Food waste must be addressed at every level of the food system beginning with production and distribution and ending with consumers. To do this, many grocery stores and retailers are taking the issue of food waste more seriously and encouraging consumers to do the same. In this edition of Food Waste News, read about how are retailers cutting back on waste, tips for reviving old produce, and Canada’s new strategy to cut national food waste in half.
Grocery Stores Reduce Waste
Although a large percentage of food waste happens at the consumer level, grocery stores and retailers also play a part in letting edible food go to waste. Large retailers and companies in the food industry are examining their practices and coming together to reduce the amount of wasted food at the commercial level. With the help of programs like Robinson Fresh’s Misfits, more “second-grade” produce is being sold at discounted prices. Similarly, grocery stores and companies are working with food banks and organizations like Brighter Bites to connect unused produce with the people who need it. These practices help companies reduce their food waste and save money all while ensuring good food is getting to the people that need it most. Read more here.
New Ways to Use Older Produce
Marketing ploys often convince consumers that produce must look perfect to be edible, encouraging consumers to waste perfectly good food and money. The Standard-Examiner, a newspaper in Ogden, UT, is helping consumers fight back by identifying a few tips and tricks to help give new life to produce that has seen better days. For example, if you only eat half of an avocado, leave the pit in the other half and sprinkle lime juice on top to prevent browning. If the avocado is too mushy to eat, use it to make a hydrating face mask. For overripe or soggy bananas and berries, stick them in the freezer for smoothies or desserts. For more tricks and tips to salvage old produce, click here.
Canada Releases Strategy to Prevent Food Waste
The National Zero Waste Council of Canada recently updated and released their strategy to reduce and prevent food waste across the country. Their biggest findings include the need to address food waste across the entire supply chain, improve food donations systems, and partner with innovative tech firms to reach creative solutions. This new strategy hopes to halve Canada’s national food waste by 2030. The strategy also takes into account the geographic challenges that Canada faces and the small-scale food production, distribution, and retail businesses that make up most of Canada’s food system. Read more about the new strategy and recommendations here.
By Alaina Spencer, Food Writer