August 16, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Big bill for food waste in Quebec

Big bill for food waste in Quebec

What ends up wasted has an impact on the planet that could be savedAnne Marie Abert, coordinator of the Montreal Food System Council, sums it up bluntly.

Food waste includes table scraps, spoiled food and food past its best-before date, according to Recyc-Québec, the government agency responsible for studying good recycling practices.

If meat and poultry account for 13% of food waste, Ms. According to Aubert, they represent 59% of greenhouse gas emissions. These foods should be targeted if our goal is to reduce environmental impactA food expert advised in an interview with ICI RDI.

As far as the waste generated by industries is concerned.. Companies have little incentive to measure, monitor and reduce their food residues, concluded an extensive study (new window) Volume of food losses and waste in Quebec, published in June.

The report indicates the attitude of aspiring companies Get at least some return on investment, so they don’t want to throw out (or donate) food before its shelf life is minimal or expired, often without notice..

This trade policy complicates the ability of organizations to recover and redistribute edible food, the study notes, which also warns Food loss and waste represent enormous economic, environmental and social costs for individuals and society as a whole.

Does “best before” on packaging contribute to food waste? Interview with Louis Henault-Ethier, Director of the Eau Terre Environment Center of the National Institute for Scientific Research.

Assessment of risk

In their economic interests, supermarkets and grocery stores ensure that Manage their inventory well to avoid wastePierre-Alexandre Blouin, president and CEO of the Quebec Food Retailers Association, defended him.

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Mr Blouin is more wary of removing best before dates on the model of other British brands such as Waitrose and sector giant Tesco, which removed best before dates on 100 products from 2018, or the same in a recent Marks and Spencer 300 reference.

The CEO of the Quebec Food Retailers Association says it’s difficult to compare food waste in Quebec with that abroad. Inspection processes, methods and responsibilities are differentHe argued.

For us, the best before date is a work tool, argues Mr Blouin, which allows us to manage product rotations; When you “portion” a food, for example, sliced ​​ham, there is a countdown because the product is good for a certain period of time.

It is important to provide correct information to the customer so that he can consume the product without endangering his health. »

A quote from Pierre-Alexandre Blouin, CEO of the Quebec Food Retailers Association

Mr. Blouin however shares A start For food retailers to be more involved in the fight against waste, But it takes beacons for usHe is subtle.

School Liver

In 2022, the National Zero Waste Council conducted research on household waste in Canada. According to this initiative, which aims to limit waste and promote a circular economy, Canadians can eat 63% of the food they throw away.

For the average Canadian family, that’s 140 kg of food thrown away each year — a bill of more than $1,300 a year, the analysis figures.

In conclusionThis inflation could greatly limit food waste, predicts Jacques Nantel, professor emeritus in the department of marketing at HEC Montreal.

For consumers concerned about limiting waste, many public resources can help prevent waste by providing information, in particular, specifying the shelf life of foods or safe temperatures for storing foods.

Anne Marie Abert believes that the fight against food waste can be achieved through better schooling.

Canada remains the only G7 country without a school feeding program, she noted. The program not only provides food to children, but also educates them about healthy eating, cooking skills and food budgeting.

With information from ICI RDI, program Tout un matin and Agence France-Presse