The way our food is produced has an impact on the environment, but so do the foods we choose.
From the farm to your table, everyone has a role to play in making the best choices for the environment, including governments, producers, businesses and consumers!
Together, let's learn how to make environmentally friendly food choices.
How to make environmentally friendly choices
When it comes to decisions related to food, changing daily habits can lead to a greener future.
Discover how to make greener choices when purchasing food.
Plan your meals
- Check your refrigerator, pantry and garden to see what you already have and what you need to buy.
- Make a list before going to the grocery store and stick to it. Avoid impulsive buys.
- Consider buying imperfect vegetables and fruits. They are just as healthy – and it helps to avoid sending them to the landfill.
- Explore different food waste reduction apps or programs to find discounted foods from grocers and restaurants near you.
Learn more about planning your meals
Did you know?
Planning meals and snacks not only helps you to reduce food waste by only buying what you will use: it also helps to make healthier choices, save time and money grocery shopping and gets meals on the table faster, with less stress.
Plan ahead when eating out
- Bring an empty reusable container to bring leftovers home with you, if you are served more food than you want to eat.
- If the meal you want is only available in a large portion, consider sharing with a friend or family member.
Buy local foods
- At the grocery store, look for sections or labels that identify local food products such as Made in Canada/Product of Canada.
- Year-round, buy fresh, frozen, or canned produce grown locally.
- Subscribe to a food box program in your community.
- Visit a farmers' market, an on-farm market or you-pick farm near you.
- Take a culinary tour to discover locally produced foods in your region.
Did you know?
When you buy local foods, you support many Canadian farmers and agricultural businesses who are committed to producing delicious quality food in an environmentally sustainable way. Get a taste of their commitment.
Storing food properly
Food will last longer if you store it properly, preventing food waste. Check out some tips for the best way to store your food.
Managing food freshness
- In the fridge and pantry, place perishable foods or foods you have already opened at the front as a reminder to eat them first.
- Freeze, can, dry or preserve fresh produce to extend its lifespan and enjoy all year long.
- If you think something might go bad before you can eat it, freeze it to use later and put a date on it to remind yourself when it was made.
- Have canned, frozen or dried foods on hand for cooking – they often have a longer life, which can lead to less waste.
Learn more about managing food freshness
Understand date labelling
- Expiration dates and best-before dates are different. Expiration dates are required on only a small number of specific foods, such as infant formula and meal replacements. When foods are past their expiry date, they are no longer safe to eat.
- A best-before date is not an indicator of food safety—it's about freshness, nutritional value and quality. So use your judgement when deciding if food can be eaten.
Discover how you can reduce food waste when cooking and preparing food.
- Use the most perishable items first. For example, fresh berries or spinach should be eaten within a few days after buying them, while apples, potatoes and carrots can last longer.
- Try cooking with leftovers in your fridge. Quiche, stir-fries, soups and casseroles all taste great with a mix of different leftover vegetables and protein foods.
- Store your food scraps. Bones or vegetable scraps can be stored in the freezer until you have enough to make a broth.
Learn more about preparing food
Did you know?
A fridge should be kept at a temperature of 4°C and a freezer at −18°C to properly store food.
Composting food waste
Discover some tips on how to best manage your food waste.
- Find out if your community has a compost program. Check out the compost collection schedule or compost drop-off locations in your area.
- Have a bin at hand in which you can easily put your table or food waste.
- Start a food waste compost at home.
- Freezing food waste prevents odours and flies and helps with the composting process.
Learn more about composting food waste
Did you know?
In Canada, large amounts of food are wasted every year. Food waste can happen at all levels of the food supply system. When food is thrown out as garbage, it ends up in landfills and, over time, it forms methane, a greenhouse gas. Methane is 25 times more capable of trapping heat in the atmosphere compared to CO2 (carbon dioxide).
Food that is not eaten also means that the land, soil, and water needed to produce the food were wasted.
Growing your food
Growing your own food can be very rewarding while also benefiting the environment by helping pollinators thrive and greening your community. Use the tips below to start growing your own food.
- Enrich your garden soil by using your own compost or check if your municipality offers free compost.
- No yard? Look for community gardens in your area or grow plants in medium to large pots.
- For year round, consider growing herbs in windowsill pots.
Learn more about growing your food
Did you know?
Planting two or more types of plants together allows the soil to hang on to more nutrients, which then make it into the food we get from these plants.
Taking action for the future
Canadian farmers and agricultural businesses are dedicated to putting quality food on our tables while protecting the environment for future generations. Discover what they are doing to grow environmentally sustainable food. Meet the people behind your food and Taste their commitment.