Food Waste is a major issue across the country—individuals and households across Canada waste an estimated 2.2 million tonnes or $10 billion worth of food annually, contributing to major increases in CO2, methane and greenhouse gas emissions. These statistics are especially troubling when an estimated four million Canadians are food insecure.
But what can we do? Waste Reduction Week in Canada encourages Canadians of all kinds to take a pledge and commit to making personal choices and supporting organizations that aim reduce food waste.
To encourage the nation to think differently about their food, Canada’s first-ever Upcycled Food Fest is bringing together an unprecedented group of chefs, restaurants, food and beverage companies, grocery retailers and more to hopefully close the gap on food waste in Canada. The festival is set to publicly showcase just how healthy, fully sustainable, and delicious meals can be when upcycled from wasted food.
Powered by Provision Coalition Inc., Canada’s leader in food industry sustainability, and supported by investment from the Grain Farmers of Ontario and the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the festival offers both consumers and companies/organizations around the Greater Toronto Area the chance to use and try upcycled foods to create a positive environmental and social impact. Leveraging unavoidable by-products from food and beverage companies, the festival has worked with nutrition experts and chefs to create new and inventive meals with unavoidable by-products and ingredients currently going to waste.
Upcycled Food Fest offers consumers the opportunity to purchase upcycled meal kits (available for pre-order online now and at select retailers starting Nov. 1, 2021), with restaurants and food outlets across the GTA offering their own upcycled culinary creations on menus for consumers to try this November for a limited time.
Second Harvest estimates that over half of all the food we make in this country ends up being wasted. Everything from juice pulp and spent grains from brewing to peels from fruit processing are tossed aside during the food or beverage manufacturing process, but these unavoidable by-products are often still packed with beneficial nutrients. Instead of disposing of them, the Upcycled Food Fest aims to create a circular food system by encouraging food and beverage processors and manufacturers to take a new approach to how food is produced, finding creative ways to upcycle these by-products into new ingredients, or even new products.
Shining a light on the new, local, circular (and delicious!) food movement, the Upcycled Food Festival aims to inspire Canadians to consider the issue of food waste and insecurity while supporting local through upcycled food and beverage products—something 60% of Canadians have expressed wanting to try more of.