On 12 September I had the privilege and pleasure of accompanying MP Ruth Ellen Brousseau at a Press Conference on Parliament Hill to support her private members bill “Fight Against Food Waste Act”. It seeks establish a food waste reduction day and importantly develop a national strategy to combat food waste.
In the coming days I will be seeking your support to help make this a reality.
Below are my comments from the Press Conference:
The development of a national strategy to reduce food waste is important because it bridges two critical issues: food waste and food insecurity.
The average Canadian household throws out 5 pounds of food worth $12 every week. Keep in mind that this doesn’t even start to count things like food waste that occurs at restaurants and grocery stores.
At the same time an estimated 8% of Canadians don’t have sufficient and consistent access to food.
So on the one hand there are hungry people and on the other people throw food away.
These two realities don’t jive and is disheartening to witness in our prosperous country.
This is a national issue and quite frankly warrants a national strategy. This strategy will establish food waste reduction targets and put tools in place to allow consumers to reduce their food waste.
Imagine what we could accomplish by reducing the amount of food that becomes waste by 50%?
• It would mean $300 per year for the average household
• Environmental/Climate change benefits (for instance, approximately 75% of food’s environmental impact comes from its production)
• This would also work toward ensuring that all Canadians realize the fundamental human right of consistent access to food
A key barrier to achieving meaningful reduction of food waste is the high level of consumer confusion when it comes to food. We need to improve food literacy. This strategy will provide the tools that consumers need to make good food decisions such as:
• Knowing how much and how often to buy food
• Knowing that Best Before does not mean Worst After
• Knowing how to prepare food
• Not being scared to eat leftovers
Food waste is a triple bottom line issue: it costs people money; it has considerable environmental impacts and climate change implications and is indelibly tied in with the poverty issues that creates food insecurity. This issue is worthy of national leadership and support. This national strategy will drive the change that is needed.
Here is a link to the proposed Act http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=8122653