If you’re like me, you might be a little shocked at your holiday bills arriving this month. Then you open your mail and like a beacon of hope find fliers advertising great deals to save at the local supermarket.
But good people, take my advice and ignore these deals! Fight the urge to buy two bags of avocados or three dozen eggs that would take you four weeks to eat! Here’s why.
A recent paper on food waste released by the George Morris Centre at the University of Guelph revealed that popular marketing strategies in Canada (price-oriented fliers) encourage us to buy more food than we want or need. According to the researchers, Canadians throw away 27 billion dollars worth of food products every year.
Yes, that number is correct: 27 billion dollars! The value of what Canadians throw away is higher than the combined GDPs of the world’s 32 poorest countries!
As Laura Rance reports in her article published in The Winnipeg Free Press, those numbers only measure the cost of the food sent to the dump or composter. The real cost to the economy and the environment is much higher.
It is not just the market value of the food that is scraped into the garbage that needs to be considered, it is the cost of its production, processing, packaging, transportation and retail that is lost. Food that ends up in the landfill or compost pile creates methane and CO2 as it decomposes, further exacerbating climate change.
So next time you think you’re being thrifty and savvy buying in bulk, think about how much that food costs if you don’t use it before it spoils.
Simple green action: Buy organic, nutritious food in small amounts, more frequently– it’s good for you and the environment. Support local farmers and producers, but look for info on labels that say they are practicing pesticide-free growing and ethical, hormone-free feeding and farming.
Post by Cheryl Gudz, Earth Day Canada EcoAction Teams Program Manager
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