Better taste, less waste? Food acceptance, intake and plate waste measurement in Swiss school canteens

Götze, Franziska; Bourcet, Charlotte; Harms, Eugenia (8 September 2021). Better taste, less waste? Food acceptance, intake and plate waste measurement in Swiss school canteens In: 20th Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production (ERSCP 2021). Graz, Austria. September 8 – 10, 2021.

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Food waste is a massive problem in Switzerland. 14% of avoidable food waste occurs in the catering industry (Beretta & Hellweg, 2019). Studies from other countries, e.g. France, hint that the potential to reduce food waste in children’s canteens is significant – currently 110-130 g per child and meal are wasted (MAA, 2011). However, no such data is available for Switzerland. Identifying the reasons for the non-acceptance of food in children’s canteens, recording the resulting food waste, i.e. determining the extent of the problem, and deriving measures to prevent it, is therefore important to reduce the resulting environmental impacts. Avoiding food waste ultimately also means that children eat an adequate and appealing meal that is beneficial to their health and school performance. In a first step, semi-structured interviews were conducted with chefs of children's canteens (pre-school and school-age) to understand the perceived food acceptance, menu planning criteria and challenges. In the canteens interviewed, food acceptance is relatively good, and the issue of food waste is on the agenda. The interviewees show high self-motivation to prepare menus hat are appealing to children. The low plate waste seems to be due to the way the food is served, as the children are first given a small amount of each component to try and are given more if they are not yet satiated. Furthermore, limited food waste in the canteens surveyed is according to the chefs also due to the fact that feedback is regularly sought from children and/or parents, menu planning is constantly adjusted and new cooking techniques or recipes are tried out. Following the interviews, an on-site observation indicates that the low food waste might also be explained by the fact that chefs do not over-prepare foods that in their experience are eaten less by the children, despite the dietary recommendations (applies especially to vegetables and whole-grain products). Here, too, it can be assumed that without the personal commitment of the chefs, the amount of food waste would be greater. Finally, the canteens interviewed are specialised in catering for this target group. As mentioned by the respondents, it takes several months of training to understand children’s needs and cook accordingly – which is crucial to avoid food waste. In a next step, the recording of plate waste in selected school canteens is planned for a two-week period. The aim is to record the amount of food waste and better understand the influence of sensory characteristics (appearance, taste, texture) on food acceptance. On a 5-point smiley face scale, the participating children will rate their liking of each food component served. Together with their parents, they will give additional reasons for liking or disliking of the foods consumed. Using the quantification of plate waste and the results from the online questionnaire, a method will be developed which allows to identify which components of a children's meal generate food waste and the proportion of avoidable and non-avoidable food waste. This method will ultimately help to develop measures to reduce food waste in children.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)

Division/Institute:

School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Consumer-focused Food Production
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Consumer-focused Food Production > Sustainability of Food Systems
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Consumer-focused Food Production > Innovation Management and Sensory Evaluation

Name:

Götze, Franziska0000-0001-9022-0880;
Bourcet, Charlotte and
Harms, Eugenia

Subjects:

H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)

Language:

English

Submitter:

Franziska Götze

Date Deposited:

01 Oct 2021 11:10

Last Modified:

05 Oct 2021 12:59

Additional Information:

Das Recht, diese Datei im ARBOR-Repository zu veröffentlichen, wurde eingeholt

Uncontrolled Keywords:

food waste, plate waste, children, school canteen, catering

ARBOR DOI:

10.24451/arbor.15503

URI:

https://arbor.bfh.ch/id/eprint/15503

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