Survey suggests Canadians are wasting more food at home during COVID-19 pandemic

A recent survey suggests that Canadians are wasting about five pounds of food per week, an increase of just over half a pound of food per week compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

It’s also estimated that on average, Canadians waste about $1,766 worth of food per year, which adds a $238 per household cost to annual budgets.

The survey, done in conjunction with Dalhousie University Agri-Food Analytics Lab and delivered by Caddle, surveyed a total of 8,272 Canadians between August 21-23, 2020.

Respondents said they waste food because:

  • Food is left in the fridge or freezer too long (31.3%)
  • Household members did not finish their meals (30.4%)
  • Not consuming food before the best before or use by dates (15.0%)
  • Preferring the freshest possible food (12.8%)

Some respondents did say they are trying to address food waste in their homes through eating more leftovers, assessing what’s in the fridge and cupboards, and preserving or freezing food. What is perhaps surprising, is that 17.2% of households believe they never waste food.

A total of 10% of respondents said they have thrown away food which they believed was contaminated with COVID-19, with Quebec reporting the highest percentage at 14%, followed by British Columbia at 13%.

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