(Citizen file)

(Citizen file)

Editorial: Let’s fill plates, not landfills

Redistributing food that would usually be thrown away is a spectacular idea.

Redistributing food that would usually be thrown away is a spectacular idea.

When we hear about 40 per cent of the food grown in the world being wasted while at the same time people go hungry we cringe.

It’s not a question of production, it’s a question of unequal distribution.

One might be tempted to think this applies only to, say, Canada versus a Third World county. And while it’s true that collectively we in North America and Europe are terrible culprits when it comes to tossing out and wasting huge portions of our food, both prepared, and before it ever gets to the kitchen, we also have a distribution problem within our countries that we have so far failed to solve. Food banks, anyone? Northern and remote communities where food, which can sometimes be substandard as well as scarce, comes at an exorbitant cost.

We have such abundance, and yet so much is thrown away.

A program to divert some of that waste, like the one being proposed by the Cowichan Food Security Coalition, is long overdue, and should receive the wholehearted support of the Cowichan Valley Regional District and everyone who lives here.

This would put perfectly good food on the tables of people who need it, food that would otherwise go into the waste bin.

Some may be surprised to find out that a great deal of produce never gets to the grocery store shelves because it doesn’t fit in. That is, it is not a uniform shape or size with what will appeal to shoppers. Rather than going to the landfill, it is far more palatable for it to go to people who need a good square meal. When it comes down to it, who cares what shape your squash or potatoes are?

And plenty of things just past their best before dates are still perfectly edible, and rather than the trash, we’d sure like to see them as supper.

Let’s start filling plates rather than landfills.