By Kaitlyn Clark
The Haldimand Press
HALDIMAND—Recently released, The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste Report shows that 58% of food produced in Canada is wasted, or 35.5 million metric tonnes. Of that, 32% (11.2 million tonnes) is edible and worth a whopping $49.46 billion.
Local MPP Toby Barrett says the key to changing this food waste epidemic is in changing people’s attitudes surrounding food.
“It goes back to eating habits, to use what you have before it goes bad, and when preparing food using as much as you can,” said Barrett. “Individual attitudes, that’s the key. The government can’t do everything.”
Barrett made these comments in response to questions about the provincial government’s plans to combat this issue, highlighted by the Food Waste Report done by Second Harvest and Value Chain Management International. Barrett noted that the Province’s Food and Organic Waste Statement from 2016 focuses on reducing food waste put in landfills.
Food waste is one of the biggest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions as it produces methane when it rots, along with being a waste of the resources and labour that is used to grow, process, transport, and cook it.
“(The 2016 statement) sets a 70% reduction/recovery (of food waste) by 2025,” said Barrett. However, he noted the statement targets municipalities larger than Haldimand. The Province’s Environmental Plan, released last November, also focuses on reducing food in landfills.