|dc.description.abstract||Background: There have been many food waste studies done in elementary schools around the country. Several studies have determined that main entrees contribute significantly to plate waste in elementary school food programs, but studies relating the use of condiments and their influence on food waste need further exploration.
Objectives: Determine the correlation between the addition of condiments and the amount of plate waste from a chicken entree.
Methods: In Phase I, data was collected in an elementary afterschool meal program. Researchers evaluated plate waste for the chicken entree once a week for a total of four weeks. Chicken entree plate waste was evaluated by weight and visual assessment. The waste weight was compared to the weight of one serving of the chicken entree. A photograph of the total plate waste was taken each week for visual comparison. Researchers compared the total number of servings prepared to the number of servings leftover. In Phase II of the study a condiment (ketchup) was added to the menu when the chicken entree was served. A marketing campaign was implemented with flyers to advertise the addition of the condiment. For the remaining four weeks, plate waste was documented using the same methods utilized during Phase I.
Results: In Phase I, an average of 26.7% of chicken entrees was wasted. In Phase II, an average of 20.8% of chicken entrees was wasted. No statistically significant difference was found in the percentage of food leftover between Phase I and Phase II (p<0.06). After adjusting for differences in initial portion size, there was still no statistically significant difference in weight of entree left over (p<0.3).
Conclusion: Though there was no significant difference, the amount of waste is large enough to draw attention to the problem of waste in school foodservice. More research is necessary to determine what factors are leading to food waste.||