Did You Know? Almost half of the value of Canada’s food waste, 47%, occurs in the home. Canadians throw out more food than they realize—food that could, at one point, have been eaten.
Inevitably, some food waste is unavoidable—this is the food that can’t generally be sold or eaten, such as bones, vegetable peelings, eggshells, tea bags, and coffee grounds. Avoidable food waste is the edible food that ends up in the compost or in the garbage bin. Unfortunately, we often waste good food because we buy too much, cook too much, or don’t store it correctly.
Food Waste Fast Facts
- 63% of the food Canadians throw away could have been eaten.
- For the average Canadian household that amounts to 140 kilograms of wasted food per year, at a cost of more than $1,100 per year.
- For Canadian households that amounts to almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food wasted each year, which costs Canadians in excess of $17 billion.
- The most commonly wasted foods by weight are vegetables, fruit, leftovers, bread and bakery items, dairy, and eggs.
- Canada’s 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is the equivalent of 9.8 million tonnes of C02 and 2.1 million cars on the road. Every tonne of household food waste that can be prevented is the equivalent of taking one car off the road each year.
- Every day in Canada, we waste:
- 2,400,000 potatoes
- 1,225,000 apples
- 1,200,000 tomatoes
- 1,000,000 cups of milk
- 750,000 loaves of bread
- 555,000 bananas
- 470,000 heads of lettuce
- 450,000 eggs
Tips to reduce food waste at home
Wasting food hurts the environment and costs you money, but this problem is easy to solve. We’re asking people to start by making just one small change to reduce waste. There are three major ways we can achieve this–by keeping it fresh, planning it out, and using it up.
Find tips and resources below from Love Food Hate Waste Canada, and learn how to avoid waste by purchasing less, storing food properly, better utilizing leftovers for meals, and freezing food, among other actions.
- Plan your meals in advance (preferably a week at a time).
- Make a shopping list and check your cupboards to see what you have on hand. Only buy what you need.
- Don’t make too much food. Make only what you know you will eat.
- View 10 other easy tips
- cook perishable foods first
- pack leftovers for lunch and take them to work or school the next day.
- understand best-before dates
- check out these recipe ideas
- dry or can your fruits and vegetables
Learn more about best-before dates, dehyrdating and canning foods, and discover recipe ideas at Love Food Hate Waste Canada.
Check out the City of Kamloops Activity Guide to discover relevant courses for preserving, growing, and cooking with food.
Composting food waste is better than disposing of it in the garbage. But an even better way to lessen our impact on the environment is to reduce the amount of food waste we produce in the first place.