A Ton of Food is Wasted in Mississauga

Everyone at Insauga loves food. So with that said, we know it's a shame to waste anything. Personally, I always try to take leftovers home. My mentality is there are starving people in developing countries who would give a limb for anything that we in North America throw away or take for granted. So I for one found this latest statistic very shocking.

According to a recent audit, Peel Region residents waste tons of food every day. Not every week, not every month, not on an annual basis, but EVERY DAY. People in the region dispose of tons of edible food from all food groups (meat, vegetables, dairy products, eggs, bread). Not rotten food that went sour, but actual edible items that were just casually disposed of.

The audit conducted by the Region of Peel shows that 40 per cent of food thrown out is avoidable food waste. I cringe when I visualize mountains of wasted food just sitting in a landfill somewhere.

Seriously, Peel? I somewhat understand throwing out leftovers. When leftovers have been lingering in your fridge a few days and no one has really managed to finish them, it's time to let them go. Don't be like Homer Simpson with that ridiculously long sandwich that he tried eating but couldn't finish that eventually made him sick after he kept eating it. As for throwing out untouched food, that has to be the definition of insanity. What kind of rational person does that?

So what is the solution? After looking at the results of the audit, the Region came up with some simple points that people should follow. All organic waste should be placed in the compost or new organic green carts. Other ideas include the notion of doing things smarter. The Region is asking people to Plan Smart (check how many meals you have and how much you need, and do a list), Buy Smart (stick to your shopping list, buy only what's on the list), and Store Smart (eat older items first, freeze what you can't finish or get tired of eating).

Regarding those three main points about doing things smarter, they really just sound like common sense things that people should already know. Making a shopping list is something that people already do all the time (whether they still write it down on paper or on their smartphones), buying smart is basically saying to use your money wisely, which literally every person learns from their parents the moment they learn the concept of money. As for storing smart, eating older items first and freezing stuff for later, that's common sense and (speaking from personal experience) freezing food for later is a staple of university life.

And while this sounds like the heavy hand of government imposing its will on people, sometimes there needs to be some guidance for people to have some framework for them to work with. If these statistics are showing that people seem to be wasting enormous amounts of one of the necessities of life, then perhaps some push from a level of authority is required to give incentive to people to do something for the greater good. If people are actually throwing out such a substantial amount of untouched and still edible food in their homes, then maybe people just aren't sensible enough to make this decision themselves.

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