Food Waste in Canada (Part 2) with Dr. Ralph Martin

Food waste—or wasted food—has become a popular issue lately. One study showed we’re wasting 40% of all the food that we produce in Canada—almost half of what’s on our plates!

Dealing with waste is also a pricey problem: according to Canada’s National Zero Waste Council, every year local governments in Canada spend about $3.2 billion managing 34 million tonnes of waste—which includes all kinds of garbage, including wasted food—per year. All the while, one in nine people in the world still suffer from hunger or don’t get enough of the right nutrients.

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Ralph Martin, a professor and Loblaw Chair in Sustainable Food Production within the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph. Dr. Martin recently conducted research on food waste in Ontario. Through his research, Dr. Martin has found that two-thirds of wasted food is actually avoidable. In this episode, we focus on what we as a society and individuals can do to reduce wasted food—from simple things like eating leftovers, to being creative and cooking or baking ingredients that are about to go bad, to planning out our food shopping and what we need to buy.

Dr. Martin also suggests getting back to basics by teaching school children about food and how to grow to prepare it, and integrating food into subjects like science and math. He also tells us how people often feel that wasted food is a social issue—versus an environmental and economic one—and details his recent research on wasted food.

*The views expressed in Food and Health Today do not necessarily reflect those of the Ontario Public Health Association/ Nutrition Resource Centre.
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