeteria and eat all they want."

To bring further attention to food waste and issues of sustainability and food insecurity, a food drive and t-shirt fundraiser are also planned. The goal of the food drive is to collect as many pounds of food as get wasted per day on campus.  All food items collected will be donated to God's Pantry, a food bank which provides meals to approximately 36,000 people each week in central and eastern Kentucky. 

Weighing food waste

The t-shirt fundraiser will help provide food and support for kindergarten students in Africa.  All proceeds from the t-shirts, which will say "Getting Wasted at UK," will go to the Kentucky Academy in Ghana, a school begun by Dr. Kwaku Addo and his wife, Esther. Dr. Addo is an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science and Esther is a nurse at UK Hospital.  Both are natives of Ghana. T-shirt sales will be held October 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15 from 11 2 p.m. at the Student Center between Starbucks Coffee and the food court.

This project by the Student Dietetic Association coincides with World Food Day on October 16. Several nutrition and food science classes will cover hunger on or before this date.  SDA has also partnered with Universities Fighting Hunger and will send students to the annual Universities Fighting Hunger meeting at Auburn University in February, 2010.

The Student Dietetic Association (SDA) a student-based organization that supports the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The ADA is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. For more information on ADA, please visit

For more information on undergraduate programs in nutrition and food science, which include majors in dietetics, hospitality management & tourism, and human nutrition, please visit the department's undergraduate webpage. The Department of Nutrition and Food Science is part of the School of Human Environmental Sciences (HES) at the University of Kentucky.