A report released by Agriculture Canada this week notes that Canadians spend just over 9% of their household purchases on food and non alcoholic beverages. To put that into context Canadians households spend just over $8,100 on food annually.
That works to about $22/day or $155/week. Assuming 2.5 people per household and three meals per day the cost of the average meal is $3.
Based on some of my research it is estimated that Ontario households throw out about $550 worth of food annually in their garbage bins and green bins. (This doesn’t include food that goes down the drain or food thrown out at restaurants). On the basis of the above food expenditure estimate this means Ontario households throw out at least 7% of what they purchase.
According to the Agriculture Canada report while the cost of food continues to increase the overall proportion that households pay for food continues to decline. That’s part of the rub.
In Canada we are lucky to have the agricultural economies of scale and incomes that allow us to buy domestic and imported food relatively cheaply. This however means we don’t pay it much mind when we throw it out.
Somehow we need to find a way to pretend scarcity in times of plenty.
An Overview of the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food System 2016