Students help to tackle food waste in Brighton and Hove

Children at Fairlight Primary School are helping to tackle food waste
Children at Fairlight Primary School are helping to tackle food waste

A food waste detective team has been asking school children what they like about their school dinners with the aim of reducing food waste.

Children at Fairlight Primary School are taking part in the pilot food waste audit run by not-for-profit Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, with the city council and Eden Foodservice.

The three-week project involves monitoring what food has been eaten and what has been left on the plate as children finish their meal and scrape it into food bins. This is in response to reports that food waste is estimated to account for almost half of total waste in primary schools.

The researchers will interview the children on their likes and dislikes to determine the quantity of food waste produced, what foods are most discarded and why the students haven’t eaten them. The pupils are encouraged to give their opinions about the food, portion size and how it was cooked. Year 6 students are helping the researchers compile the data.

The Food Partnership will then produce a report to help catering services fine-tune their menus to reduce food waste and also provide food the children like.

Head of Fairlight Primary Damien Jordan said: “The children are rightly concerned and interested about both local and global issues and the world around them. They are constantly looking at how they can contribute to making the planet better at the current time and for the future for both themselves and others.

“Looking at waste and in particular food waste is just one of the areas they feel they can help develop and shape policy and practise locally.”

A second food audit will also take place at St Luke’s Primary school, Queen’s Park starting on Monday.

Vera Zakharov, from the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, said: “The outcome of this audit will help fine-tune an already outstanding school dinner menu plan and hopefully lead to further food waste reductions across Brighton and Hove schools.”