Updated: Jan 23, 2021
Are you looking for an easy way to help reduce your carbon emissions in the kitchen without changing what you eat?
And even save money at the same time?
Then this challenge is for you...
Check the York Region Food Network Good Food Challenge page for more details and to register.
Read on to find out how food waste contributes to climate change...
According to the National Zero Waste Council of Canada, one third of all food produced globally is wasted! This food waste results in about 4.4 billion tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations says it best: “To put this in perspective, if food loss and waste were its own country, it would be the world’s third-largest GHG emitter – surpassed only by China and the United States.”
Closer to home, in Canadian households, two thirds of food that is thrown out could have been eaten! Avoidable food wasted by Canadian households is estimated to be 2.2 million tonnes each year. "Every tonne of household food waste that is avoided is the equivalent of taking one car off the road each year." Avoidable food waste is food that could be eaten that gets thrown out.
Have you ever wondered what types of food are thrown out? Does this match what you may be discarding at your home? By being more aware of what foods you typically discard, maybe you can buy less of these or ensure you remember to eat them.
Did you know that discarding your food waste in your compost bin causes less greenhouse gas emissions than tossing it in the landfill?
When food goes in the garbage, it ends up in the landfilled where it rots or breaks down and due to the lack of oxygen, produces methane gas which is much more potent that carbon dioxide in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere. "Project Drawdown, a research organisation that identifies potential solutions to climate change, estimates that if composting levels worldwide increased, we could reduce emissions by 2.1 billion tonnes by 2050."
When we waste food, we also waste all the resources needed to produce the food including land, water and energy. This represents the food's carbon footprint. The graph clearly shows how that what you eat makes a big difference on your carbon emissions. Just by replacing beef with beans or even poultry can make a huge difference.
For more information on climate change and food waste, check out our resources page.
We have also created a flyer about how food waste impacts climate change and actions you can take. You can email it to friends or print it and hand it out. It's a great tool for talking to others about food waste and things they can do to help save the planet.