Tag Archives: food waste

Hidden Harvest Ottawa has big dreams for a greener Ottawa. What are yours?

Imagine if every time you purchased $100 worth of groceries, your grocery store donated $25—or 1/4 of their ‘harvest’—to their local food bank. This is the scale of charitable benefits that Hidden Harvest supports in Ottawa.
Hidden Harvest‘s impactful new video describes the benefits of gleaning to the uninitiated, and follows with a series of recommendations challenging municipal political leaders to make their community’s future “the most sustainable future it can be”. The video captures the essence of the Nourishing Communities Hidden Harvest Case Study by Chloé Poitevin DesRivières, released earlier this year. The case study found that, along with benefits to local food access agencies and processors,
the services Hidden Harvest offers to the community and the city by creating alternate means to feed people, manage renewable resources, developing green infrastructure and diverting waste from landfills, speak to the aims of different city offices, including community and social services, energy planning, and forestry services.

This new video makes the case that the exceptional value in the public services produced through largely voluntary labour deserves the support of public officials.

Food Waste Audit

Pioneer Ridge Home for the Aged

Prepared for the Thunder Bay & Area Food Strategy

This project was undertaken as part of the City of Thunder Bay Materials Management Division’s six local‐food procurement initiatives for 2015. The goal of this survey was to learn how food travels through the system at Pioneer Ridge Home for the Aged, to identify ways it could be made more efficient so that less of the food purchased overall exists the system as waste, and to reinvest any savings into the budget for the purchase of locally‐produced foods. Read more (pdf)

Ugly Fruit breakthrough

… a Rabble.ca post from Wayne Roberts on food waste and accountability, blemishes and all…

‘Ugly fruit’ finally breaks through to supermarket shelves

March 18, 2015

There’s a lot to learn from Loblaws decision to sell less attractively shaped fruit and vegetables for 30 per cent less than their more stylish counterparts on the other side of the produce runway.

Loblaws is not only the leading supermarket in Canada. It’s also a retailing pioneer that draws on the marketing knowhow of a multi-billion dollar global empire of trend-setting products in parent company Weston’s stable of brands, retailers and processors  — one of which is French Intermarché, who successfully launched the whole trend of selling disfigured food a year ago.

Some of what’s revealed by the sale of what Loblaws now packages as “naturally imperfect” produce is a lot uglier than the bumpy potatoes, apples and carrots that have heretofore suffered exclusion from the food supply.

Read more

Malthus Revisited

Guest post by Gisèle Yasmeen. First published on iPolitics Nov. 28, 2014.

“Malnutrition is the number one cause of disease in the world. If hunger were a contagious disease, we would have already cured it,” said José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, a week ago.

“Feed the world” was the refrain of a pop song which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Thirty years ago, I was among a lot of young people who suddenly became aware that feeding the world is a question of politics as much as production. With the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s Second International Conference on Nutrition ending in Rome on November 21, once again the West is being faced with its responsibility to confront the problem of hunger. Read more

Farm to Fork

Guest blog:The Farm To Fork logo

To most of us, $1500 is a lot of money. Perhaps it represents an all-inclusive vacation, a new laptop, much needed car repairs, or a portion of tuition. Whatever it represents, if $1500 were placed on the table in front of us, it’s unlikely that any one of us would simply pick it up and throw it in the garbage.

And yet thanks to food waste, throwing away large sums of money is what the average Canadian household does. Think about that. Every month, your household tosses about $125 worth of food into the garbage.

What makes this number all the more concerning is that 850 thousand Canadians still need to visit some form of food security service every month. That’s about 1 in 40 Canadians – possibly someone in your neighbourhood.

Obviously there is a disconnect. How can we have so much that we’re willing to throw $125 away every month, while at the same time people in our neighbourhoods struggle to put together a nutritious meal for their family?

Last year, Dr. Daniel Gillis[1] and Danny Williamson[2] partnered with Linda Hawkins[3], the Guelph Wellington Food Access Working Group, and the Guelph Food Round Table, to explore the disconnect between abundance and need. It quickly became obvious that the issue wasn’t due to a lack of willingness to help, it was a lack of communication; donors were unaware of what they could donate, when they could donate, or where they could donate.

Dr. Daniel Gillis, PhD Statistics, Assistant Professor in the School of Computer Science, University of Guelph, Co-founder of the Farm To Fork project

Dr. Daniel Gillis, PhD Statistics, Assistant Professor in the School of Computer Science, University of Guelph, Co-founder of the Farm To Fork project

To address this issue, Gillis and Williamson founded the Farm To Fork project. The goal – increase the quality and quantity of donations by connecting donors directly with the needs of the emergency food service providers. In September, they presented the concept to Gillis’ third year School of Computer Science class at the University of Guelph. Over the course of the fall semester, 30 passionate undergraduate students moved the project from idea to working prototype.

Some of the 30 designers of the Farm To Fork website

Some of the 30 designers of the Farm To Fork website

Since January, Lee-Jay Cluskey-Belanger, and Benjamin Katznelson – members of the original Farm To Fork class – have been working to finalize the prototype. The system will allow any emergency food provider the ability to create a grocery list of needs, including fresh produce, non-perishable, or non-food items. Donors will be able to log into the system, identify a nearby pantry (for example), browse their grocery list, and select which items they’d be willing to donate. The system will also send an email reminder on the day the donor has identified as their typical grocery day.

But before the Farm To Fork solution can be launched, it has to be beta tested to ensure that it functions properly. This means hiring several students from the original Farm To Fork class. To cover the expenses associated with beta testing, the Farm To Fork team is trying to raise $15000 through the Microryza crowdfunding platform. The campaign ends May 19th. If you want to help support the Farm To Fork project, please consider donating (https://www.microryza.com/projects/farm-to-fork).


For more information, follow Farm To Fork on Twitter (@Farm_2_Fork), like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FarmToForkGuelph), of follow our blog (http://farmtoforkguelph.wordpress.com/).

[1] Assistant Professor and Statistician, co-founder of the Farm To Fork Project, School of Computer Science, University of Guelph.

[2] Consultant, and co-founder of the Farm To Fork Project.

[3] Director of the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship, University of Guelph

Fortnightly Feast – vol. 6.1 (Upcoming Events)

Until 30 April 2013, the UN FAO is running an open e-consultation on ‘Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems’


Financing Farmers and Food Hubs
April 30, 2013
Michigan Food Hub Learning and Innovation Network
 Learn more about two exciting financing projects: the Shade Fund (part of the Conservation Fund) and the Northwest Michigan Farm and Food 20/20 Fund.
To participate in the webinar, go to: https://connect.msu.edu/richpirog
Read more

Stocking the Pantry: Fundraising in the community food sector
Upcoming free webinar: Wednesday, April 24, 12:00-1:00pm EDTJoin Nick Saul, President & CEO of Community Food Centres Canada, and Cheryl Roddick, Director of Development at The Stop Community Food Centre for a conversation on fundraising for small to mid-size organizations. The discussion will touch on the evolution of fundraising at The Stop, key development moments, the art of stewardship, the importance of diversified funding, and more. Click here to register – https://cfccanada.webex.com/

Foodweb Solutions 2.0

Food Hackathon was the first of its kind event empowering food lovers and developers with a focus on building hardware and software products and services that positively impact the production, storage, distribution, access, discovery, sharing, consumption, and social impact of food. Read more

Crowdsourcing crop improvement and local indicators?
Can we preselect varieties for a future climate, from a similar climate here and now?
What indicators of season changes will stop being useful to farmers? Will these work in a different place in the future? Read more

A Community Resilience Guide

released today, January 31, 2013:


Rebuilding the Foodshed


How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems

by Philip Ackerman-Leist

Changing our foodscapes raises a host of questions. How far away is local? How do you decide the size and geography of a regional foodshed? How do you tackle tough issues that plague food systems large and small—issues like inefficient transportation, high energy demands, and rampant food waste? How do you grow what you need with minimum environmental impact? And how do you create a foodshed that’s resilient enough if fuel grows scarce, weather gets more severe, and traditional supply chains are hampered?

Read the full release