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Sustainability-minded student organizations to host Food Waste Awareness Week Mar. 26-30

Students in Chef Kristi Branstetter’s classes, NUTR 119/120, recycle ingredients left over from food preparation, including cooking oil. Anything that can be composted, is. Image: Kevin Sliman
March 20, 2018

The amount of food wasted at University Park each semester is enough to feed four sold-out home football games, nearly a half a million people. In an effort to raise awareness of this issue, Student Farm Club, Eco-Action, PSU Veg Club and Healthy PSU organized Food Waste Awareness Week. The week will feature a pair of events open to all students and community members focused on the issue of food waste and practical ways to reduce it.

The events hosted during the week include a free screening of the film “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” and a sustainable dining event called Food for Thought. Student organizers hope both events will shed light on the various ways to reduce food waste on campus and at home.

The free screening of “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27 in HUB Freeman Auditorium. A short panel discussion led by student sustainability leaders will follow the film screening to answer questions about Penn State’s food waste.

“At Penn State, we are fortunate that we can compost our leftover food, but composting is the second least preferred option for food waste,” said Jess Chou, a Student Farm Club member who organized the screening. “‘Wasted!,’ produced by Anthony Bourdain, is a must-see film that surprises, informs and inspires us to decrease the negative environmental impacts from our food-related behaviors.”

Food for Thought will take place from 6–8 p.m. on Thursday, March 29 at the MorningStar Solar Home. The cost of dinner is $3, featuring vegetarian and vegan food options from Taproot Kitchen and RE Farm.

“If we can encourage people to stop and think for an evening about the impacts of their food waste decisions, we have the opportunity to change the world,” said Katrina Weakland, Sustainable Food Systems Program AmeriCorps member. “Food for Thought will be a unique community dining experience to rethink food waste as food rescue.”

For more information about these events, contact Student Farm intern Olivia Hort at


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