Nearly 60% of Canadian food is wasted or lost: report

Jan 17 2019, 5:24 pm

It’s time to clean up our act, Canada.

Because according to this report, nearly 60% of all food produced in Canada is either lost or wasted — and not the fun kind of wasted.

The findings are the result of a year-long research project undertaken by Second Harvest and Value Chain Management International, a leading public and industry voice in the area of food waste.

“We live in an environment where food is cheap and plentiful and few people have experienced hunger or food insecurity. Therefore societal attitudes do not support avoiding food waste,” one of the project’s survey respondents wrote.

The full 122-page report, which highlights different areas of focus including business owners’ acceptance of waste, “best before” dates, product aesthetics and government policies is available here.

 

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“The abundance of food in Canada has led us to dismiss its intrinsic value as a source of life-giving nutrition at the same time as four million Canadians – including 1.4 million children – struggle to access healthy food,” reads one of the documents.

But the situation isn’t hopeless.

Alongside the report, a solution-focused roadmap has been produced, which outlines the necessary steps to reduce this food-waste crisis.

“We need to start by radically re-thinking how we value food at each stage of the value chain,” the roadmap reads.

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The document describes steps that can be taken all throughout the lifespan of food, from production to storage to processing to distribution.

Where people can make the most immediate change, though, is in their own kitchens. And the roadmap offers ways to reduce food waste at home.

Recommendations include learning more about “best-before” dates (because apparently, “when in doubt, throw it out” doesn’t always apply) and shopping more sustainably.

When it comes to lowering the amount of food-waste in Canada, everyone will benefit. And everyone has a role to play.