In a vast world of 7.7 billion people, all you hear about is our differences. There are also similarities that connect us, and one of them is food. Food connects us all. We all need it; depend on it; derive happiness from it; and, survive because of it.
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Unfortunately, according to Second Harvest, world hunger is on the rise while an estimated ⅓ of all food produced globally is lost or goes to waste. In Canada alone, 58% (35.5 million metric tonnes) of all the food produced is lost or wasted every year. It is time to rethink our individual attitudes and behaviours related to food.
“When we think of the causes of global warming, fossil fuel use most often comes to mind. Less conspicuous are the consequences of our breakfast, lunch and dinner”
- Project Drawdown
Food is among the largest drivers of global environmental changes, generating 193 million tonnes of Greenhouse gases per year. Without substantial changes, greenhouse gas emissions from the food chain will continue to increase (C40: Good Food Cities). Each year, food is lost or wasted due to overproduction, product damage, imperfect “best-before” labelling, and wastefulness in home kitchens and restaurants.
In 2017, the National Zero Waste Council conducted research on household food waste in Canada, and the results were astonishing.
- 63% of the food Canadians throw away could have been eaten.
- For the average Canadian household that amounts to 140 kilograms (308 pounds) of wasted food per year – at a cost of more than $1,100 per year!
- For Canada as a whole, that amounts to almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food wasted each year, costing Canadians in excess of $17 billion!
When food is wasted – by families, restaurants, and grocery stores – we are also wasting all of the resources that go into producing that food. That means we are wasting water, land, energy and labour, as well as the fuel that was needed to transport that food (Institute for Humane Education).
Since food is a daily part of our lives, food waste is a valuable issue and should be a priority for everyone. Food waste reduction is a climate change solution that literally everyone can get behind!
Just Eat It, Caledon! Food Waste Challenge, aims to change food waste behaviours among Caledon residents by building awareness, building skills and knowledge, and getting more residents to take action on food waste.
Just Eat It, Caledon! has been modelled after a similar campaign designed and run by Dufferin County, Plan to Save - Food Waste Reduction. We thank them for sharing their resources and findings with ecoCaledon.
*Project funded by Town of Caledon 2020 Green Fund Grant
The Challenge So Far
5 Best Documentaries about Food Waste:
If you want to increase your knowledge about the realities of food waste and what you can do about it, a documentary is a good place to start.
Here are a few that might interest you:
- Wasted! The Story of Food Waste
- Just Eat It
- Ten Stories about Food Waste
"Just Eat It, Caledon" - Weekly Challenge
“Cutting food waste is a delicious way of saving money, helping to feed the world and protect the planet” Tristram Stuart Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final week of the Just Eat It, Caledon! Food Waste Challenge. Over the last four weeks you have taken action on food waste in your home. It’s time … Read more
“It takes so many resources to grow, transport, store, cook and get food to our plates. When we throw food out, we throw those resources out with it” Dana Gunders Welcome to Week Four of the Just Eat It, Caledon! Food Waste Challenge where we uncover the mystery behind best-before and expiry dates on food. … Read more
“Did your Grandma teach you how to make soup with your leftover produce?” LFHW Welcome to Week Three of the Just Eat It, Caledon! Food Waste Challenge. Whether your goal is to reduce your impact on the environment or your wallet – it makes sense for us to get smarter about using the food that … Read more
“The most expensive food you buy is the food you waste” Anonymous Congratulations on completing Week One! Knowledge is power! Now that you know how much avoidable food waste you generate in a typical week, you can do something about it! We hope you had a chance to take five minutes to complete the 3 … Read more
“Hey Canada! 63% of household food waste is AVOIDABLE” LFHW Canada Welcome to Week One of the Just Eat It, Caledon! Food Waste Challenge! We are excited to have you join us as we embark on this online challenge to learn about food waste and how it affects the well-being of the Earth – and … Read more