At The Conscious Farm Kitchen, we're on a mission to make a positive impact on our planet through sustainable prepared meals. Our commitment to sustainability runs deep. From using 100% plant-based proteins and sourcing only local and organic ingredients to our innovative reusable container program, we've got sustainability covered. But did you know a large part of being a sustainable prepared meal company comes down to how much food we waste (or in our case, don’t waste…).
What is Food Waste?
You might be thinking food waste is just the leftover food you have on your plate once you finish your meals, but it's so much more than that! It's not just leftover food that is thrown in the trash, it's perfectly good food that hasn't been purchased, scraps from restaurants that could be used but don't fit into the menu, damaged fruit and veg from transportation, and much, much more...
The Food Waste Problem
Unfortunately, food waste is a HUGE problem globally and Canada is contributing to the problem. Canada is responsible for around 4.82 million tonnes of food waste every year. Food that could be eaten ends up in landfill. Cue the “but food is compostable” comments – you’re not wrong; however, when food ends in landfills, it rots and creates methane, a greenhouse gas. According to Love Food Hate Waste, the amount of food wasted across all levels of the food chain in Canada creates approximately 56.6 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions!
Landfill isn’t the only problem when it comes to food waste though… The food industry bears a significant responsibility when it comes to global food waste. This issue affects us all, and its implications are far-reaching. Let's explore why tackling food waste is essential:
Feeding Those in Need
When food is thrown in the trash, it's not just waste – it also a lost opportunity to feed those in need. Many restaurants, cafes, and prepared meal providers prepare dishes without knowing how many will be consumed. It's the "build it, and they will come" mentality. Unfortunately, sometimes the customers don't come, and perfectly good food ends up in the trash. But here at The Conscious Farm Kitchen, we take a different approach. We don't cook a single grain of rice until you wonderful folk have ordered your prepared meals for the week. This means we prepare and cook exactly what's needed, ensuring no meals go to waste.
Composting: A Missed Opportunity
Surprisingly, many businesses STILL don’t compost – yep, you heard that right!! Some businesses are stuck in the past and not even trying to move forward for our planet. In fact, The Food Waste Reduction Alliance recently discovered that only 14% of unused food in restaurants is composted, that means a staggering 86% of food waste goes to landfills. At The Conscious Farm Kitchen, we have a different philosophy (of course). While we don’t produce many food scraps due to the way we prepare our food, any food scraps we do produce are either composted right here on our farm and then used as natural fertiliser, or happily devoured by our adorable piggies.
The Carbon Footprint of Imported Produce
Another aspect of the food waste problem is the carbon footprint associated with imported produce. Unfortunately, most produce in Canada isn’t locally sourced. A significant portion of consumed produce travels thousands of kilometres before reaching your grocery stores. As you can imagine, by the time it arrives, some of the veggies are past their prime – you know how jetlag can affect us! Sadly, a lot of this imported produce is thrown in the trash as soon as it lands. That's why we've made a commitment to source our produce exclusively from local farms such as Cedar Down Farm. It's harvested just before making its way to our kitchen, ensuring 100% freshness. We then prepare and deliver it to you within a few days!
How We're Helping You Reduce Your Food Waste
Beyond our responsibility as a business, we're also here to help you reduce the amount of food you waste too. Did you ever wonder how we do it? No, we don't walk our pigs to your doorstep for a fridge cleanup (though that would be quite the sight!). Instead, we focus on addressing a major source of household food waste – produce. Did you know that a whopping 45% of household food waste comes from fruits and vegetables that go bad before they're used? By ordering our prepared meals, you can say goodbye to the guilt of letting produce rot in your fridge while waiting to be cooked!
Let's join forces and be part of the solution to this pressing issue. Together, we can make a significant impact on reducing food waste and building a more sustainable future for all.