Millennials Take On Food Waste

The Lempert Report
March 21, 2022

Gen Z, Millennials Take On Food Waste. I’m a proud graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia – and have huge admiration for Dr. Jonathan Deutsch, a professor and director of Drexel’s Food Lab, who has seen that students who come into the classes he teaches want to take action on solving food waste. “They don’t want to just sit in a lecture hearing about food waste problems, then take a test. They want to come up with solutions and engage deeply,” he says. The Drexel Food Lab students learn about sustainability issues within the food system. The idea is that rather than just gain skills and knowledge to become chefs, food scientists, or hospitality managers, they can prepare to do more.

“For example," Deutsch says, "instead of just focusing on making nice cuts that are uniform in size they also think about what to do with scraps and trim from a full product utilization and upcycling perspective”. He goes on to explain the differences between generations. “I feel like folks from my generation—(Gen X/pre-Millennials)— tend to think the problems we have are someone else’s problems and are being managed by experts. They would donate to a food bank and feel like they are doing their part by giving money or food to an established system. [Conversely], youth are more inclined to want to do the work themselves.”