To cut food waste, Taiwan to make school lunches more appetizing

Ministry of Education hosts school chef competition, with the aim of making vegetables more appealing and to reduce waste

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(Photo by Executive Yuan Council of Agriculture)

(Photo by Executive Yuan Council of Agriculture)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- To cut down food waste the Ministry of Education is teaming up with the Full Foods Foundation (灃食公益飲食文化教育基金會) to host a school chef cooking competition and “make school lunches more delicious.”

The “Full Foods Super School Chef Competition” challenges school chefs to make unpopular vegetables more appealing to school children. The unpopular vegetables include bitter melon, eggplant, Chinese yam, kale, green pepper, garlic, celery, onion, carrot, and peas.

According to Liberty Times, Taipei city schools produce two to three metric tons (2,000-3,000 kg) of food waste per day, on average. Taoyuan City and Tainan City both report nearly 50,000 kg of food waste each month. In Kaohsiung, 5 percent of school lunches become waste every month.

To curb waste, the competition aims to make school lunches more appetizing, in addition to being more nutritious and balanced.

Apart from decreasing food waste, the Ministry of Education also monitors the handling of food waste under different city regulations. In Yunlin, Chiayi, Taitung, Hualian, and Kinmen, authorities prohibit animal farms and piggeries from collecting food waste as feed.

The ministry called on schools to calculate food consumption more accurately, educate students on how to maintain a dietary balance and cherish food. Also, the ministry wants schools to create a recycling mechanism to reduce food loss.

To sign up for the competition before the May 8 deadline, please go to the Full Foods Super School Chef Competition website. Tainan City Government’s Education Bureau will hold a school lunch chef competition on June 1 this year.