Food waste has far-reaching impacts, from the most vulnerable in our society to the economy as a whole.
With so many struggling with food insecurity, it’s even more concerning that after so much work in growing and transporting fresh food, it ends up going to waste.
Food waste is also bad for the environment. When food ends up in a landfill, it generates methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Concerningly, nearly 60 per cent of the food produced in Canada, or 35.5 million tonnes, is lost and wasted annually, amounting to a $49 billion impact on our greater economy, according to Harvest Canada.
There are many sources of this waste, such as losses at the farm, waste at the manufacturing plant, unsold product in grocery stores and food not eaten by consumers at home. Regardless of the source, we can all agree, any amount of waste is too much.
That’s why, our team at Kelowna’s Real Canadian Superstore is on a mission to end food waste. We want to make sure we are playing our part to support our community, all the food that leaves our location ends up going to good use, and most importantly, not going to landfill. We’re committed to sending zero food waste to landfill by 2030 which has required a lot of change.
We use a number of initiatives to work towards zero food waste. First and foremost, we’re making sure good food ends up going to those who need it most. Thanks to a partnership with the Central Okanagan Food Bank, we provide safe, nutritious food to the community. Together, we’ve kept 131 thousand tonnes of food from going to waste.
We also work with Flashfood, which enables us to find a home for products that may have some imperfections and allows families the chance to get a great deal on a variety of food groups that will help stretch their grocery budget. It’s one of my favourite programs at our store, that helps to feed everyone.
When it comes to the food from our store that is no longer okay for people to eat, like waste from our bakery, salad bar or other departments, we’re reversing the food lifecycle – by taking waste from table to farm.
Loop is a great resource that helps us support local farmers and also prevents food from going to the landfill. Local farms support us by supplying fresh food, and we can help support them with feed by diverting food waste back to their farms.
Taking it a step further, we’re working with ZooShare Biogas Ltd., to transform food and animal waste that would otherwise end up in the landfill, into biogas to power the electricity grid.
The first project of its kind in?Canada, ZooShare converts thousands of tonnes of animal manure and food waste from grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses into renewable power.
Join us in putting an end to the cycle of food waste – from farms, to stores, and to our homes. We all have a role to play in preventing food from ending up in the landfill. Together, we can make sure that no waste goes to waste.
Brandon Varley is the store manager at Kelowna’s Real Canadian Superstore