According to David Suzuki close to half of all food produced worldwide is wasted, once produced. Waste occurs at various points of the food supply system, but, according to experts, the biggest source of waste is households. I am constantly surprised when on garbage day, neighbours appear to have little or NO food waste out for compost collection. Really? When people throw food out, all the resources to grow, ship, package and produce it are wasted, too, including massive amounts of water. Besides being a waste of money, time and energy, unused food that ends up in landfills is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases. When food ends up in landfills it releases methane as it decomposes.

Environment Canada states, “Methane is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its global warming potential. Emissions from Canadian landfills account for 20 per cent of national methane emissions. Sylvain Charlebois, a professor at the University of Guelph’s Food Institute  says, “we often don’t remind ourselves that we are really the ones wasting the most food, throughout the supply chain. As consumers we can actually make a significant difference just by changing some of the things we do on a daily basis.” Charlebois believes Canada needs a national strategy and an educational program in schools. Check out this month’s Top Story to learn more. Don’t know where to start? Forming a Green Team is a great first step!

Lisa James.

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