The nation’s farmers offered Canadians a special Valentine’s Day gift Feb. 14 — what the Canadian Federation of Agriculture calls food freedom day.
According to CFA calculations, it was the day the average Canadian had earned enough to pay the year’s grocery bill. Last year it was Feb. 12.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation calculates that tax freedom day, when Canadians earn enough to cover tax bills, occurs much later into the summer.
For years, the CFA has made food freedom day an opportunity to promote the supply of Canadian food to a general population that in-creasingly takes its food supply for granted.
Federal agriculture ministers have previously joined farm leaders at grocery stores on food freedom day to promote the quantity, quality and price of food available.
This year, there has been no government recognition of the day.
The CFA is highlighting the impact that food waste has on Canadian food security.
According to a George Morris Centre study, food waste in Canada was worth $27 billion in 2009, most of it in the home and the rest on farms and in restaurants, retail stores and the processing industry.
It represents an average of $774.07 worth of wasted food for each Canadian, says the report.
“Without any food waste along the food value chain, the date for Food Freedom Day would have been Feb. 5 this year,” said a CFA statement.
Bonnett suggested Canadians use the day to consider how to minimize food waste in society. The CFA says Canadians spent 12.3 percent of their disposable income on food last year.