The Living Lab tackles food waste at Conestoga College

August 30, 2023
Food scraps in a compostable bag

Sustainability has come to be defined by the three Es in today’s global economy — Economy, Environment & Equity. At Conestoga College’s School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts, a team of researchers, faculty, and students is transforming the student-run Bloom restaurant into a climate-action living lab. The Living Lab team is working to demonstrate the impact and solutions to greenhouse emissions related to food packaging and food waste.

Why is reducing food waste important? A significant amount of food grown for human consumption is not consumed. According to the 2019 research paper, The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste, nearly 60 per cent of food produced in Canada, totalling approximately 35.5 million tons, is wasted annually. What’s worse, 32 per cent, or 11.2 million tons of that food (worth a staggering $49 billion) is perfectly edible and could be re-directed. The economic, environmental, and equity (social) imperatives cannot be overemphasized.

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