And feed more than 14,000 people.
The key to delivering a better food future for everyone is moving beyond individual change into the public realm. We must act collectively, pressuring governments to use their regulatory and legislative powers to emphasize health, sustainability and fairness.
Second Harvest saved 8.2 million pounds of food destined for the dumpster in 2015, and they've rescued 100 million pounds total.
Public awareness of food waste is currently at an all-time high. Every day seems to bring news of entrepreneurs, researchers and experts who are talking about wasted food and food rescue. All of this attention makes Second Harvest's Executive Director Debra Lawson hopeful that awareness will translate to action.
In May 2015, the French government did something incredible: the National Assembly unanimously passed a law forcing large supermarkets to donate unsold food to charities. That's how the #WhatAWaste campaign -- a grassroots effort to pressure Canada's political leaders to follow France's example -- was born.
When it comes down to it, it's not really a case of being pro- or anti-GMO. It's a case of being anti-corruption and pro-democratic. When hugely powerful corporations flex their political and financial muscle, they can and do effectively slant science, politics and regulation to suit their own self-interest.
The food industry is notoriously misleading, undeniably corrupt, and has the one of the largest revenue streams in the world. Coca Cola has lobbyists in Washington, and the meat industry makes no bones about being in bed with the political process. Despite our leaps and bounds in medical science, why can't we effectively tackle the obesity epidemic?
If you've purchased any local Ontario food before, it probably came from this region you've likely never heard of. In fact, it is the number one producer of tomatoes, carrots, seed corn, cucumbers, pumpkins, sugar beets and brussels sprouts in all of Canada. However, none of it is being consumed by its community members.
Buying fresh, local food is a priority for many people, but it's not as easy as it sounds. Do you really know where your food comes from? Ask a few questions and you may just find the "local" food you're paying a premium for at your farmers' market or grocery store has traveled way farther than you'd like to think. It's no wonder we're all confused about where to get fresh and healthy food.
We've been at it for almost 10 years, and grow about 10 acres of vegetables every season. We're absurdly tiny compared to most conventional vegetable farms, but we don't plan to get any bigger, because we're doing just fine. Our farm is debt-free, profitable and employs both of us full-time. And we're far from alone.