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MARCH 14TH 2013 

Do we really throw out half the food we buy?

Astounding, isn’t it? Statistics show that in many industrialized countries, we throw away almost 50% of our food. The whole system leaks — grocery stores and restaurants are guilty of tossing, too — but much of it happens in our own homes.

Beyond the obvious wastefulness, there are a lot of hidden issues surrounding this bad habit.

• It costs us money. If we better managed our grocery purchases upfront, we could cut 40% off our bill without even changing what we eat.

• It hurts the environment. The system that delivers our food takes a huge bite out of our planet. Growing food and shipping it consumes vast amounts of energy and other resources, and creates a significant amount of damaging carbon emissions.

• It contributes to food insecurity concerns. 1 in 10 people in Canada, and 1 in 7 in the US, are food-insecure, meaning they don’t have regular access to good food. What we buy and throw out could be redirected to them.

Thankfully, this is one bad habit that’s pretty easy to break. Here are some simple ways to make change.

1. Eat what is in your fridge today. When making food choices at home, eat what you have. Don’t allow things to spoil just because you don’t feel like eating that apple today. Eat your leftovers for lunch or repurpose them for the next day’s meal.

2. Make a list before shopping. A study out of the UK revealed that by simply making a grocery list and sticking to it, people can reduce food waste by as much as 20%.

3. Be careful, but not fussy. Studies show that much of the food we throw out is still consumable but we chuck it for cosmetic reasons. Of course, food safety is a priority, but did you know that Best Before dates aren’t about food safety? They are primarily about the freshness of the product.

Interested in learning more? Check out this cool UK site:

  • Aldo Braccio

    In a warped kind of way, throwing half our food away is a blessing in disguise. Think of how much larger our already oversized waists would be if were to eat all that we purchased. Yes, that is warped.


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