Food is Food Blog

A few thoughts on food waste from a future leader

I had the opportunity to bring family friend (and grade nine student) Laine to Western University, to check out my food waste research and some other fun stuff, for “Take your kid to school day”. Laine is at the cool age where the entire world represents an opportunity and the luxury of making choices between the myriad of possibilities awaits. Laine is interested in science and business. She is sharp and insightful and is a precociously effective questioner. I asked this future leader write a few of her thoughts on food waste.

My thoughts on food waste. Guest blogger: Laine

In grade 6, I was looking for a project for our school science fair. I was looking for something different from the norm, and something possibly related to the environment. Paul van der Werf came up in dinnertime conversation and I learned that he was studying food waste. My parents suggested that I should consider this for my project. My first thought was that food waste had nothing to do with science, partially because I hadn’t really thought about it before; but after some research I realized quite the opposite. I discovered that food waste or just food in general can take years decompose in landfills, and it releases greenhouse gases like methane in to the atmosphere that leads to global warming. I found that ‘best before’ labels can be deceiving, and also realized that money and resources were being wasted producing food that is not eaten. I decided to pursue the project in food waste, and in turn learned a lot. This project went on to being the 1st place science project in grade 6! Now, three years later, I am still food waste aware. Although I haven’t participated in science fairs recently, our family makes a huge effort to plan our meals, eat left lovers, make grocery lists and store our food properly. Following the tips from “food is food”. Subsequently, if food is wasted at home we have a backyard composter which we use to lessen the negative environmental impacts. This past month, for ‘Take Your Kid to Work Day’, I had the honour of going with Paul van der Werf, learning about his business, 2cg, which has been running for the past 25 years, and experience the work he does at The HEAL Lab.