Reducing our ecological footprint on our plates (1/4)

Gaspillage alimentaire


ecological footprint of our plate

A large part of what we consume is linked to what we eat. It's obviously an essential need that can't be avoided. I'm sure you'll agree that there are many ways of achieving this. However, the strategies for doing so differ and have a different ecological impact from one person to the next.

We need only think of food packaging, the distance food travels, organic or non-organic, omnivorous or vegan (there's a spectrum between the 2!), food waste and composting (yes, that's part of it!). We're intentionally leaving out food packaging here, as a lot of the info is already on our site :)

Did I just make you dizzy? I get it! From an ecological point of view, the most important thing is for everyone to make progress towards reducing their ecological footprint. There's no need to change everything overnight.

It's a big, big subject. Here we present the first of 4 articles: food waste. This will be followed by articles on meat consumption, where food comes from and how it is grown.

Food waste

First of all, food waste is when an edible part of a food intended for our consumption is thrown away or diverted from our diet.

food waste

Of the 11 million tonnes of edible food thrown away each year in Canada, 21% is wasted in the home. That's 2.31 million tonnes of food wasted by consumers every year. The average Canadian family throws away over $1,100 (OMG!) worth of food per year, which corresponds to 140 kg in food loss (double OMG!).

So what do we do about it? The bulk of the domestic food waste problem can be solved by two strategies: planning and preserving.


Not only do we plan the week's menu, but first we check what we already have at home. Then we make a grocery list and stick to it! Too much of a cooked meal? We give it a second life (lunch, pasta, freezing, etc.).


There are a multitude of strategies for preserving food!

First, whatever we freeze, we date it and eat the oldest first. To make this easier, we write down what we freeze and keep our list up to date.

Secondly, if you buy fruit and vegetables in plastic packaging, it's very important to take them out, as they will rot inside. Strategies such as the Fresco: Vegetable Storage Bag are preferable, and if they need to be refrigerated, they should ideally be placed in the refrigerator drawer designed for this purpose.

You've got to open a can of food and the quantity is greater than you need: freeze it! Whether you're talking about leftover sauce or tomato paste, diced tomatoes or pesto, a good strategy is to freeze them in ice cube trays and then put them in an airtight bag to use for another meal.

With the exception of meat and fish, don't systematically throw out food that's past its best-before date. Use your best judgment when it comes to smell and taste.

For very ripe or faded fruits and vegetables, there are some great solutions. Many fruits, such as apples, pears, berries and bananas, can be used to make delicious snacks (compotes, smoothies, muffins, etc.). If you're short of time or have too few stale fruits at the moment, freezing them for later use will be perfect.

As for vegetables, you can also freeze a nice variety to eventually make a soup, quiche, spaghetti or other pasta dish. Alternatively, a good multi-vegetable rice will be perfect for using the "all the rest".

Ecologically yours,

eco loco

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