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Vanderbilt to host Oct. 15 cooking demonstration to shed light on food waste

Posted by on Friday, October 8, 2021 in Composting, Dining, Events, GHG, Waste & Recycling.

An estimated 40 percent of food produced annually in the United States goes uneaten while more than 10 percent of Americans are food insecure. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, food is the nation’s single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills, where it emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.   

As part of its commitment to sustainability and Zero Waste, Vanderbilt University Campus Dining is collaborating with the James Beard Foundation, the Nashville Food Waste Initiative and the Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge to host the “Waste-Not” cooking demonstration Oct. 15 at E. Bronson Ingram Dining Hall. Featuring local Nashville chef Julia Sullivan of Henrietta Red, the event will highlight cooking techniques that make use of ingredients that typically are considered food scraps or waste. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate how rethinking food waste can not only save money, but also help mitigate hunger and protect the environment. 

The event will include opening remarks and a 30-minute demonstration, followed by a reception and a chance for members of the Nashville community to taste the dishes. By highlighting innovative ways to incorporate food scraps into restaurant-quality cooking, this event is intended to raise awareness of the problem of food waste—and of its many creative solutions. The “Waste-Not” event will be livestreamed from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15.  To register, click here. 

There are a limited number of in-person event tickets for Vanderbilt community members; they will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. To inquire about an in-person event ticket, please email 

Campus Dining sustainability progress 

Throughout its network of 18 residential dining halls, markets and cafes, Vanderbilt Campus Dining is proud to support the university’s larger FutureVU sustainability goals. A member of the Menus of Change University Research Collaboration (MCURC), Campus Dining has taken a number of steps to become a more sustainable operation, including installing hydration stations and sparkling water dispensers across campus and distributing reusable water bottles to students. To further reduce its carbon footprint, Campus Dining has incorporated a stronger focus on seafood and plant-forward recipes, while also reducing food waste by tracking both pre-production and post-production waste with LeanPath technology. 

In 2019, Campus Dining announced its No More Plastic Initiative to support the university’s carbon neutrality goal, becoming the first university in the United States to eliminate all single use plastic and water bottles sold in its dining facilities. It has also converted all disposable cups, containers, flatware and napkins to sustainable, compostable material. 

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