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Food-waste audit

Food waste in a binView print quality image
Food waste found Oct. 30 on the IUPUI campus. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University

Results of an Office of Sustainability food audit conducted in Tower Dining over the week of Feb. 18-22 showed that an average of 35 pounds per hour, or 615 pounds per week, of food was thrown into the trash during lunch hours. This equates to 20,000 pounds of leftover food being wasted each academic year.

With the help of Chartwells and an ongoing program it leads called "Waste Not," IUPUI has already started to make positive changes involving food waste. After measuring the amount of pre-consumer waste, the catering company has been able to reduce its back-of-house production waste by 2,961 pounds since fall 2017.

Miranda Frausto, Office of Sustainability intern and student lead for all food-waste audits, said the food-waste numbers went down this semester, marking the lowest figure since fall 2017. Frausto said that much of this is due to the initiative Tower Dining has implemented using smaller plates and bowls.

Easy ways for you to join the effort with Chartwells and the Office of Sustainability are purchasing only what you need, using recipes that produce minimal waste, and repurposing or donating leftovers.

The next IUPUI food-waste audit will be April 15-19 in Tower Dining.

  • Ways to reduce food waste

    Make a list

    A family of four loses $1,500 a year on wasted food. Plan ahead by making a list and only buying what you know you'll use.

    Learn the art of freezing

    Each of us tosses nearly 300 pounds of food each year. Get in the habit of freezing leftovers, bread, vegetables and fruit instead of tossing them into the garbage.

    Help save water

    Wasting a pound of beef is equivalent to running the shower for 370 minutes. The longer meat is left out at room temperature, the quicker it will spoil. Always shop for meat, poultry and seafood last -- and go directly home to put it away.

    Revive your veggies

    A quick soak in ice water for 5 to 10 minutes can revive wilted veggies. Even if they can't be restored, some veggies you intended to eat raw in your salad can still shine in a cooked dish.

    Overcooked isn't over for good

    Overcooked vegetables can always be transformed into soups or sauces. Just toss them in the blender with soup stock, milk or cream. Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and potatoes are excellent for this.

    Less air equals less freezer burn

    Freezer burn is what happens when foods oxidize in the freezer. You probably won't eat a whole loaf of bread at once, so slice it up and pop it in the freezer. Always squeeze any excess air from plastic bags and containers; freezer burn is harmless but does affect taste.

    Don't be bananas

    Browning or spotted bananas are perfectly fine to eat. Bruised parts of bananas can be easily cut away or used. Very brown bananas and frozen bananas are great for baking quick breads, muffins or cakes.

    Waste less with kids

    Start with small portions and minimize untouched food with kids. We want our kids to try new foods, but studies show many children have to try a food up to 15 times before accepting it. You can always offer seconds when they're interested.

    Use it up

    Ninety percent of us throw away food too soon. Utilize recipes during the week that will use up the food that's about to go bad in your pantry or refrigerator. Just because your lettuce is wilted doesn't mean it's time to toss it.

    Make another list

    Forty percent of food in America is wasted. Avoid wasting food by seeing what needs to be used up before you go to the grocery store. Think of a meal to make with those items, check your pantry for the rest of the ingredients and add the missing pieces to the shopping list.

Health informatics master's receives national accreditation

The health informatics M.S. degree program in the School of Informatics and Computing is now accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, the globally recognized accreditation organization for education programs in health informatics and health information management.

The CAHIIM accreditation process started several years ago with reviewing the curriculum and matching it to all professional and educational standards and guidelines.

Levee project could disrupt commutes

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works has started work on a levee rehabilitation project in downtown Indianapolis. The project includes some tree-clearing along the south bank of Fall Creek, between Porto Alegre and 12th streets. Necessary for the integrity of the levee system, the tree-clearing work will be completed by April 1 and may require the temporary closure of the White River Trail along 10th Street.

Detour signs will be posted during the trail closure, leading pedestrians around the construction zone via Indiana Avenue to the east.

Call for abstracts: Deadline for IU Simon Cancer Center's Cancer Research Day is April 15

The IU Simon Cancer Center is now accepting abstracts for posters to be presented at Cancer Research Day, which is May 15.

Students, fellows and faculty conducting cancer research at IUPUI, Indiana University Bloomington, Purdue University, and the Harper Cancer Research Institute -- a collaboration between the IU School of Medicine and the University of Notre Dame -- are eligible to present at Cancer Research Day.

Abstracts should be submitted in one of the following research categories:

  • Basic science.
  • Behavioral.
  • Population science/epidemiology.
  • Translational/clinical research.

Abstracts will be divided and compared by the following groups within each research category:

  • Clinical nurse.
  • Graduate student.
  • Medical student.
  • Postdoctoral/medical fellow.
  • Research technician.
  • Undergraduate student.
  • Faculty (not eligible for cash award).

Visit the Career Enhancement page of the center's site for details and to complete the online abstract submission form. The deadline to submit the form is 5 p.m. April 15.

All posters, except those from faculty, will be judged for cash awards dependent upon the number of submissions for each category.

Cancer Research Day is an annual event that aims to increase understanding and awareness of IU Simon Cancer Center research endeavors and encourage collaboration with other cancer research institutions in Indiana.

Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at Lilly Family School of Philanthropy announced

Shariq SiddiquiView print quality image
Association executive and philanthropy scholar Shariq Siddiqui, center, will serve as the inaugural director of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Photo courtesy of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Association executive and philanthropy scholar Shariq Siddiqui will serve as the inaugural director of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.

The initiative will focus on understanding and helping further enhance Muslim philanthropy in all its facets. It will convene scholars and philanthropy professionals to explore issues in the field, host symposiums and seminars, and conduct research and training on contemporary and traditional aspects of Muslim philanthropy.

"Dr. Siddiqui is highly respected among the nationwide networks of scholars and professionals who generate and share knowledge about Muslim philanthropy," said Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. "We look forward to his leadership in developing this unique initiative to help build capacity in the Muslim philanthropy sector while adding to our understanding of the rich tradition and practice of philanthropy in Islam."