Thursday, January 24th: Food Waste and New Canada Food Guide
I am not sure where to start today! There has been so much in the news this past week about food! The two most prominent topics were food waste and the new Canada food guide - both of which are so relatable and intertwined with Farmers' Markets (and things I happen to be passionate about - so WARNING: long letter ahead).
The report released by Second Harvest entitled "The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste," identified that 58% of food produced in Canada is wasted. One quote that really stood out to me is: "The outcomes of this report make it very clear that we need to radically change how we as Canadians value food," Nikkel said during a news conference. "The abundance of food we produce has led us to dismiss its intrinsic value."
But, how do we begin to value our food more and reduce less? There are many ways we can fight food waste ourselves, and many of those tips happen at home in our kitchen. But what about at every other point where waste occurs?
Buying directly from the source helps to reduce waste and increase our connection to our food. How you ask? Buying from a local farmer, a farmers' market in your community or from WFM2Go greatly reduces the links from field to table, which limits where food waste can and does occur. According to the report, "nearly $21 billion worth, is lost or wasted during the processing and manufacturing process."
Buying from a local farmer or farmers market also means that you are getting to know who is growing your food and where it's being grown. This helps build a greater connection to your food and a stronger appreciation for it - ultimately leading us to waste less. It's also a great way to learn how to properly store food, and use every little piece of it - our farmers' really know a lot about what they grow!
I think this point really ties in with some points made on the new Canada Food Guide. One of their suggestions for a healthier relationship with food is to cook at home and plan meals with people - two things I am happy to support! Cooking at home not only saves money and is usually healthier, but it also allows us to appreciate our food (and the hard work that went into cooking it - cause we all know it takes time) which makes us want to waste less of it - a win win win!
Another amazing change to the Canada Food Guide is the recommendations of 50% veggies, 25% protein, and 25% grain foods. I don't know about you, but I have eaten quite a few meals where the meat held the most realestate on my plate! I think this shift to more veggies is really awesome (especially when we grow so many amazing ones right here in our province). With this in mind, here are a just a few of the amazing benefits and impacts of buying your veggies and meat from WFM2Go, your local farmers' market, or your local farmer/farm stand:
1. You build a connection with the person who is growing your food, resulting in more appreciation and understanding of where and how it came to your plate (often. more appreciation = less food waste)
2. You are limiting the production line from farm to table, supporting a food system that is more sustainable.
3. You are paying fair dollars for food grown, allowing the farmer to grow sustainably, and ultimately strengthening our economy (the money you spend goes straight towards building a better, more sustainable, local economy).
4. You are getting access to healthy food while simultaneously helping to build a better local food system which has an important and necessary impact on food security for Nova Scotia.
5. Have you ever seen that picture online that says "every time you buy something local, someone does a happy dance"? Well, when you buy local, that REALLY happens! I know, because I am one of the many who does a happy dance when we see an order come through!
The list can go on, but I think I will save that for another day!
Have a great weekend,
Lindsay & WFM2Go Team