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As a food production company, we think we have to be leaders and show how to reduce food waste even before our products leave our production facility. And we have an example that became real for us quite recently. But first, let's talk some basics about food waste first. What is it? What does it mean?

Food Waste in British Columbia and Canada

It's easy to understand that wasting food isn't a good thing. That's even before understanding all the ways that food waste is bad for the environment and contributes to greenhouse gases if it ends up in the landfill. Information from the Government of B.C. shows that in our province, about one in four grocery bags gets thrown away. That amounts to roughly $1100 in food over the year. (And given the way things are going with inflation, that's probably a much higher number by now!) Thinking across Canada, that's almost 2.2 million of food that could have been eaten or put to good use!

Fortunately for us, in our province, regional districts are responsible for running residential food waste prevention programs. They pick up the big green bins that are a staple in many curb-side pickup programs in communities across the Province. There is still a lot of room for improvement though.

The Province recently partnered with the national organization Love Food Hate Waste Canada. We're quite fond of their site, which has a lot of great ideas for doing food planning better, pointing out tips for reducing food waste around the holidays. Oooh - and we love their Food Storage A to Z Guide. They even have an entry on "pasta'!

Pasta tips from Love Food Hate Waste Canada
Cooked to much? Pasta tips from Love Food Hate Waste Canada

Where Kaslo Sourdough Comes In

What we notice is that a lot of the articles that talk about the need to reduce food waste are for individuals. And as a company, we want to acknowledge we play a role here, too. Being in the food business, we have long been aware of making good choices that impact the environment less, and food waste is a part of that.

It is also a little bit personal. In our family, we are both the generation after World War II survivors and the generation after the generation after World War II survivors. We don't have to reach too far back in our memory for the rare story that our grandparents told us about making "soup" from bones from the butcher because that was all they could get. Those stories were chilling and only needed to be told once.

That ethic of "waste not, want not" and using as much as you can is definitely something that we grew up with. And right behind that is also an ethic of being as self-sufficient as possible. So we have backyards with fruit trees and big gardens, and also have chickens and a giant compost. The chickens get the table scraps to help lay awesome eggs, and the compost gets anything else that we couldn't find a use for, to decompose and turn into fertilizer for the garden. We have a good circle of using things in more than one way in our homes. (We admit having chickens is easier in a rural town, but today, even the bylaws of the capital city of Victoria you are allowed up to 15 chickens!)

April Soup Cuts For You!

With the recent expansion into long sourdough pasta shapes, we had some new pasta "waste" all of a sudden. We cut our long noodles down to the size needed to fit into their pasta packages. And during the cutting process, there are sometimes extra bits. Or some noodles break into smaller pieces. And then there are also extra bits. This wasn't an issue when we were only making our rotinis or macaronis or radiatoris. All of those noodles get packaged and used. And so, we were extremely reluctant to think of those extra bits as "food waste". It's still good pasta! Just not in the shape or size that we'd normally stick into a pasta bag to sell. So we knew we had to get creative and find a new way to reduce this new pasta "waste" in our facility.

For a little while we'd bring back those extra bits to the house and use them in soups or casseroles. (We have five growing kids under the age of 10, and believe us, they can eat a lot of pasta!) But, after a while, with a bit of extra thinking (and some inspiration from Love Food Hate Waste), we came up with: April Soup Cuts!

These little pasta pieces are the same high quality pasta as our sourdough spaghetti and our sourdough linguini, they are just a little bit shorter. Every online pasta order in the month of April will receive a free package of Soup Cuts! Add them cooked to your soup broth, or stew and voila! The perfect noodle soup! Or a more wholesome stew! If you get a package, let us know what you think!

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