Hunger In Canada

Our Mission Is To "Feed Canadians Not Landfills

Sadly, a stunning 58 per cent of all food produced in Canada — 35.5 million tonnes — is lost or wasted. At the same time, hunger is endemic: there were more than one million visits to food banks in the GTA last year

Here’s Why We have So Much Waste

Food Grading System

In order to get sold produce needs to look perfect. As a result “ugly” fruits & vegetables that aren’t sold to a manufacturer to be processed into something else are often discarded based on their size, shape or coloring since fresh markets only want pretty produce. 
Fun Fact, did you know baby carrots were invented by the farmer Mike Yurosek in 1986. Instead of throwing away all the “ugly” carrots that nobody would buy he used a machine to cut them down to something that looked nicer.
Click Here For An Article On This  (Wikipedia)

Inaccurate Forecasting

It’s not unheard of for farmers to produce far more than what they are able to sell. This is impart because their clients over estimate how much they will need. In addition processors may also have more produce grown than needed in fear of not having enough to meet customer demand.

Price Fluctuations

Due to certain temporary and seasonal worker regulations it can become difficult to get enough people to help harvest crops, which leads to produce getting picked past its prime or not getting picked at all.  

Packaging

The way food is packages can have a great effect on how long it lasts before going bad. So when our food uses less than ideal packaging it’s more likely to go bad leading to more food loss.  

Understanding Expiration & Best Buy Dates

The best buy dates on most food products have little to do with food safety. Instead they indicate when the manufacturer thinks the product is at it’s freshest point. 
Though there are some exceptions to this with products like baby formula and certain dietary supplements that have government regulation demanding them to be labeled with true expiration dates.
Uncooked animal products should also be avoided if left for too long.
Click for more information (www.inspection.gc.ca)

Food Waste By Individuals

People often contribute to food waste by doing things such as;
  • Buying too much at the store, then letting it go bad 
  • Not storing food properly
  • Discarding food prematurely because of a best buy date
  • Getting more food than they can eat while at a restaurant, especially with buffets 
  • Discarding leftovers either at home or from a restaurant
Click Here For More On This

With All That In Mind, Why Don’t All Farms Donate Their Excess Food?

Finances

As part of the business farmers will often get insurance for their crop, this way if something goes wrong they could still be payed. The only problem is that to get this money the crop can’t go into the market because of company policy, and many companies consider donating the crop as introducing it to the market even if it’s donated.
In addition to that, most farms are located in rural areas which can make it cheaper to simply dispose of crop than donate because of the costs associated with transporting the crop.
 

Perception of Liability

If food is not at its peak farmers may also be worried about liability associated with donating crop, unaware of the Food Donation and Good Samaritan Act in Canada, which protects businesses from liability when donating food in good faith.