One study concluded that approximately 40% of food produced in Canada was not consumed, representing a lost value of $27 billion annually, later revised to $31 billion in a follow-up study. With around $48.7 billion in sales of agricultural products in 2009, this meant that 55% of food is wasted from farm to fork, as measured against sales. Food Policy for Canada
A 2014 Metro Vancouver study found that the typical resident purchases too much food and a significant amount goes bad before it can be consumed. Of the avoidable and edible portions, Metro Vancouver wastes 30,000 eggs, 70,000 cups of milk, and 80,000 potatoes every day (Metro Vancouver, n.d.).
If Canada upholds its 2030 goal to cut food loss and waste in half, and if we ensure all food packaging is properly composted or recycled, we could see a 48% reduction in the 56.5 million metric tonnes of CO2e produced annually by Canada’s food loss and waste (National Zero Waste Council, 2020).
Is the recovered food safe to eat? Yes! Most food removed from the shelves is based on the best before date, not because it is unfit for human consumption. Best before dates are not expiry dates, they are just freshness guidelines.
In just six months Boundary Community Food Bank saved 8,686 lbs of bakery items from the landfill. The Food Bank assesses all food received and re-distributes only that which is still suitable to eat.
Donors are protected by the provincial Food Donor Encouragement Act, which states that someone who donates food isn’t liable for injuries or death as long as the food is fit for human consumption and not tampered with.