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How to Address the Issue of Food Waste Without Annoying Your Loved Ones!

2 April 2024 | By Stéphanie Tremblay
Food fight

If, like me, the fight against food waste is important to you, you may sometimes want to inform your loved ones and give them tips when you witness them wasting food. However, it’s important to remember that there can be a fine line between being the passionate friend who has more than one trick up her sleeve and… the tiresome member of the group who never misses an opportunity to offer unsolicited advice!

As we approach Earth Day on April 22, let’s take a look at how we can gently raise awareness on food waste, and especially, without getting on people’s nerves!

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Avoid a moralizing tone

I’ll always remember the famous phrase my grandmother used to always say to me, which went like this:

“Finish your plate, there are children in the world who are starving!”

The intention was certainly good, but far from making me really aware of the importance of avoiding food waste (or suddenly restoring my appetite, for that matter). This sentence always left me with a feeling of guilt and helplessness… Because in my child’s mind, believe it or not, the link between the leftover broccoli on my plate and famine in Africa was as hazy as it was worrisome.

It’s the kind of counterproductive remark that we want to avoid when discussing food waste. Your friend Bianca probably doesn’t want to be lectured about her fridge management, even if a tornado seems to have passed through there. In the same way, your colleague John, watching his coffee brew at 8:02 on Monday morning, may not want to start his week with your latest statistics on the magnitude of food waste. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right moment… and the right audience!

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Leading by example

Remember, often the best way to raise awareness is to lead by example, inspired by our own reality and good habits, rather than telling others how to change their habits.

It’s a safe bet that your colleagues will ask you with great interest to share your recipe for delicious leftovers-made muffins that you’ve kindly brought into the office to share. Who knows, maybe it will earn a place on their list of favourite recipes?

What’s more, when you’re discussing your latest discoveries with friends, it’ll be the perfect time to talk about the documentary on food waste that taught you so much, or the latest Food Fight workshop you attended!

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And of course, it’s always a good idea to tailor your approach to the person you’re talking to. Your friend who’s an environmental activist will certainly be curious to learn more about the lesser-known environmental impacts of food waste, whereas your uncle who’s been arguing about the ever-rising price of groceries since the beginning of the family dinner will be more interested in the economic aspects. It’s up to you to be on the lookout and continue to share your favourite anti-waste tips with passion and a smile.

In short, it’s important to remember that nobody likes to be told what to do, especially not by Mr. or Mrs. Perfect! So don’t hesitate to talk about your own challenges in reducing food waste and ask others for advice to spark the discussion.

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Finally, we’re keeping in mind that in this fight against food waste, we’re all in the same boat and the aim is to row in the same direction, not at the same pace.

Join the zero-waste community to exchange with others interested in reducing food waste and share your best recipes and tips on the group!

Food Waste Expert

Stéphanie Tremblay

In love with nature, Stéphanie combines her interests in the environment and food in order to raise awareness of the importance of their food choices. Her professional training and experience in environmental education make her a knowledgeable speaker who conveys her passion with enthusiasm and positivism. In her spare time, she can be found in her garden or in the forest, gathering wild edible plants.

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