Opinion: This Nutrition Month, reduce food waste through better regulation

Opinion: This Nutrition Month, reduce food waste through better regulation

An astronomical quantity of meals of every kind is wasted even earlier than it reaches our buying baskets.

The principal culprits on this catastrophe are present authorities laws.

Take, for instance, the Regulation respecting recent vegetables and fruit, which units requirements for look.

It requires that the leaves round a head of cauliflower should be “recent and free from blemishes.”

So, the trade and grocers are compelled to discard completely edible greens if the leaves don’t meet the usual.


There’s no purpose to not eat vegetables and fruit that deviate from aesthetic requirements.

Beautiful or ugly, if they’re fit for human consumption, they include the identical vitamins.

So, why reject them even earlier than they attain the shop cabinets?

As nutritionists, we consider that grading vegetables and fruit by measurement and look shouldn’t be allowed.

Also, the trade remains to be allowed to place a “finest earlier than” date on meals packaging, based mostly on how lengthy the meals stays recent, though it may final for much longer.

It’s a strategy to power grocery shops to show over their inventory and thereby enhance the producers’ gross sales — and it’s wasteful as a result of the meals should be taken off the shelf on the date proven on the label.

It is crucial that the federal government assessment these guidelines and impose penalties to restrict the rampant waste at each hyperlink within the meals chain, even earlier than the meals reaches the buyer.


Food that’s nonetheless fit for human consumption shouldn’t be thrown away or bleached to make it inedible.

The gamers within the meals provide chain may redistribute these merchandise.

Why throw away meals that took a lot time and sources to supply, when there are options?

Retailers may promote surplus meals at a reduction, donate it to neighborhood organizations that serve weak populations, such because the Old Brewery Mission and Accueil Bonneau, or promote it to processors that would use the product rapidly and cheaply.

Food waste is an issue we will’t clear up solely as people.

This is why we’d like laws that apply to all parts of the meals provide system.

We can all be a part of the answer: let’s name on the federal government to move laws that prohibits the disposal of meals that’s match for consumption, from the primary phases of manufacturing to the grocery retailer shelf.


The strategy we suggest is real looking: one want solely take a look at different international locations which have launched measures of this kind.

For instance, the 2016 “Garot legislation” in France prohibits throwing away meals that’s match for consumption.

Norway, Denmark and South Korea have lowered meals waste by about 300 tons per day by means of improved meals restoration programs.

This Nutrition Month 2022, it’s time to push for motion on this entrance in Quebec.

Let’s take our cue from what has been performed elsewhere to make enhancements right here, shield the surroundings and set an instance for the remainder of North America. 

  • Catherine Vachon, P.Dt., Head of Food Services, Old Brewery Mission
  • Manal Al Brahim, Cynthia Barakat, Gabrielle Lehoux, Laurie Martin, diet interns, Old Brewery Mission
  • Moéra Castonguay-Lafleur, P.Dt., Food Safety Manager, Accueil Bonneau
  • Nivuseni Thesingarajah, diet intern, Accueil Bonneau 


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