What’s On at the Saturday Farmers Market in March
This month, we spoke with one of our vendors, Bruized Co., about food waste and how their business helps to combat this issue through education and delicious eats.
Published on February 23, 2022
Many countries around the world have identified food waste as a leading environmental problem. A 2019 report from Environment and Climate Change Canada states that the average Canadian wastes 79 kilograms of household food every year. This equates to 2.94 million metric tonnes of household food waste annually. Additionally, the City of Toronto’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy includes food waste reduction as a key component in helping to manage the City’s waste.
Wasting food is harmful to the environment as when you discard food that could have been eaten, you are also discarding the resources that went into producing that food such as energy, time, labour, water, money, and transportation. Also, discarded food often ends up in landfills where it produces methane gas as it decomposes. Methane gas is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. It is estimated that food waste accounts for one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions from food and 6% of total global emissions.
Market updates this month
Get excited! The Sunday Artisan & Vintage Market will be returning on Sunday, April 10th. More info to come.
The Saturday Farmers Market will remain in the CRH Gallery at Evergreen Brick Works until further notice.
Make sure to keep an eye on our website and social media for any updates.
Please note that masks are mandatory at Evergreen Brick Works to enter any indoor facility or program space.
What is Bruized Co.?
Bruized is a women run business that is on a mission to revolutionize our food systems by reducing food waste. Their business model is centered around creating feel good food that benefits both the planet and people. They take imperfect, bruised produce from local farms and food that is commonly discarded such as juice pulp and then use it to make nutrient-rich, plant-based snacks.
What inspired you to start this business?
Monique Chan, Founder of Bruized, was inspired to create this business out of her love for food and passion for sustainability. Her studies in food waste at the University of Guelph and her experience working as a line cook, led to her becoming aware of the large amount of food that is thrown away daily by restaurants. This sparked an interest in learning more about the problems associated with our current food system and what solutions were being offered. From this research, it became apparent that there’s a need for businesses that help to reduce food waste and thus, Bruized was born.
What role do you feel education plays in reducing food waste?
Monique believes that education is at the root of the issue of food waste. There is a common misconception that food that has gone past its best before date, is bad and unfit to be eaten. In actuality, best before dates provide information about food quality rather than food safety. They indicate the date that the consumer will get the best experience from the food rather than the date that the food has gone bad and must be thrown away. Monique suggests consumers practice using their intuition about when food has gone bad instead of relying on best before dates.
Additionally, Monique suggests that if consumers have a better understanding of the many resources that go into growing produce, it is likely that it will help them make better food decisions. Education is also a key component in making consumers aware that “imperfect” produce, can still be eaten. These foods are rich in nutrients even if they are not conventional looking. Oftentimes, farmers end up having to get rid of fruits and vegetables that are bruised or misshaped as there is no demand for them. Education could play a huge role in increasing demand for these foods, resulting in less waste.
Monique’s vision for Bruized is a community where information and tips on how to reduce food waste are shared. She mentions that social media is a great tool for this. Bruized uses their social media presence to provide informative, fun content that helps to educate people about the issue.
What advice do you have for people wanting to reduce the amount of food wasted in their household?
- Look at your garbage and get a sense of how much you are throwing out every day. Oftentimes we do not realize how much food we are discarding daily.
- Try to make use of every part of the fruit or vegetable if possible. For example, leave the skins of sweet potatoes and carrots on instead of peeling them. The skins of root vegetables contain vital nutrients such as vitamin A, B and C. Just make sure to rinse these vegetables off before use.
- Get creative in using your produce. For example, if you have vegetable scraps leftover after cooking, add them in a Ziploc bag and put in the fridge. The next day you can dump them in a pot of boiling water to make vegetable broth. You can then freeze this broth and use in meals throughout the week.
- Reduce the amount of food that you bring into the house. When you go the grocery store make a list beforehand so that you are not purchasing food that you already have in the house. Also, consider doing smaller, more frequent food shops rather than one large shop. This will reduce the likelihood of your food going bad and it will also save you money in the longrun.
- Explore different ways to preserve your food. Freezing, dehydrating and pickling are great ways to extend the shelf life of your produce. You can also make sauces with produce and then freeze those.
What would be your advice to someone who feels overwhelmed by the issue of food waste?
Embrace imperfect. We must let go of the idea of perfection when it comes to reducing the amount of food waste that we produce. It’s better to try at reducing your food waste everyday of the year rather than being perfect one day of the year and then giving up.
We are all human thus we are going to make mistakes. The true impact comes from creating action.