The truth is that Canadians are throwing out more food than they realize, food that could, at one point, have been eaten, food that could have been eaten, but was instead landfilled, incinerated or managed as organic waste.
We waste enough food every year in Canada to feed a second country. The scope of the problem has finally been measured and it’s immense.
Nearly 60 per cent of food produced in Canada, amounting to 35.5 million metric tonnes is lost and wasted annually, according to the Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste Report. Of that, 32 % equalling 11.2 million metric tonnes of lost food, is avoidable and is edible food that could be redirected to support people in our communities. The total financial value of this potentially rescuable lost and wasted food is a staggering $49.46 billion.
Approximately 47% of food wasted in Canada occurs at home. The other 53% of wasted food is generated along the value chain when food is produced, processed, transported, sold, and prepared and served in commercial.
Wasting food means we are wasting the resources used to grow, produce and distribute that food to consumers. Getting food from farm to table, and then managing or disposing of food as waste, also has a significant carbon footprint, contributing to Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. Canada produces 56.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually by food waste.
Respect Food is our way of highlighting the importance of not wasting food. From the severe effects it has on the environment, to how it can deepen the hole in our pockets, food waste is everyone’s problem. Reducing food waste helps the planet too, from the air to the land, to everyone on it.