Make Higher Use of Your Meals AND Save Cash – Winnipeg Free Press

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 07/04/2021 (509 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Many things have changed in the last year, including the way we shop, access and even eat our food.  This has not been lost on members of the Winnipeg Food Council, who have noted we are shopping less often, cooking more, and need to make what we buy last longer. That’s why the Winnipeg Food Council, with support from the City of Winnipeg, has partnered with Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) Canada, to help Winnipeggers learn ways they can reduce food waste and save some money, from planning meals and grocery shopping to how to extend the shelf life of food.

According to LFHW Canada, 63 per cent of food thrown away by Canadians could have been eaten at some point. That amounts to a potential savings of more than $1,100 a year for the average Canadian household. When you look at it from an overall cost perspective, Canadians tossed over $17 billion of edible food in 2017 alone! 

Jeanette Sivilay, sustainability planner for the City of Winnipeg Water and Waste Department, hopes Winnipeggers will embrace this new campaign aimed at helping Winnipeggers “make their food go further, save some money, and help reduce carbon emissions”, said Sivilay.

Born in the UK, the LFHW initiative saw a reduction of 21 per cent in food waste over a five-year campaign focused on helping people better manage their food. The UK website notes that food is not garbage. It is an obvious notion. But if it is so obvious, why does so much of it end up in the landfill?

This new campaign “offers helpful tips”, noted Sivilay. And they are easy to follow. For instance, making an “Eat First” section of your fridge can help you get the most of your fresh produce and leftovers by eating them first. Another easy tip is to make a meal plan, use that plan to grocery shop and eat the meals in your plan.

If you are a gardener, you understand the work involved in producing vegetables. So, it might surprise you to learn that 45 per cent of food waste is fruits and vegetables. A quick tip for reducing this type of waste is to use up as much of the fruit or vegetable as possible. For example, save your vegetable scraps, freeze them and use them to make a vegetable stock.

To some, this advice may sound familiar. Many of us grew up with it. Parents hovered over kids turning off lights and reviving cheese blocks by cutting mould off the ends. Sivilay said “a lot of these things we might have learned a generation ago, and it’s time to pass that advice along to a new generation of cooks and gardeners”.

The end goal for LFHW is to help reduce the amount of household food waste that ends up in the landfill. This will reduce the costs of landfilling garbage, and is better for the environment, as less organic waste in the landfill means less greenhouse gas emissions, and that the energy, water, and land resources that go into growing our food are not wasted.   

When considering the simplicity of the program and the potential cost savings, Sivilay said, “there can be lot of value to Winnipeggers here.”

The Winnipeg Food Council knows many Winnipeggers have great advice. It invites you to share your tips with them on its social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Winners will be chosen from entries submitted to receive a cookbook.

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