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Sobeys Quebec poll results prove timely for upcoming food management workshops

Upcoming workshops teach shoppers how to use surplus food

The results of a recent online poll by Sobeys Quebec suggest that an overwhelming majority of people in the province consider food waste to be a major problem. That bodes well, company officials say, for an upcoming series of IGA-sponsored workshops designed to teach people how to reduce food waste in the kitchen. Part of the Sobeys Quebec-sponsored À vos frigos! (To your refrigerators!) program that launched in May, the web poll involved 1,000 people who were asked various questions on the issue of food waste in June by Montreal pollster cube Research. Eighty-two percent of respondents reportedly said they were "preoccupied" by food waste, and nearly half of that group –or 39% –said they were "very preoccupied." An almost equal number of respondents (81%) considered efforts to reduce food waste to be important. READ: Sobeys Quebec fights food waste in customer kitchens Reducing food waste also ranked second among respondents as an environmentally friendly action consumers can take (after recycling, and ahead of composting). Seventy percent of respondents also believe that the issue of food waste is not discussed enough publicly. When asked what food waste meant for them personally, 84% of respondents equated it to "throwing money out the window." Fifty-nine percent also said it takes food away from the underprivileged, and 52% said it hurts the environment. According to Sobeys Quebec spokesperson Marie-Noëlle Cano, the results are another stepping stone on the path to understanding and dealing with food waste. "The bottom line is that food waste in the kitchen is a question of reflex," Cano told Canadian Grocer.  "It includes the entire cycle, from the making of grocery list to decisions on what to do with that bag of carrots sitting on the bottom of the vegetable drawer in your fridge. READ: Sobeys Quebec kicks off strawberry season "People need to know that so that they can find and apply the right solutions." The latter, she added, will be available at the upcoming workshops. Starting in Sept., 20 Quebec chefs from A vos frigos! program partner La Tablée des Chefs will offer tips and tricks on how to recoup over-ripe and/or misshapen fruits and vegetables and past-due-date cheeses, yogurts and other foods in up to 100 workshops. The 90-minute workshops, which will be held mostly in IGA stores and filmed for diffusion on the web, will notably offer three "skeletal" recipes designed to help people use surplus food. They include a barley salad with fruits and vegetables, bread pudding, and a vegetable and meat sauce. An environmental expert will also be on hand at the workshops to discuss the issue of food waste and ways to reduce it. "The goal of the program is to empower people," said Cano.  "It's all about helping them manage their fridge and eating better at the same time."

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