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Annual Canadian food waste estimated at $31 Billion
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Wednesday, December 10, 2014 7:37PM MST
Value Chain Management International’s study into food waste found Canadian households, grocery stores and restaurants are throwing away a staggering amount of food each year.
According to VCMI’s research, food waste costs the average Canadian family $86 per month and restaurants send an alarming 5 -11 per cent of their profits to the land fill.
In 2014, the estimated cost of food waste was $31 Billion, $4 Billion more than in 2010.
Martin Gooch, a VCMI official, says Canadians need to change their approach to food.
“We have to change the attitude and value our food more,” said Gooch. “We have to value where the food comes from.”
“When an average household is wasting at least an average of $86 of food a month, that’s a lot of money we could put back in our pocket just at a household level.”
While $86 is the average, in some households the waste cost is much higher.
Calgarian Tracy Roberge carefully plans her family's meals and leftovers in order to limit the amount of food that gets thrown out. While she is conscious of food waste, she isn't surprised to hear of the wasteful ways of her fellow Canadians.
“I’ve lived overseas and I see the difference in consumption levels,” said Roberge. “Our consumption levels and just how things are different. So it doesn’t shock me that much.”
While households are a major contributor to overall food waste costs, grocery stores find themselves stuck with food which will not be purchased because of looming expiration dates, excess supply or logo abnormalities.
The fact consumers are unwilling to purchase some perfectly good items has some Calgary organizations, including the Calgary Food Bank, reaping the benefits.
“80 per cent of our donations come from organizations,” said Food Bank spokesperson Shawna Ogston. “Whether it’s a small farmers market that needs to get rid of its perishables items because they know they’re getting close to their expiration date to large corporations that may have just had a logo upside down on their cans.”
To view the findings of the study, visit The Cost of Canada’s Annual Food Waste
With files from CTV's Rylee Carlson