More than half of food produced in Canada is wasted

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Serg64)

A year-long research project undertaken by Second Harvest and Value Chain Management International says 58 per cent of food produced in Canada is wasted every year.

Second Harvest is a food rescue organization, and Value Chain Management International is a public and industry advocate for food rescue.

The report, released in Toronto Thursday, was funded by the Wal-Mart Foundation and is based on the responses of more than 700 food industry leaders across Canada.

It said, of the 35.5 million metric tonnes of food produced, lost, or wasted in Canada each year, 11.2 million metric tonnes can be saved.

“The total financial value of this potentially rescuable lost and wasted food is a staggering $49.46 billion,” said a release from Second Harvest.

The report, The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste, points to 30 root causes including industry acceptance as the cost of doing business, low tipping and landfill fees, conservative best before dates, and pressure on producers to provide fruit and vegetables that are aesthetically perfect.

It also suggests the food industry can donate safe, edible food, and more than 100 actions for industry, organizations and government to address the negative economic and environmental impacts of food waste.

“There is more than enough food produced in Canada and the world that no one ever needs to be hungry,” said Lori Nikkel, the CEO of Second Harvest. “This report provides us with concrete solutions that will allow food to get to those who need it.”