This week is marked by two food related stories. First, we waste too much food, and the second how the Canadian government and Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) dealt with recall of beef tainted by E.coli bacteria.
According to the Value Chain Management Centre, an independent think tank based inGuelph, Canadians waste more than $27 billion worth of food. More concerning of this fact is that 50 per cent of it comes from our homes. Because we cannot finish what we put on our plates or buy too much produce that is left to rot in our refrigerators, we waste food. It reminds us of what we used to hear from our mothers and grandmothers that put on a plate only what you can eat, and to cook fresh rather than buying for a whole week or a month. We buy too much food at grocery stores and only later think about doing something with it, so that we can freeze it. $27 billion is a staggering figure. If spent right, this amount can probably wipe out hunger from the world.
The second and more concerning story is about CFIA’s slow response to discovering E.coli on September 4th especially when the Americans already knew that beef coming out of XL Food plant is tainted. Although a four-year-old girl has not died of the beef that left XL plant, there is very little doubt that E.coli can be fatal.
In Mississauga, while grocery shopping, we decided to ask the staff at a few local grocery chains if there has been any beef recall. The staff looked back at us as if they had no clue what we were talking about. The staff members working behind Halal meat counter at one store were even more dumbfounded at the question. This leaves us to suggest that food recalls in any part of Canada should be known to the staff working in food chains. It puts even greater responsibility on families to be aware of what is happening in our country to be able to ask questions when needed.