Talking Food Waste

Talking Food Waste

Adapted from: FoodShare Waste in Our Food Systems Facilitator Guide
Target Age: Elementary (grade 3-6)
Key Learning Goals: Understand why and how we create food waste, understand our waste system in Toronto
Equipment Necessary: none
Activity Type: Lunchtime educational discussion. If possible, follow up the conversation with ‘3 Bin Relay Race’ activity.


1.Discussion Questions

  • Why do we throw away food? Possible Answers:
  • Food went bad
  • Didn’t like the food
  • Didn’t finish the food on the plate- too full
  • It was not fit to be sold in supermarkets
  • Leftover from another process (ex-skins)
  • By accident (example not collected or fell off a tree)

2. What else do we throw away with food waste? (Food Packaging) What foods come with packaging and why? Possible Answers:

  • Meats
  • Processed foods
  • Canned goods
  • Ready-made meals
  • Take out containers

3. What belongs in each waste bin and where does that waste end up?

  • Garbage bin: black bin, end up in a landfill, ex: plastic wrap, food packages
  • Recycling bin: blue bin, used to create new products, ex: cereal box, can, plastic bottles, paper
  • Organics bin: green bin, used for compost on farms (nutrients for soil), ex: banana peel, apple core, bones

4. How can we decrease how much waste we produce? Possible Answers:

  • Only serve ourselves what we want to eat, we can always go up for seconds
  • Only buy foods we need for the next few days
  • Keep an inventory of what is in our fridges so we don’t let them go bad
  • Reuse leftovers instead of throwing them away