At the Root Cellar, Victoria’s busy green grocer, the fresh produce is completely refreshed by staff twice each day. But very little of it gets discarded. That’s because the company has several systems in place to make sure that less than one percent of the food they buy ends up in the compost.
Ripe or scarred items go first to the discount table or to feed hungry people at the Rainbow Kitchen and the University of Victoria’s student-run Community Cabbage. Next, it goes to a green bin for local farmers to collect to feed to their chickens and pigs. Excess berries go to Wild Arc, a wild animal rescue and rehabilitation centre. What little is left ends up in the compost.
Reducing food waste is being embraced across Canada but it’s the West Coast that’s leading the way. Forage, a fully sustainable and zero-waste restaurant in Vancouver, has demonstrated that making a few small changes can net big results. For example, getting rid of the bread basket (half of which gets wasted) and serving smaller plates helped reduce their food waste by about sixty percent.
Fast food restaurants are getting in on the action too. Victoria’s Big Wheel Burger is proving that they can be carbon neutral. Thanks to recyclable food containers and cutlery and smaller portion sizes there’s now only one garbage pickup every six weeks at the busy burger joint.
Reducing food waste at the source, not just recycling or composting it’s a step in the right direction. As I mentioned in an earlier post, almost half of food waste happens in Canadian homes.
The good folks at Metro Vancouver want to help people reduce that waste. One of their initiatives is the website Love Food, Hate Waste. Check it out for tips and recipes. They even have a discussion board so people can share ideas that have worked for them.
From an article that appeared in Macleans.