How might we reduce food waste in Calgary on both a residential and commercial level?

Goal 2: Zero Hunger | By: Laura


“You waste life when you waste good food.” - Katherine Anne Porter

Food waste is a systematic problem in Canada as it emerges continuously throughout every stage of the food chain. With one in eight Canadian families struggling with food insecurity and $31 billion worth of food wasted each year, you can’t help but wonder how a country with such an abundance of food could have such an extraordinary need? As with any problem that is so colossal in scale, the reasons are complex, the consequences are widespread, and the solutions are far from simple.

Therefore, this system map aims to breakdown the various causes and effects of food waste in Calgary in order to give viewers a better understanding of what influences its repetitive cycle within our city. From its production on farms to its consumption in restaurants and households, there are dozens of obstacles food must overcome in order to prevent it from being wasted. If Calgarians, as a collective, could become more aware of the possible culprits during these stages, it could positively impact our consumption habits, resulting in a decrease in overall food waste and an increase in the redistribution to those in need.

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I choose the topic of food waste reduction, as having worked in the restaurant industry in the past, I noticed the staggering amount of food simply thrown out, with little attention or effort paid to decreasing waste. Food waste is something which affects everyone on a global scale, as all humans need to eat inevitably. Despite this, millions upon millions of people do not have access to ample food supplies, which in many instances can result in dire consequences. The fact that we mindlessly dispose of so much still adequate food, while others are in such grave need of it seems senseless and in my perspective requires immediate action. Accordingly, I decided to explore this problem further and model my humanly project around this research. A startling fact which I came across in my research is that it is currently estimated that 50% of the world’s food ends up as wastage from field to fork.