As of 2020, about 1/3 of all of the food produced is wasted (Stewart, 2020). 30% of cereals, 20% of dairy products, 35% of seafood, 20% of dairy products and 45% of all fruits and vegetables are wasted. Consequentially, 25% of freshwater use goes towards producing food that will go to waste.
Producing all of this food is not easy on the environment either. According to reports, around 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases are produced in the production of food each year. Furthermore, if food waste was a country, it would rank 3rd behind China and the United States. Despite this, there are efforts that each of us can make to reduce food waste.
How You Store Your Food Matters
The way in which you store your produce can either increase or decrease the decay process. When you receive your produce make sure that the plastic bag is not air tight. Allowing produce to breathe is essential to the produce to last longer.
Additionally, do not wash any of your produce until you are ready to eat it. Washing your produce before you eat it will allow for moisture to get on the produce and speed up the decomposition process.
Decreasing Food Waste
Decreasing food waste starts from the minute that you enter the grocery store or farmers' market. As a consumer, be sure to have a meal plan before you shop. Understand exactly what food you need and try not to get carried away.
When shopping, it is important that you are conscious of the consumer demands that you are indirectly dictating. A lot of the produce never makes it onto the shelves because of blemishes on the produce, thereby increasing food waste. When you purchase a piece of produce with a slight blemish, you are saving that produce from going to waste.
Another method for decreasing food waste is to purchase food from local farmers. During the winter in Canada, much of the produce comes from California, Arizona, and Mexico. The produce that you buy in the grocery store likely traveled for a few days by truck after being harvested. The extensive transportation that is required for the importing of unseasonal produce increases the chance of produce decaying before it even arrives in the store. On the contrary, local produce requires limited transportation and buying local increases the shelf life of the produce within your home.
Wellington Greens Food Waste Efforts
Since the launch of the business in 2020, Wellington Greens has been committed to ensuring that no food is wasted through the production of our lettuce and herbs. All of the lettuce and herbs that our business does not sell are donated to local food banks within the surrounding area.
We encourage you to take any food that you are not able to eat to local foodbanks. The Hope House in Guelph is a charity that is always looking for food donations to help support their social outreach.
Gord Stewart. (2020). FOOD WASTE FOOD WASTE SUSTAINABILITY. Wanganui Chronicle.
Help End Food Waste. David Suzuki Foundation. (2022, January 27). Retrieved February 3, 2022, from https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/help-end-food-waste/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA9OiPBhCOARIsAI0y71BAusFtPPKPpBhBOWGvlI3CEnB0ZxQGivCFmry-E72Es-7AB10oDYcaAke6EALw_wcB