This month for our Climate Change Collective conversation, we are looking at the concept of food scarcity and how climate change is impacting this. Caroline from Enviroline Blog is leading our conversation this month with her post “The impact climate change has on food security and how to help.”
The Reality of Food Scarcity
Caroline does a great job in her post of drawing attention to all of the factors that are going to affect food scarcity, such as changing temperatures and extreme weather events. We’ve experienced these two things recently in British Columbia with heat domes and atmospheric rivers and flooding causing extremely challenging growing conditions for farmers. As Caroline shares, the majority of people will face the problem of food scarcity by 2050.
With food scarcity being a problem, preventing food waste is essential. It’s essential not just to ensure that food actually gets eaten and more people have access to food that’s been grown and produced, but also to ensure that food waste does not contribute to climate change. As food is wasted and sitting in a landfill, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is detrimental to our planet.
6 Companies and Organizations Tackling Food Waste
Thankfully there are a lot of great companies and organizations that are focused on reducing food waste and making food prices more accessible to people.
Flashfood partners with grocery stores–mainly Loblaws company chains–and provides a method for grocery stores to sell almost expired food at a discounted price. The grocery store posts the items for sale on an app for customers to purchase. It’s a fantastic way for stores to sell items that would otherwise go to the landfill to a larger audience.
Krista and I have used Flashfood for years as a way to keep food out of the landfill and also save a few dollars on groceries. I’ve shared more about it in this post about saving money on groceries.
These are some examples of Flashfood produce boxes we’ve purchased over the years–often for $5 or less!
2. Too Good To Go
Too Good To Go is an app that has a similar model to Flashfood, but that partners with restaurants, bakeries, and convenience stores. People can purchase “surprise bags” which contain leftover items from the stores at the end of the day. These bags are sold at a discounted price which gives a great deal to the customer, allows the business to still earn some income, and saves food from going to waste.
3. Quest Food Exchange
“Quest Outreach Society exists to disrupt the cycle of poverty through access to healthy and affordable food that is sourced sustainably.” – QuestOutreach.org
Quest is a great organization I learned about when I was working at homeless shelters and assisting persons moving from the shelter system into their own housing. Quest is a unique type of grocery store that provides access to affordable groceries through principles of dignity, access, and sustainability. Quest receives donations of healthy, good food that would otherwise go to the landfill and sells the items at a reduced cost to communities in a grocery store setting.
4. Food Stash Foundation
“The Rescued Food Market is an affordable and sustainable market stocked with rescued, quality surplus from grocery stores, farms, and wholesalers.” – Food Stash Rescued Food Market
Similar to Quest Food Exchange, the Rescued Food Market receives good, healthy surplus food that would otherwise be discarded and then sells it at a market in an affordable way. The Rescued Food Market is available to anyone of any socio-economic class and simply requires a small membership fee.
5. Vancouver Community Fridge Project
“The Vancouver Community Fridge Project is a decentralized food distribution network and mutual aid initiative created to provide healthy, free food and essential supplies to our communities across lower mainland.” – Vancouver Community Fridge Project
Community fridges are popping up in cities around the world as a way for communities to come together to fight food insecurity. It is an opportunity for people to share any abundance of food from their homes, which in turn keeps food from going to waste. There are a number of fridges (and even freezers and pantries!) located around the Lower Mainland. Have a look at the map here: Find a Community Fridge.
6. Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation
“Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation is an intergenerational, cross-cultural knowledge sharing community in the form of urban food forests, medicinal gardens, Indigenous foodlands and collective gardens as well as land-based and online learning spaces.” – VUFFF Our Story
Currently there are two projects on the go with VUFFF, the Burrard View Park project and the Chén̓chenstway Healing Garden and Indigenous Food Forest. VUFFF is unique in that their concept of community garden spaces is broader and embraces the philosophy of sharing harvests.
Eliminating Food Waste
Reducing food waste is one way to not only help reduce food scarcity, but also help fight climate change. These great organizations are just a few that are out there now. It is so encouraging to see how people are embracing the idea of eating imperfect looking vegetables and food that is near or just past their expiry dates.
Are there companies and organizations near you that are working to prevent food waste?
About the Climate Change Collective
The Climate Change Collective was born out of an exchange that took place between Michelle and Jamie in the comments section of a Jamie Ad Stories blog post. Jamie and Michelle both care deeply about the impact of human activity on our planet and wanted to find a way to keep the climate change message top of mind for everyone. A tweet was sent out, bloggers responded, and we’ve all now teamed up to create the Climate Change Collective!
The idea is simple. The members of the collective will take turns writing a monthly blog post sharing their concerns and unique perspective about climate change. After the post is published, the rest of the group will keep the conversation going by sharing a link to the post on their blogs along with their thoughts and ideas. If you’re a like-minded blogger and would like to join our collective, please get in touch. The more the merrier!
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