September 29th is the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste that was created by the UN to address this massive (but not hopeless) problem. The good news is that by simply being a SPUD customer, you are already part of the solution: SPUD is proud to have the lowest (0.5%) food waste of any grocery store in Canada. We are far from perfect but we are improving our practices every day and hope that you will join us. Tips to help you fight your personal war on waste are below!
SPUD is part of a unique documentary on food waste and you can be a part of it bringing it to life right here: Food Synergy – an epic story from farm to plate.
The planet is already producing enough food
There is more than enough food produced today to feed every last person on the planet. Yet up to 811 million people globally remain chronically undernourished. Food loss and waste is unacceptable, and it undermines the sustainability of our food systems. SPUD has numerous projects in the works to help local communities with food insecurity. Please connect with our Sustainability Manager to help inspire us around future opportunities to help.
Food loss is food that’s lost between harvest/production and up to, but not including retail. Food waste is the loss of edible food at the point of retail or consumer use. Consumers are the top source of food waste in our food system.
Did you know that the average Canadian household spends $1,776 on food every year that gets wasted? The value of food is more than just it’s price tag. Food production is a resource-intensive process that requires water, land, energy, labour and capital. When we throw away food, all these resources are wasted. On top of this, wasting food that doesn’t get composted increases greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to climate change. Our food systems cannot be resilient if they are not sustainable.
Simple ways to take action against food waste and loss
Embrace this day by spreading the word (share this blog!) and taking action in your own home. These tips will hopefully save you time, will definitely save you money, and you’ll be helping the planet and the people on it.
- Meal plan. Decide what you’re going to be cooking this week, what ingredients you already have, and what you’ll need to pick up grocery shopping. Pro tip: If you order groceries online you can look at what’s in your fridge and pantry while you shop.
- Make a list (and stick to it). If you’re grocery shopping in person, resist the urge to impulse buy.
- Prioritize. Think about your foods that will spoil quickly and use them first.
- Food Storage. In order to keep organic meat and organic vegetables fresh for as long as possible, learn how to store them properly. Pro tip: Check out this fridge guide by lovefoodhatewaste.
- Buy imperfect produce. What matters is on the inside.
- Understand “best before” dates. Trust your senses and not necessarily the date on the package.
- Eat your leftovers. If you have leftovers at a restaurant, ask for a doggie bag. Pro tip: bring your own container.
- Learn to preserve. Canning, pickling, dehydrating, fermenting – there is something fun for everyone.
- On days you don’t feel like cooking, use the toogoodtogo app to find local vendors in your area selling their leftover food at discounted rates. Pro Tip: Be Fresh (part of the SPUD family) is on the app.
- Compost. When you do need to dispose of food, make sure it goes in the compost.