Nobody starts their day intending to be wasteful, but the truth is we can all do a little better when it comes to improving our waste game.
Ways to Reduce Food Waste in Schools
Food waste numbers in schools are statistically high, often resulting in such a large amount that it's difficult to keep up with and even harder to comprehend. In 2019, World Wildlife Fund researched and found that food waste in schools across America was estimated at 530,000 tons per year, not including the waste of milk annually. The unfortunate and dangerous thing about all of that waste is that many of the products and food going to waste aren't biodegradable and can produce methane gas, which is dangerous to inhale in large concentrates.
Since 2019, there's been a stable increase in food waste, mainly caused by lack of recycling, misinformation on products that can help reduce the waste, and lack of foodservice equipment to assist in combating large quantities of food rotting. We here at Thermo-Kool have made it our mission to create innovative solutions that help reduce food waste in restaurants and schools.
HOW CAN SCHOOLS TAKE INITIATIVE IN REDUCING FOOD WASTE
Schools not only play a role in taking actions towards reducing and recycling food waste, but they're in control of future generations learning the importance of food conservation. From marketing meals and allowing the student body to have a say in what's on their weekly menu to extending lunch periods in an effort to increase the number of times students have to safely consume their meals, schools are looking to take direct action on their carbon footprint and how much food they waste quarterly.
PROPER FOOD STORAGE WITH THERMO-KOOL
In addition to taking action and combating food waste through interactive learning via the student body and faculty, utilizing equipment from Thermo-Kool can help when it comes to maintaining the quality of produce for longer periods of time.
Options such as Thermo-Kool's blast chillers can help increase the shelf life while also increasing the quality of produce by maintaining flavor, texture, and more. A common cause of food waste is due to items not being properly stored and food not reaching its ideal storage temperature quick enough, resulting in food being left uneaten and eventually tossed out. Blast chillers can assist in quickly freezing food to around 38ºF to help manage and maintain the overall shelf life.
Other options include shock freezers which are built directly into your walk-in freezers. By combining the two solutions, you can customize your ability to chill and freeze produce. Shock freezers work alongside blast chillers to reduce the temperature at an increased rate compared to conventional and traditional freezers. This works well for cooked foods you'd like to maintain the quality of by targeting the core temperature.
While Thermo-Kool installations don't completely wipe out food waste, they do help extend the shelf life and increase your kitchen's chances of reducing waste numbers. For additional opportunities on reducing food waste in your school, we recommend implementing a school garden and compost to lower numbers while simultaneously teaching young minds various ways they can help bring down food waste numbers and decrease the dangers that come along with it.
Take the Next Step in Reducing School Food Waste
If you're curious about how Thermo-Kool can help your school's facility lessen food waste numbers, get your free K-12 refrigeration assessment today from one of our experts. We look forward to working with you on finding new opportunities to combat the risks of food waste while providing you with solutions along the way.