Food Waste In The Kitchen And How To Prevent It


Whether working, studying, or any goal we come to combat, its usually difficult to keep in
mind to eat nutritiously and within a budget. And when we do have some time and
energy to think about healthy sustainable eating, it is difficult to be mindful what foods
need to be thrown away and what is considered not wasteful.

Some tips to refer to in the kitchen is to store food correctly, understand expiration dates,
and use leftovers to upgrade a meal. More information will be included in the cookbook
for UCR, published by the end of Spring Quarter.

Throughout my university career, I have had a strong passion in food, nutrition, and
sustainable methods to research what and how to cook as an independent who could
only afford around $10 of groceries a week. With a hobby like grocery shopping, I found
it doable and I wanted to give advice to other students that it is possible and be satisfied.
This is why my current project for the Global Food Initiative is to reduce food waste
primarily through a kitchen setting.

Fall Quarter:
Until the community kitchen opens for me to teach classes, I am creating a community
cookbook that will also include different methods of being sustainable with food. This Fall
Quarter, I am developing the content that is not recipe based and collecting recipes from
the community, whether from UCR or the Riverside Community through RCC and
Riverside Free Clinic.
The basis for the cookbook is multipurpose, including:

  • Meals that are under $2 a plate.
  • A diverse set of recipes
  • Nutrition information to be mindful of what is considered too high or low of.
  • For example, people should refer that the daily added sugar consumption is around 25 grams a day.

Winter Quarter
At this point, all recipes will be collected and what will further be explored is the design
and organization of the cookbook. I will also reach out to other colleges and UCR
faculty/staff on what resources they believe are beneficial for students concerned with
food. For example, the HighlanderLink that notifies students excess ready foods that are
available on campus.

Spring Quarter
The final edits of the book and to publish on websites from UCR. I will also market the
cookbook and hope to supplement it when I am finally able to teach classes in the
community kitchen, and invoke interest for other students to explore.


Yvonne Van is a third year Biochemistry student with a strong passion for nutrition and sustainability. As student manager for the R’Pantry and Global Food Initiative Fellow, she is creating a community cookbook that focuses on food waste in the kitchen setting and shifting towards sustainable practices in the kitchen.