The Importance of Quantifying Food Waste in Canada
Understanding food waste in Canada may offer previously unrecognized opportunities and strategies to address rising food-cost inflation, food insecurity, and negative ecological impacts and energy costs attributable to food production, distribution, and accessibility. It is significant for all agents along the food chain and policy makers to know how much food Canadians waste, as well as why and where. This paper examines food waste at both the consumer and retailer levels. We used data from reports published by Statistics Canada and the World Bank to calculate the amount of food waste from the food available for consumption from 1961 to 2009. The preliminary results of the research show that food waste increased over time in relation to the food available for consumption. The average food waste was estimated at 40 percent of food available for consumption over almost five decades. The conclusion can also be drawn that food waste is positively correlated with per capital GDP and per capita income. We present recommendations for quantifying food waste and understanding the combination of reasons and factors that drive up food waste.
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