While much effort goes into planning school meals to meet nutritional guidelines, this can be wasted if children reject what is on offer. This was the subject of a seminar led by Beatrice Biasini, from the University of Parma (Italy), who is currently visiting Newcastle University. Together with her Italian colleagues (Dr. Alice Rosi and Prof. Francesca Scazzina) on the Strength2Food project, Beatrice has carefully measured plate waste from school meals in primary schools located in Parma and Lucca. Preliminary results from one school revealed that for some dishes more is wasted than consumed. However, what is consumed or not may surprise you – for instance, while only 17 per cent of a stewed lentil dish was wasted, oranges and tangerines often went uneaten. Beatrice and her colleagues are carefully studying the data to present recommendations to reduce the level and costs of food waste, while improving school pupil satisfaction.

Contact: beatrice.biasini@studenti.unipr.it