Food Waste: From Table to Trash

I recently watched a movie during the Edmonton International Film Festival called Just Eat It. The film was all about food waste and it reinvigorated my passion for the topic, especially since Waste Reduction Week is happening this week. What I took from the film was that individual actions in your home can make a big difference in the amount of food we throw out.

A study released by Value Chain Management Centre in 2010 confirms that our actions at home count. The study says that 51 per cent of the food wasted in Canada comes from our homes. That’s more than food wasted in restaurants, processing facilities and grocery stores combined.

If we each make a conscious effort to cut back on how many peppers and leftovers we let rot in our kitchen we can reduce our household garbage by up to 20 per cent.

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In the past year I’ve been making a real effort to cut back on the food I buy and throw out. I’d like to share three things that have helped me reduce the amount of wasted food (and save money):

  1. Check your fridge and pantry before you go grocery shopping to avoid purchasing duplicates or excess items (when I started doing this, I realized we already had three bottles of mustard in the fridge).
  2. Take a few minutes after you grocery shop to store your food properly and minimize spoilage.
  3. Put produce like wilting spinach or browning bananas in the freezer—they make a great addition to soups, smoothies, or pasta sauce.

In Edmonton more than 90 per cent of households voluntarily recycle, which is something to be very proud of. That means that, for many of us, it’s time to go beyond recycling and using Eco Stations to reduce our waste.

As Edmonton works towards reaching the goal of keeping 90 per cent of household waste out of landfills, I believe reducing food waste in our homes plays an important role in helping us get there.

October 20 to 26 is Waste Reduction Week in Canada. To celebrate, the City of Edmonton is collecting stories of how individuals, businesses, and community organizations reduce waste in Edmonton. Have a story to share? Email laura.henderson@edmonton.ca

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About the Author
Laura Henderson
Laura Henderson is a Social Marketing Coordinator with Transportation Services.
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