December 09, 2021
By: Jessica Wynne

Did you know that more than 2.2 million tonnes of avoidable food waste is generated in Canadian homes annually? Most of this waste is vegetables (30%), followed by fruit (15%), leftovers (13%), bread and baked goods (9%), and dairy and eggs (7%). This translates to $10 000 000 000 of lost food! Food that could have fed your family or others.

That’s a LOT of waste.

But there’s a lot we can do! Small changes over time = big changes in the big picture.

The good news about food waste is, we can eat the problem!

So for Pfive Days, here are Pfive tips for you:

Day 1: Choose “Ugly” Fruits & Veggies

The rigid requirements of many grocery stores for fruits and vegetables for uniform sizing, with perfect shapes and colours results in many overlooked “uglies” being discarded. It’s important to remember that imperfect looking food is still nutritious! Changing our mindset to include less attractive and irregular produce into our perception of good food will go a long way towards reducing food waste. After all, it’s what’s inside that counts!

Day 2: Store Fruits & Veggies Properly

Did you know storing bananas with other produce will make the other items ripen and expire more quickly? Or that celery can have a longer fridge life if it’s stored upright in water? Or that apples and pears cannot be stored together in the long term? (In our warehouse, they are stored on opposite ends of the building.) Learning proper food storage techniques will greatly reduce at-home food spoilage!

https://www.halfyourplate.ca/fruits-and-veggies/store-fruits-veggies/

Day 3: Freeze & Reuse Your Scraps

Save your wilted fruits and veggies, or scraps that you would normally send to the compost bin, and put them in the freezer to use later. Veggies can be used to make soup stock, frittatas, loaves, stir fries, etc. Fruits can make a nice addition to muffins, cookies, pie fillings, sauces, or ice cream toppings.

Day 4: Donate Extra Food

The holiday season is all about giving, so consider donating extra food to your local food bank. Food banks will not accept things like homemade baked goods or leftovers, so extras would make a nice treat for family, friends or neighbours. Delicious sweet treats, or a meal you don’t have to cook yourself – who wouldn’t appreciate a gift like that?

Day 5: Get Creative With Leftovers

Have extra cranberries from making cranberry sauce? Extra chestnuts that were roasted on an open fire? Leftover mashed potatoes, turkey, or other assorted vegetables? You might even have “useless” peels from lemons, oranges, or other citrus fruits. No matter what you have kicking around, there’s sure to be a recipe for it! (Right Google?)

This recipe for potato pancakes incorporates all kinds of leftovers!

These tips are just the beginning – with a bit of creativity and a willing spirit we can always do better!

Sources/Resources: