One hundred dollars certainly doesn’t bring home as many bags of groceries as it used to.
The price of food is on the rise and has been doing so steadily in Canada since 2012. In fact, Statistics Canada reports the food price index is now rising faster than the rate of inflation and experts anticipate it will only get worse this year.
While there are strategies we can adopt to mitigate these costs, there are bigger-picture issues that also need to be addressed.
We need to drastically cut back on food waste. There is far too much food ending up in landfills. It’s also labour, water, plastics, paper and more. Factoring this in, a United Nations report suggests the true cost of food waste in Canada is in excess of $100 billion annually.
Recently, chef Darren Simpson of Salmon Arm’s Aquatico Bay restaurant decided to start using leftovers that might otherwise have been thrown out to make soup to give away free to those in need.
Simpson explained he is bothered by the amount of food waste in North America and supports new legislation in France that bans unsold food from being sent to the landfill. Instead, food must be donated to charitable organizations or for animal feed. If incentives are needed to support this, then this is something we as a nation should explore.
We’ve had it good for a long time, but it’s high time we recognize there’s a cost for taking food for granted.