Unavoidable: foods we don’t usually eat, such as banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds and bones
Avoidable (also called wasted food): foods that could have been eaten before they were thrown away, such as spoiled food
The small bits of food left over from meal preparation, cooking and plate scraping are often called food scraps or kitchen scraps.
What Can I Do to Reduce Food Waste?
Plan Shopping Trips
Check your fridge and cupboards before shopping to see what you already have
Make a grocery list before you go
Buy smaller amounts of foods that expire quickly (like fresh fruits and vegetables)
Move older food items to the front of the fridge or cupboard, so they’re easy to see, or set up an “eat first” section
Set your fridge to 4°Celsius or lower, and freezer to -18°Celsius or lower
Freeze foods for longer storage
Separate items into smaller portions before freezing them
Plan Your Meals
Eat older food items first
Create weekly meal plans for easy shopping and cooking
Serve smaller portions to guests, and offer seconds
Use and Reuse Leftovers
Use leftovers for your next meal or in new recipes
Offer extra leftovers to your friends and neighbours
Donate unopened, non-perishable foods to a food bank
Encourage guests to take leftovers home with them
Food Waste Research
National Food Waste Reduction Strategy
The City of Edmonton works with the National Zero Waste Council (NZWC) on food waste initiatives. NZWC developed a multi-year strategy to reduce food waste. The strategy is built on three pillars: policy change, innovation and behaviour change.
In 2016, Waste Services conducted a Sustainability Scholars research project to determine what types of food waste were being thrown away in Edmonton homes, and what household habits decrease food waste.
Did you know that 30-40% of food produced every year in Canada is wasted? Believe it or not, Canadian households are the largest contributors to this waste. Every time we waste food, we:
Waste money: Canadian households throw away an estimated $2000 in wasted food each year!
Waste natural resources: the water, oil and land spent growing, transporting and preparing that food are lost.
Contribute to climate change: greenhouse gas emissions are created in the production, transportation and disposal of wasted food. Plus, food waste that ends up in landfills creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, as it breaks down.
Many Edmontonians compost food waste at home, or place it in their food scraps cart. These actions are good, but reducing food waste is better for the environment and your wallet. (Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, 2017)
Food Recovery Hierarchy
Waste Reduction Updates
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