University of Illinois works to cut back on food waste

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is working to cut back on how much food is thrown out at its dining halls. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports data collected over the past few years by the university’s housing department has helped trim food waste. Dining hall staffers measure how much food gets thrown out before going on student’s plates. The university expects to keep roughly 678,000 pounds of food from being thrown out this school year. That’s about $693,000 worth of food, making up 4 percent of the food budget. U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited campus in September to challenge students to help prevent food waste. The USDA estimates as much as 133 billion pounds of food ends up in landfills annually.