The average North American throws out an estimated 170-183 kilograms / that's 375-405 pounds for my American friends - of food every year. Thats each "individual". Not family or household. And that make us among The Worst Food Wasters in the world! Not something to be especially proud of is it? What happens if you have 4 people living in your home? That's an estimated 1600 pounds.
I don't even know what 1600 pounds of food waste looks like, but it works out to about 25% - 40% of our grocery dollar. I have a pretty good idea what that looks like. If you've got a couple of teens in your house, you're likely spending $1000 or more a month on groceries. If we took the most conservative estimate (1/4), then we're talking about $250 a month IN THE GARBAGE! That's $3000 a year!
What could do with an extra $3000 a year?
Now if you're like me, you're probably saying "no way!". I pride myself on being quite resourceful and while I did not doubt the stats, I was pretty certain they didn't apply to me. So I began to seriously pay attention to everything I threw in my kitchen garbage. Or compost. And it didn't take me more than a couple of weeks before I had to concede ... "well, maaaaybe, that might be me". What is the waste?
Well in my case, it was mostly produce. I was full of good intentions when I bought fruits and vegetable from the grocery store. And perhaps if I would have personally washed and cut the fruit, and maybe peeled it for them, and then FED it to them, my kids would have eaten more of it. But I don't have time for that, and they didn't always take advantage of what I was providing them "fresh". And conscientious mom that I was, I had to make sure I continued providing it. Can you say "vicious circle"? Round and around we went. More and more money in the compost.
Well, I was "ripe for the picking" you might say when I realized that there was absolutely zero waste involved in the new way I had begun to buy groceries. I was first attracted to THRIVE LIFE freeze dried food because of its long shelf life, but I was astounded to learn of the exceptionally high nutrition. I was even more impressed when I began using it and noticed that I was no longer throwing out as much food. That was a bonus I hadn't counted on. The nutritional value was the selling feature and the convenience of it sealed the deal, but in a very short amount of time, I realized I was in fact, saving money. When you are no longer throwing out 1/4+ of your monthly groceries, you start seeing your dollar go a lot further! And that was a happy realization.
On a bigger scale, while it pains me to admit it, I read a recent report that says the evidence points to Canada as being among the worst on the globe for wasting food. The report released by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation — "an environmental agency set up under the North American Free Trade Agreement — found when including all stages of the food supply chain, 396 kilograms of food per capita is wasted in Canada every year. That’s compared with 415 kilograms in the United States and 249 kilograms in Mexico." I'm not sure how excited we can get about being 'better' than someone else, especially when that 'someone else' probably produces more produce than we do. So much for my wholesome Canadian pride. Sheesh!
So, I don't pretend to have the answer to global problems, and I don't have the energy to even worry about them. But I have always been of the mind that if we each take care of our own front porch, the world will look a lot nicer. So I am gonna focus my attention on what is in my control. And what IS in my control? The waste in my own kitchen. And where I choose to spend my hard earned dollar.
And that is where I started.
Did you know that when you buy a can of THRIVE Spinach, 0% (that is a big fat ZERO) goes into the garbage? Every piece of spinach you buy gets used. By you.
Did you also know that the spinach loses all of its Vitamin C by the fourth day after harvest? I can promise you that the spinach on my grocery store shelf was not picked within the last 96 hours.
And Did you know that THRIVE spinach contains up to 6 times more Vitamin A than the spinach we buy from the produce shelf in our local grocery store? Yup. Yup and Yup. So add those facts to the fact that much of the so called 'fresh' spinach I was buying ended up in my compost pail (because you have about 4 hours before that spinach starts to go slimy on the bottom) ..... well, I dunno. Lets just say the romance of fresh spinach began to lose some of its appeal.
So continuing on with the example of Spinach - a family sized can of Thrive freeze dried spinach retails (as of August 27 2018) for $37.59 USD. Converted using a 1.3 exchange rate, that works out to $48.87 Cdn. In that family sized can is the equivilant of 11 and 1/2 bags of spinach - which cost $3.99 each at Edmonton grocery stores. That is $48 for the (more than 4 day old which has zero vitamin C left in it) grocery store spinach or about the same amount for a can of THRIVE freeze dried spinach at regular retail price. Wait a minute! If you are a THRIVE Delivery customer, you don't pay regular retail prices. You pay wholesale prices (aprox 15% less). Which right now on Spinach is $30.09 USD for the same sized can. Multiply that by 1.3 to bring it into Canadian dollars, and it = $39.12 Cdn. Hold it! That is a significant savings from the grocery store price. Take into consideration that on average, 1/4 - 1/2 of that grocery store spinach in your fridge is not gonna make it to the table. ..... And well, we don't even need to look at that important detail to start seeing a very clear picture of why THRIVE FOODS save us so much money.
Did you know that when a Delivery order tops $100 you get FREE Shipping? Yup. Even into Canada folks. That is a huge savings. What if Spinach was on sale in any given month? I am a sale shopper so I'm always looking for a bargain. If I got Thrive Spinach at 20% off or more during one of the frequent sales throughout the year, I would save even more. And how much of that goes into my compost pail. ZERO! It is 100% Food. In my pantry. When the can is opened, the shelf life is an expected 12-18 months depending on some variables in our kitchens. This story just keeps getting better, and better. I guess you could say its "Spinach for the Win". But remember, Spinach is just an example. We can repeat this scenario with every single food item that THRIVE LIFE has.
So my way of reducing waste in this country is by reducing waste in my own home.
And since doing so, saves me a lot of money, thats a win/win situation. That's how I like things. Happy all round.
Independent THRIVE LIFE Consultant and Leader