World Bulletin / News Desk
With so many people in the third world going hungry, Canada is one of the worst countries when it comes to throwing away food on a daily basis – 1.2 million apples, 2.4 million potatoes, 750,000 loaves of bread and other foodstuffs that total an estimated 2.2 million tons a year.
In greenhouse gas terms used to produce that food, it is the equivalent of adding 2.1 million cars to the road, according to the National Zero Waste Council.
About 60 percent of that total, or 1.3 million tons, is considered edible and costs the average Canadian household CAN$1,100 (US$835) annually.
Hence the new campaign, Love Food Hate Waste, which is based on a UK program that successfully cut food waste by 21 percent over five years and saved consumers £13 billion (US$17 billion).
“The Love Food Hate Waste campaign is desperately needed to tackle food waste across the country,” said Malcolm Brodie, head of Canada’s National Zero Waste Council.
“The campaign is the first coordinated national approach to help Canadians change their relationship with food. It only takes a small amount of change, such as buying only what we need so food doesn’t spoil or get forgotten in the back of the fridge and is then thrown out.”
The campaign offers easy tips on how to keep and store fresh food, use more of what is purchased and planning purchases to avoid waste.
“It’s simple enough,” said Sophie Langlois-Blouin of Recyc-Quebec, one of the organizations involved in the campaign, “and it allows us to have an impact on the environment but also to reduce the costs, because material we could have eaten that we throw out has costs.”
Lee Tappenden, president and CEO of Walmart Canada, said the company is hoping to “inspire more change and action that will significantly reduce food waste in Canada”.
The council hopes to reduce food waste by half by 2030.