Being conscious about food systems and sustainability is about more than just shopping with reusable bags, and eating what’s in your fridge (although, those things are important!) Leaders in the movement have dedicated their lives to ethical practices, waste reduction, disrupting poverty cycles, education, reducing greenhouse gas emission, and community care. And, with climate change and inflation rearing their ugly heads, joining these champions in adopting sustainable practices has never been more important.
We’re proud to live in a region that is home to many food sustainability organizations that are paving the way for positive change in our food systems. From reducing fruit tree waste, to feeding the community with dignity, we’ve compiled a list of leaders in the industry that you can follow and support.
By Brittany Tiplady
Luv the Grub’s founder Alia Sunderji was teaching a sustainable innovation class at Simon Fraser when she learned that a large portion of produce grown is tossed for cosmetic reasons. Sunderji became passionate about “rescuing” produce, taking perfectly good fruits and vegetables and turning them into a beautiful new product.
Luv The Grub makes “gourmet chutneys made with ugly produce.” In the four years since its inception, Sunderji’s innovative company has supported 8 local farms and produce markets to rescue over 19830 lbs of produce from the landfill. Chutney flavours include Blueberry Sage, Spiced Mango, and Chai Apple. Find your local stockist here.
Co-founders Alison Carr and Brianne Miller share a passion for our oceans, camping, and good food –and, they shared a common belief that the current grocery model isn’t contributing to sustainable food practices.
Together, they created Nada: a package-free grocery shop designed to rid excess waste. Nada is a certified B-Corp, selling food and products for the whole family. After operating in a brick and mortar, Nada is transitioning to an online-only model, offering pick-up and delivery. But sustainability and minimal packaging is still at the core of their business. Learn more about how you can now shop online with Nada.
Nearly 10 years ago, childhood pals Becky Brauer, Dhruv Sood and Husein Rahemtulla finally came up with a solution to the question that plagues all adults: “what’s for dinner?” Fresh Prep is Canada’s top-rated meal kit and a certified B Corp —all ingredients are fresh, and sustainably sourced in BC. Recently, Fresh Prep introduced their Zero Waste meal kits that eliminate packaging and plastics, providing subscribers with reusable containers for their meal kits.
Do you have an abundant fruit tree on your property that you just can’t keep up with? Consider contacting The Vancouver Fruit Tree Project – they have a mission of “leaving no fruit left unpicked.” The Vancouver Fruit Tree Project is a grassroots organization driven by their mission of reducing fruit tree waste. Powered by volunteers, the registered charity works with the community to pick fruit, attend outreach events, host workshops, and more. Consider registering your tree or volunteering with the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project here.
Vancouver: 1755 East Broadway
FoodMesh is a response and “a solution to power the circular economy for surplus food.” Businesses with consistent food surplus (like restaurants, grocery stores and cafes) can divert their not salable (but still good and unopened) food to FoodMesh, where it will get circulated to charities or farms, preventing it from ending up in a landfill.
Vancouver: Suite 200 – 171 Water Street
Richmond Urban Bounty society has been doing critical work in the community for over 20 years. Their ultimate goal is to grow an engaged and literate food community. The society has been a steadfast resource for free or accessible groceries and education, offering a variety of community programming including seed security, kids in the garden, and canning.
Richmond: 7611 Ash St
Vancouver, Surrey, North Vancouver
Quest Food Exchange are leaders in food redistribution. Their organization “bridges the gap between food banks and traditional grocery stores” with a mission to serve the community with dignity and sustainability in mind. The food for sale at Quest is good quality, healthy food that would otherwise go to waste — all goods at Quest are donated by local food partners and sold to the community at a significantly reduced price. Learn more about donation and volunteer opportunities here.
Vancouver: 2020 Dundas Street
Vancouver: 711 E. Hastings
Surrey: 13890 104 Avenue
Burnaby: 7753 6th Street
North Van.: 167 1st Street East
There are many ways to get to each of these spots in Metro Vancouver by transit. Visit TransLink’s Trip Planner to find your way.
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