Food waste is a significant issue in Canada. According to the Canadian government, Canadians waste an estimated 11 million metric tons of food every year, with a value of nearly $50 billion. This food waste occurs at various stages of the food supply chain, from production and processing to distribution and consumption.
One major contributor to food waste in Canada is households. Canadians throw away an estimated 2.2 million metric tons of edible food every year, with fruits and vegetables being the most commonly wasted items. This waste can be due to a variety of reasons, including overbuying, misinterpreting expiration dates, and not properly storing food.
Food waste also occurs in the food retail and foodservice industries. Grocery stores often dispose of perfectly good food that doesn't meet aesthetic standards or has reached its best-before date, even though it may still be safe to eat. Restaurants and other foodservice establishments may also waste food due to overproduction, spoilage, or customer plate waste.
The Canadian government has taken steps to address food waste through initiatives such as the Food Policy for Canada and the National Zero Waste Council. These initiatives aim to reduce food waste at various stages of the food supply chain, increase awareness of the issue, and encourage Canadians to take action to reduce food waste in their own homes.