Food Waste | how, why, and what I can do to help.
You may have seen a recent post of ours where we shared that 35.5 million tonnes of food are wasted each year in Canada alone. That comes out to 58% of Canada’s total food production according to a CBC article posted in early 2019.
You might be wondering what food waste looks like on a global scale - we did too. 1.3 billion tonnes annually.
Staggering right? But what does this food waste look like? Well as we were doing our homework it was clear that there are two types of waste to discuss: food loss and food waste.
Food loss is easily thought of as the loss that happens before food has the chance to reach the consumer. This can happen due to insufficient infrastructure, government policy or just simple mismanagement in the food supply chain. We can help reduce the impacts of food waste by buying as local as possible and supporting the producers who are doing the right thing to keep good food from going to waste.
Food waste is something we do have direct control over, as it refers to food wasted at the retail and consumer levels. So why is food waste such a common issue? There are many reasons that food waste happens. Here are two common food waste circumstances and how you can address them.
1 | The Ugly Duckling
I think that we are all familiar with this first one. Have you ever found yourself skimming through the produce isles on the hunt for the prettiest onion, broccoli or apple? Us too! The reality is as irregular looking foods get passed by shopper after shopper they very often find the end of their story at the bottom of an organics bin. The solution to this may very well the mindset when out grocery shopping. Give the irregular looking foods some love. Don’t get us wrong, there are definitely circumstances where a piece of produce has gone bad and shouldn’t be bought, but very often most fruits and veggies are just brandishing bruises, a funky shape, or slight discolouration!
2 | The ticking time bomb
The second common instance of food waste is a timeless problem - best before dates. Luckily, if you are reading this with a few Nature Bee Beeswax Wraps in your fridge, you are likely much less impacted by this issue. A lot of the waste that goes out of kitchens globally is a result of a forgotten item in the fridge or one that you kept telling yourself you would ‘use next week’. Now, of course, planning a weekly meal schedule is a great way of keeping track of what you have to ensure your food hits the plate and not the organics bin - but let’s be real, we don’t always have time for that. One of the many things we love about our wraps is that they help keep good food fresh for longer. That is going to make a big difference in ensuring you get the chance to make delicious recipes out of what you have in the fridge. We have found that it has made a big difference in the household food waste of our community and are happy to be making a small but meaningful difference to the global food waste issue.
Hopefully, we can all challenge ourselves to adopt a few funky looking fruits and veggies as well as keeping a keen eye on what we have in our fridges. Individual behaviour shapes so much of our world today and much of global food waste can be impacted by the consumer.
Have any suggestions for bringing food waste down or have comments about what you read? Shoot us an email here.