A child who doesn't finish his plate, leftover food that we forget for a little too long in the back of the refrigerator, fruits and vegetables bought in too large quantities that end up walking on their own…
But what is the problem with food waste, you will tell me, now that composting is more accessible?
Food waste can happen all along the food chain, from the field to the home to the grocery store. In addition to being a social scourge as so many families struggle to put food on the table, the burying, decomposing and incineration of all that wasted food also produces greenhouse gases (GHGs) that contribute climate change.
Why is food waste a problem?
Did you know that according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), if food waste were a country, it would be the 3rd largest producer of GHGs , after China and the United States? In Canada alone, food waste contributes annually to the emission of the equivalent of 56.5 million tons of CO2. That would be 58% of the food produced each year in the country that is lost or wasted.
According to the Canadian organization Second Harvest, 11.2 million tons of these residues could have been consumed, or given to food banks. Such a quantity of food would be enough to feed every person residing in the country for almost 5 months. Which is not negligible knowing that 1 in 7 households have struggled to feed themselves since the start of COVID-19 according to Statistics Canada.
How to reduce food waste at home?
According to figures from Recyc-Québec, an average household wastes approximately 140 kg of food per year. Financially, therefore, approximately $1,100 per year ends up in the trash.
Here are some easy tips that can help reduce food waste:
- Plan your menu in advance, make a list and above all eat before you go to the grocery store!
- It's not just appearance that counts… in life as in your fridge! Smoothie, soup, compote, no one will know that your fruits and vegetables looked a little tired. By the way, Save your foodis a very nice tool if you are looking for inspiration.
- Be in control of your fridge: fruits and vegetables in the drawers provided, transparent dishes to see the leftovers and the oldest foods first, don't cheat!
Several applications, which havehas experienced impressive growth since the start of the pandemic, allow you to buy or sell less fresh fruits and vegetables and products approaching their expiry date. Go take a look: FoodHero/ FlashFood/ Second LifeFavorite small portions, even if you have to refill.
Want to go further?
Why not challenge your family and cook with your kids? The empty-fridge challenge is popular right now. It's a perfect excuse to talk about food waste and the environment with your little ones, while having a good time cooking together. The principle is very simple: cook from what is in your kitchen, before going to buy more food. Make a small “Touski” meal finally. To help you, you can refer to Chic frigo sans fricor to the tool Vide-frigoon Glouton.
Do you want to introduce the concept of engaged citizens into the conversation? Get inspired by this blog from Greenpeace to put pressure on your supermarkets as a family to reduce food waste too.
Let's eat well, let's eat better!