Celebrate Food Waste Action Week In Canada

You can expect to see and hear a lot over the next few days about fighting food waste to help save the environment. It’s the first annual Food Waste Action Week (FWAW), an initiative of the National Zero Waste Council. The message is, food waste is a major contributor to global warming…

Wasted Food Dump - © thehansindia.comGlobally, around one-third of all food produced is lost or wasted, which accounts
for between eight and 10 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions…

Created by Metro Vancouver, the National Zero Waste Council (NZWC) is an organization dedicated to ‘Bringing together organizations to advance waste prevention and the circular economy in Canada’. It’s stated purpose is, “To act collaboratively with business, government and the community, at the national and international level, as an agent of change for waste prevention and reduction in the design, production and use of goods.” In other words, NZWC is there to give industry and community p-layers a nudge in the right direction in the issue of food waste.

“Food waste has a devastating impact on the planet, and each of us has an important role to play,” said Jack Froese, chair of the National Zero Waste Council. “As someone with a lifelong connection to farming, I know full well how hard farmers work to put nutritious and tasty food on Canadian tables. Food Waste Action Week is all about helping people get the most from the food they buy, for the sake of the planet.”

The FWAW slogan for 2022 is: Love Food, Hate Waste.

A global perspective

According to the official FWAW news release: “Sixty-three per cent of the food Canadian households throw away is considered avoidable, meaning it could have been eaten. Nationwide, that amounts to almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food wasted each year, at a cost of more than $17 billion. The environmental impact of this waste is equivalent to 9.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, or 2.1 million cars on the road.”

“Globally, around one-third of all food produced is lost or wasted, which accounts for between eight and 10 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Fighting food waste at home has a direct impact on these emissions: every tonne of household food waste that is avoided is the equivalent of taking one car off the road each year.”

A Canada-wide effort

Walmart Canada is a founding lead sponsor of FWAW.

“When we reduce waste, we also lessen carbon emissions and make a positive impact on the environment,” Sam Wankowski, COO, Walmart Canada, says. “Walmart is proud to support the Love Food Hate Waste campaign in Canada as we work towards becoming a regenerative company and eliminate surplus food as part of this journey. Our associates are passionate about reducing food waste in our stores and throughout our operations.

Local partnerships are a key feature of the Walmart effort.

“Each Walmart store is paired with a local food bank to maximize surplus food donations,” Wankowski adds. “The campaign provides Canadians with practical solutions to save money and prevent [wastage of] surplus food. When we all work together, we can create waves of change in our communities.”

What you can do

The goal of Zero Food waste and the Circular Economy is to use, re-use or re-purpose, all food products and by-products, so that nothing goes to the landfill. Composting is a last resort, but a legitimate one. Smart shopping (i.e.- not buying more then you can use before it goes bad) is also a major component at the individual level. Forward menu planning, at least a week in advance, helps you calculate how much of each grocery item you’ll need, and can use, over a reasonable period of time. We’ve given you posts, over the years, on how to repurpose food items that would otherwise be considered garbage. For example, there are many ways to use coffee grounds. And you can use egg shells to start flower and vegetable seeds on your windowsill.

At the very least, be mindful of your small part in the greater food waste picture this week. Look for small ways you can help the cause.

~ Maggie J.