Foodprint definition: The environmental impact, or footprint, of food, including the amount of land required to sustain a diet, the amount of carbon dioxide produced, if the food is organic, and if it is local.
As part of the challenge, people weighed their wasted food and reported how much of it was preventable – any food that could have been eaten but was thrown out for five days.
Over the course of the challenge, participants wasted a total of 64 kilograms of food, with a daily household average of 302 grams. This is equivalent to throwing out three or four perfectly good apples every day. Participants commented that they were not aware of how much food they waste.
The most common reason food was wasted? It was past the “best before date”.
According to Health Canada, an unopened item, stored properly, can often be eaten past the best before day since these dates refer to the freshness, flavor and texture of the food and not food safety either before or after the date. If stored properly, many fresh foods like eggs, milk and yogurt can be eaten soon after their best before dates.
Challenge participants found that they prepared or cooked too much food, and this food often ended up in the garbage. Meal planning, portion control and using up leftovers are some simple strategies that can help everyone waste less perfectly good food.
The Foodprint Challenge, an initiative of Table Matters, Vancouver Coastal Health, and North Shore Recycling Program will run again this fall. To learn more, visit tablematters.ca