Developed countries are major contributors to the global issue of food waste. Consumers have become accustomed to a food system that focuses on providing an abundance of produce that meets high appearance standards. Similar to other industrialized countries, 40% of Canada’s total food loss is attributed to consumers. Canadians are purchasing and throwing away edible food that adds up to an average household loss of $1,100 per year. Apart from the economic costs, environmental costs of food waste along the supply chain include land degradation, carbon emissions, and overexploitation of resources. As a result, various grassroots programs have emerged over the past decade to combat residential food waste by means of public education and outreach. While Canada has created strategies recognizing food waste as an issue, there is a lack of government policy that directly targets consumer food waste. Many countries have identified reduction/prevention as the top priority in a hierarchy of strategies to address food loss. Through a comprehensive literature review, our team identifies the need for a policy framework that significantly reduces consumer food waste. We will propose policy tools adopted from accomplished grassroots organizations to implement changes in consumer demand that will lead to significant waste reductions.
- Nicole Bitter, Ciara Dunne, Corey Hurren, Jade Schwartzentruber, students from Ecosystem Management Technology Program, Fleming College