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Turning cafeteria leftovers into dog treats

SUPERIOR, WI- Dining halls at college campuses all over the country create plenty of food waste. But UW-Superior sous chef, Sandy Thompson is doing something about it.

“It started, I think, in December. My boss Jeff Spangenberg asked me to do some front of the house education for the students, trying to reduce the amount of food they throw away,” said Thompson

Thompson, with help of the Chartwells “Waste Not” management program, came up with a plan to turn all the leftovers into baked dog treats.

“The Dog treats use some leftovers that we really couldn’t re-purpose. For example, oatmeal, breakfast oatmeal–there might be a quarter or two left, can’t really do anything with that except throw it in the trash can,” added Thompson.

They’re called “Wag A Lot Healthy Dog Treats”, about the size of a ping-pong ball with ingredients like, squash, carrots, and turkey bacon.

“I can take little bits and bobs of food, and when I have enough leftovers then I can make some dog treats from those,” said Thompson.

And they’re growing in popularity.

“It’s just great because so many of us are dog lovers, and I think that’s what resonates with people–it’s something great for dogs,” added Thompson.

The treats are available to purchase at UW-Superior. But the majority are donated to the Humane Society of Douglas County.

“I really have no idea where this could go to. I’m not envisioning a big retail presence for these dog treats, but we’re going to continue to do them, and judging by the response we could do something with them,” said Thompson.

Neil Vierzba

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