As a society, we spend a lot more time and energy dealing with the waste we produce than preventing it. According to a new report, Developing an Industry-Led Approach to Addressing Food Waste in Canada, that’s not the right approach to Canada’s $27-billion food waste problem. Everyone in the food chain is affected, from consumers to farmers. Farmers lose significant profits by paying to produce food that gets thrown away.
In fact, up to 40 per cent of what farmers produce gets thrown away. That means there’s a lot of room for improvement to keep money in grower’s pockets to ultimately keep the price of food in check. According to Dr. Martin Gooch, the report’s co-author, food waste is highest during fruit and vegetable season, when consumers purchase in bulk to save money but rarely end up consuming everything. Consumers purchase more and no longer aim to can or preserve food to stretch out their use period. The kitchen is where most food is wasted, with over half of food waste attributed to consumers.
If people are going to waste less food they need guidance such as recipes and options, and smaller sized packages even if they’re less economical. I think people would rather pay more for a smaller quantity and use it all than pay for a larger amount and watch it rot. Advanced storage options for some commodities to lengthen shelf life are being researched with support from the Ontario government at the University of Guelph. You can read the full report at http://goo.gl/mMtBHj.