Food waste under scrutiny after CBC report

by | Oct 28, 2016 | News

Lindsay Wadden


Reaction continued this week to a report done by CBC showing there is a substantial amount of food thrown out by Walmart.

CBC’s Marketplace program team went through trash bins at two Walmart stores in the GTA to see how much food the company throws away.

The reporting found that Walmart repeatedly throws out produce, baked goods, meat and dairy products that were still in packaging.

Marketplace staff found 12 waist-high bins full of food. Plastic material, compostable items and frozen foods were all found in the same trash bins.

Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue program, states online that Canadians waste $31 billion worth of food every year. Forty-seven per cent is wasted in homes where one in eight families struggle to put food on their table, the stats show.

Debra Lawson, Executive Director of Second Harvest, said she was surprised by the CBC report.

Second Harvest is partnered with Walmart in the GTA.

“We have run many pilot projects with them and are currently working on one with them. They are a really committed organization to addressing the issue of food waste in their store,” said Lawson.

Second Harvest has only had a positive experience working with Walmart, she said. Though the organization may be committed to solving food waste, however, it doesn’t always follow down the chain, she said.

Second Harvest has been rescuing surplus foods for 31 years and delivering it to social service agencies across Toronto. Last year alone they rescued 9.5 million pounds of food. They supply enough food for approximately 25,000 meals a day.

Last year, Daily Bread, a food bank in Toronto, provided 716,000 people with meals.

Ashlee Collins, General Manager of Humber Food Services, told Humber News she is disappointed that Walmart is throwing out so much food.

“It’s disappointing to know they don’t have better measures in place to ensure they’re not being as wasteful as they are. I don’t understand why they aren’t able to find more sustainable means for getting rid of food,” she said.