Kids Think Out Loud About Food Waste

  • Summer interns with Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh came to the Community Broadcast Center for a tour and to learn about The Allegheny Front. While they were here, we asked them to think about how they might reduce food waste in their lives. Photo: Kate Borger/Phipps Conservatory

August 2, 2013

Forty percent of all food produced in the United States gets wasted. That’s 35 million tons a year. It takes up space in landfills and when it rots, it sends huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. New federal programs plan to change that. But we asked some high school interns from Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh to brainstorm how to prevent food waste.  The students were at The Allegheny Front office for a tour.

Larissa Koumaka, 17, says one way she could reduce food waste in her life is to make posters for her school and community about composting.

"Because I didn't know about it myself until recently," she says.

Since few restaurants compost, sixteen-year-old William Grimm has a plan for leftover food when he goes out to eat.

"I always make sure I take my leftovers with me so that I can eat them later, and they don't end up in a landfill," Grimm says.

Eating just what you need was a common theme with the students.  But Kausar Shaikh, 16, took it one step further.

"As a kid, I would like to reduce the food waste in my life, and in order to do that, I would give away most of my food, if it is going to be wasted.  Because there are people who need food, obviously," she says.

Kiehl Jackson, 17, says her household of six keeps food waste down by only buys the food that they need, and no more.  She says she eats most of the leftovers herself, but one other family member benefits, too.

"The chicken bones, we do give them to my dog to nibble on," Jackson says.