IGA merchants throughout the province respond to rising levels of food waste in Quebec homes by opening up their kitchens to the community this fall with a series of 100 culinary workshops. There will be tricks and tips to reduce household food waste, such as the use of shopping lists, buying by the serving, recipes for getting the most out of your purchases, and great ideas for cooking with leftovers.
In convenience mode
“À vos frigos!” will feature 45-minute workshops in which a chef from La Tablée des Chefs, together with a Fonds Éco IGA food waste expert, will demonstrate cooking using unsold food from IGA supermarkets while providing advice on how to use these under-appreciated products. Bananas are turned into ice cream, stale cheese becomes a creamy fondue, and weekly leftovers emerge as a savoury risotto. Community workshops are also supplemented with a series of video shorts to help shoppers head off the problem at the source.
Eating better also means less waste
The workshops are part of Sobeys Québec’s Joy of Eating Better movement, which is one year old this week, and support one of the pillars of the movement: The Joy of Making Responsible Choices. “This partnership with two of the top sustainable development organizations fits IGA banner values perfectly,” said Luc Daigle, IGA Daigle owner and chair of the IGA merchants sustainable development committee. “It’s also right in line with our Joy of Eating Better movement.” He was clearly thrilled to make common cause with Earth Day Quebec and La Tablée des Chefs. It all goes to provide Quebecers with tools and solutions to manage their refrigerator contents better—not to mention their wallets.
Earth Day Quebec director Pierre Lussier was also enthused over the new initiative. “We’ve already accomplished a lot in IGA stores with the waste management program and Action Reduction certification,” he said. “Now we want to reach out to Quebecers and help them reduce food waste in their own kitchens.”
For La Tablée des Chefs CEO and founder Jean-François Archambault, the workshops address a serious issue. “Our chefs have special expertise in recipes that workshop participants can make at home to tap the potential of food in the twilight of its life,” he said. “Our partnership with Earth Day Quebec is a chance to connect the joy of cooking with a more educational issue—that of food waste.” A golden opportunity to make learning fun.
Workshops will start in late summer 2015 and continue until late November at participating IGA grocerie stores and community centres throughout the province. Signup starts on July 15 at jourdelaterre.org/avosfrigos.
About Fonds Éco IGA
Fonds Éco IGA was founded in 2008 by Quebec’s IGA merchants, who have so far put in close to $7 million. The fund is managed by Earth Day Quebec as a way to promote sustainable development in Quebec communities. It funds projects that respond concretely to community needs and seek to ensure the long-term protection, conservation, and appreciation of our environment. Since its inception, Fonds Éco IGA has made it possible to hand out over 50,000 rainwater barrels and funded more than 900 projects in every part of the province. www.iga.net/fondsecoiga
About La Tablée des Chefs – www.tableedeschefs.org | La Tablée des Chefs is a social engagement vehicle for chefs and cooks. Its mission is to feed families in need and to educate future generations while fostering food independence.