Berry: It’s time to rethink food waste before it’s too late

France can end food waste, it’s time Canada does the same

The amount of food waste that Canadians produce is a little difficult to fathom.

Coming from a family of five, our carbon footprint was relatively small when it came to food waste and garbage. We had a composter, which we used for our garden, we ate leftovers, fed bones that we could to the dog, vegetables to the guinea pigs and part of our basement was always filled with recyclables.

Which is why I can’t wrap my head around Canada’s crazy food waste numbers. According to the National Zero Waste Council, more than 60 per cent of food waste thrown away by Canadians could have been eaten and about 2.2 million tones of is discarded each year. That’s pretty significant for a population size of 37 million people.

While I commend the efforts of grocery stores like Save-On-Foods, which has been donating portions of its food waste to non-profits in one form or another for 30 years, and the launch of Love Food Hate Waste, a campaign launched by Walmart and Sobeys, we still have a long way to go.

READ MORE: New campaign aims to tide food waste at home

A few years ago, while working at a student union run coffee shop, the union flat out refused to donate food, stating it could be liable for a lawsuit if someone got sick. So I was forced to dump two large garbage bags full of unopened wraps, cookies and salads straight into the dumpster twice a week. The soup was thrown every day if it wasn’t eaten.

The other excuse I heard was that students would wait for food to be donated instead of purchasing it if we gave it away for free.

Joy Haxton, manager for the food bank, said the people who are using the food bank, aren’t the people who are purchasing food from a grocery store. There’s also a growing number of students who are using the food banks, as one just opened in September at Okanagan College.

It’s tiring to listen to these excuses, especially since the release of a UN report on global warming could mean life or death for people and ecosystems around the world if temperatures raise half a degree.

READ MORE: Lake Country Food Bank and grocery store cutting down on food waste

In Lake Country, the Save-On-Foods is making an effort to donate around 70 to 80 per cent of what would otherwise be dumped to the Lake Country Food Bank.

According to store manager Paul Davidson, about 200 to 300 pounds of produce are being donated to the bank every day.

Justin Kulik, a 17-year-old from Kelowna, presented his food waste petition containing more than 160,000 signatures to the federal minister of agriculture on World Food Day.

He modelled the petition after one in France, which effectively led the country to make it illegal for grocery stores to waste food.

READ MORE: Kelowna teen to speak to agriculture minister for World Food Day

It’s time that others follow suit. More than 160,000 people signed that petition calls for a national law to be put in place.

France can end food waste, it’s time Canada does the same.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Destructive blaze in West Kelowna

A unit of a condo complex is on fire in West Kelowna

Okanagan College to develop wellness strategy for drug use

The Kelowna campus has 28 employees trained in the use of naloxone.

BREAKING: Highway 3 near Keremeos closed due to rockslide

Highway 3 just west of Keremeos is closed as of 8:44 p.m.… Continue reading

Black Mountain Cub Crawl returns to Kelowna

Its the 3rd year of the obstacle course fundraiser

No joke: Kelowna’s first zero-waste grocery store to open April 1

Farm Bound Zero Waste has announced its opening date

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Pet Planet picks up Okanagan’s cannabis for pets

True Leaf Medicine International expands retail distribution to 3,500 stores worldwide

AquaVan comes to Okanagan Science Centre

200-litre mobile touch tank allows you to get up-close with marine invertebrates

Army of support behind Black Press saleswoman battling cancer

GoFundMe helps empower Sue Folliott’s fight

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Most Read