Overripe tomatoes? How about whipping up some gazpacho or making a batch of salsa? Stale bread? Turn it into croutons or chips.
The National Zero Waste Council is providing tips like these to help Canadians rethink avoidable food waste. The new “5 Ways With” campaign features ways to store, prepare and creatively use up commonly wasted food items, from bread and broccoli stalks to bruised apples and past-their-prime tomatoes.
The campaign is part of the National Zero Waste Council’s ongoing “Love Food Hate Waste” platform, which launched in 2018. Research from the organization found that Canadians throw out nearly 2.2 million tons of edible food every year. For the average household, that amounts to 140 kg of wasted food per year, at a cost of more than $1,100.
Consumers are said to be the biggest contributors to food waste. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) found that of the 168 million tons of food lost or wasted in North America every year, 67 million tons come from consumers. That’s followed by pre-harvest (49 million tons), processing (20 million tons), post-harvest (16 million tons) and distribution, retail and foodservice (15 million tons).
“Food waste is a global, but solvable problem and the good news is, we know that Canadians are more motivated than ever to reduce their food waste,” said Jack Froese, chair of the National Zero Waste Council, in a press release. He added that a 2020 survey showed 84% of Canadians agreed that food waste is an important national issue and 94% of Canadians are motivated to reduce their food waste.
“The ‘5 Ways With’ website provides Canadians with the tools to act and prevent food waste in the home,” said Froese.
As part of the campaign, chef and author Bob Blumer will be sharing his top food-saving tips for “fun, easy ways” Canadians can reduce food waste.
Two major grocery retailers—Walmart Canada and Sobeys—are among the 11 campaign partners.