Solving landfill woes

Shopping isn’t easy these days. I want local food and I don’t want it covered in bug poison.

Shopping isn’t easy these days. I want local food and I don’t want it covered in bug poison.

While walking the grocery store aisles I used to find myself choosing food products based upon their packaging.

Now I choose no packaging first, then look for inert glass packaging and finally will choose paper recyclable packaging and as a last resort choose plastic packaging only if it is #4, #5 or #2.

Whew! But now when I walk those aisles I have a new criteria to be on the lookout for at the top of my list, food waste.

Forty per cent of food produced for consumption is wasted.

Yup in the garbage.  Almost half.

Whoa! How is this not on every news channel?  Because of those darn expiry dates.

We live in a world where our food is processed, preserved and packaged to survive the next apocalypse but has an “expiry date” or “best before” date.

Combined with a fear of litigation, there is a common practice by grocery retailers to remove that food if it doesn’t sell by that date.

Fact — the only food that requires an expiry date is infant formula and nutritional drinks like Boost.

Truth — there is an opposite law to throwing food away,

The Canadian Food Donation Act allows that food given for free is exempt from litigation just like the Good Samaritan Act in the U.S.

Provide free food, even if past its “best before date,” you cannot be sued.

In fact no one or store has ever been sued in Canada or the U.S.

Keep food from filling our landfills and put it into empty tummies in our community.

Encourage our grocery stores to bring back the chicken and pig pail pick ups and last but not least…eat ugly.

Bumped apples, orphan bananas or the last few scraggly cauliflowers.

I eat ugly, targeting the last of anything.

Only four apples left — I buy them all.  Two wilted Swiss chards go into my basket.

The store calls them culls — not perfect looking food —if I catch staff in the produce department “culling” I buy from that box too.

Where did I gain this font of passion for food waste?

A  great B.C. documentary called Just Eat it.

It just toured through the Cariboo at the beginning of this month courtesy of the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society Waste Wise Program wastewise@ccconserv.org.

Due to an unfortunate misprint, the date that advertised the screening in Williams Lake was incorrect and some passionate foodies may have missed this amazing documentary.  Don’t panic.

Watch it for free now on Knowledge.ca in your pyjamas, while eating the last of that box of ice cream.

Wouldn’t want it to go to waste would we?

https://www.knowledge.ca/program/just-eat-it.

Mary Forbes is an instructor with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society’s Waste Wise program

 

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