photo: Li Zhu, TTF2S Sustainability Coordinator, showing students at Learning Gate Community School how to build a compost container.
About Li Zhu:
This spring, Zhu is working with Turner-Bartels K-8 and Learning Gate Community School to help elementary and middle school students perform food wast audits. Using the EPA Student Food Waste Audit handbook, students will develop solutions for the problem of food waste and strategies for reducing food waste in their cafeterias and homes. In addition, Zhu will be documenting the food waste process on his blog and the new TTF2S YouTube channel. Zhu is completing his Masters Degree in Food Sustainability and Sustainable Tourism at the Patel College. From Shanghai, China, Zhu obtained his B.A. in English with a minor in Economics from Shanghai University. Working with Patel College Professor TH Culhane, Zhu has developed expertise in building and maintaining biodigesters, a system for converting organic material to renewable energy called biogas and liquid fertilizer.
Li Zhu's internship with TTF2S is made possible by Ken Ward and Beth and Gerry Curts.
Our 2nd grade kids at Turner-Bartels K-8 School are totally on fire after I did my presentation today!
About the ideas we talked about, students commented:
‘I'm gonna' to that when I go home…"
"I will also do that after I do my homework…"
After each slide, the teacher Ms. Faust successfully connects for students the presentation information with previous science, math and writing lessons. Our students are well prepared for the next week’s food waste audit!
Go! Our youngest food waste warriors!
We are very glad to have the food waste from the student audits for our biodigesters. The methane and the liquid fertilizer covert from the food waste will be used to cooking and growing our vertical garden. — Dr. T.H.Culhane, Patel College of Global Sustainability, USF
The main purpose of doing this audit is to tell students the most efficient way to prevent food waste is reduce the source of food waste, which means no over consumption of the food. However, the food waste collected by students at Learning Gate Community School in the cafeteria audit we are conducting this week will be converted to energy when we deliver the waste to be used in the biodigester at the Rosebud Continuum Education Center operated by Professor Culhane.
Will the food waste from the audit still goes to the landfill? NO WAY!
After the audit, the food waste (school cafeteria scrape, leftovers) are transported by school volunteers to Rosebud Continuum Education Center in Land O’Lakes. There, three big biodigestors are eager to have those food waste they will convert to the gas for the center to cooking and the liquid fertilizer to grow herbs and fruit forest.
Please watch this 30 second video about how food scraps are put into the biodigester at Rosebud Continuum.
‘Clip boards?’ ‘Check!’
‘Interview sheet?’ ‘Check!’
Today, some NHS students in Learning Gate Community School run the Food Waste Audit for the 7th and 8th grade students in their dinning hall. Both the reasons of dumping unfinished food and the weight of those food waste according to the different categories (grain, fruits&vegetables, protein and diary) are recorded carefully by the audit team as the important data to analyze. Recommendations will be made afterwards to prevent more food waste on their campus.
The collected food waste is much less than I thought partly because of the environmental protection education or program the school usually offered or because most children bring their lunch from home and the school lunch offers the appropriate portion size of food for the students.
Great job, team! Next step: be our food waste audit warrior and do the food waste audit at your home!
In this video presentation, Cristina Shoji Pellizzetti with the US Green Building Council gives a presentation to Turner-Bartels K-8 teachers and administrators explaining the Green Apple Day program.
Temple Terrace Farm2School (TTF2S) partners with the US Green Building Council to broaden the message about the impacts and benefits of the green and healthy schools movement. This partnership between TTF2S and USGBC affords Patel College students the opportunity to work alongside USGBC professionals during "Green Apple Days of Service.”
by Li Zhu
Building and supporting school gardens is the foundation of the TTF2S mission to engage youth in hands-on agriculture activities. This year, Patel student volunteers are building on that foundation by offering related food sustainability lessons including teaching students at Turner-Bartels K-8 school and Learning Gate Community School how to conduct an EPA Student Food Waste Audit .
Why is Temple Terrace Farm 2 School helping students conduct food waste audits?
In the US, food waste has been measured to be 30-40 percent of the total food supply. “The single largest component going into municipal landfills, food waste quickly generates methane, helping to make landfills the third largest source of methane in the United States.” (USDA, Office of the Chief Economist, food waste challenge)
This waste has many negative impacts. Families experience food insecurity, methane contributes to climate change and all the resources of land, energy, water and labor needed to produce the food are also wasted. The earlier kids understand the problem, the sooner we'll collectively find and implement solutions.
Does the US have a food loss and waste reduction goal?
On September 16, 2015, the United States announced the start of its first national food loss and waste goal. The plan called for a 50-percent reduction of food waste by 2030. The EPA published a Food Waste Audit guide to help students measure cafeteria food waste and develop solutions to recommend to their schools.
What is Temple Terrace Farm 2 School doing this spring to help students understand food waste?
Using the EPA’s student food waste audit guide, I’ll lead a team of Patel College students volunteering with TTF2S to teach students at Learning Gate Community School and Turner Elementary School about food waste. We will use the audit to measure food waste and help students gather data by interviewing their classmates about why they are throwing food away. We will conclude the audit by helping students analyze the data they’ve collected to come up with solutions to reduce the waste in their cafeterias. (EPA Food Waste Audit)
by Li Zhu, Sustainability Coordinator
"Who wants to be next?...."Me!"...."I do!" The enthusiastic waving of hammers among the Learning Gate Community School students impressed me a lot when Elizabeth, Amanda and I were assisting them to build their first compost bin! I was also surprised about how many students had knowledge of composting and expressed interest in setting it up at their school. These qualities provide a solid foundation for the food waste audit activity we are planning to do with a group of student volunteers. It is my hope that the hands on experience of measuring food waste and then analyzing the data will help students to develop recommendations to reduce waste and to make valuable connections between their behavior and the health of the planet.
"thank you we love all the stuff you told us I want to help you save earth can I join your team" ~ Jaiden
"Thank you for presenting today!i did not know there were swamps in Tampa I bet the green swamp IS SUPER BIG . Do you think there are BIG ALLIGATORS and big fish and THANK YOU FOR TEACHING US ABOUT PLANTS it was nice meeting you MR. Arnel." Jayden