Building knowledge in Canada and around the world
At Second Harvest, we recognize that we can’t change what we don’t know. For us, knowing means conducting research about food loss and waste and our food landscape in Canada. By understanding where and how food is wasted, as well as where it is used across the supply chain, we are better equipped to manage this food.
Our research has garnered the attention of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Government of Canada, and other like-minded groups. It has been shared by nationally and internationally respected news outlets including Forbes, Courrier International, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, CBC, CTV and more.
We’re proud to share our research with the world, so that everyone can leverage the information we’ve gained to make effective, lasting change.
Wasted Opportunity: Rescuing Surplus Food in a Throwaway Culture
Featuring ground-breaking research into Canada’s food system, Wasted Opportunity explores what types of food, from where, end up in landfill and seeks to explain why so much of this surplus edible food is not being rescued. The report proposes solutions for business and policy makers to turn this edible food waste into opportunity for everyone involved. We learned that 3.2 million tonnes of surplus edible food is produced by Canada's food industry each year, and 96% of surplus edible food is not rescued and redistributed for human consumption.Learn more
Canada’s Invisible Food Network
Canada’s Invisible Food Network is a Canadian research first. It addresses an urgent question: we need to know who is helping to provide food for the millions of Canadians struggling with food insecurity. And the findings are shocking: there are four times more charitable food providers than grocery stores in Canada. This is a massive but unconnected patchwork of services trying to support 6.7 million Canadians while they themselves are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic on the charitable sector.Learn more
The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste
The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste is Canada’s first national research study on food waste and the first in the world to use primary data from the food industry. With this research, we were able to determine how much food is lost and wasted and where this waste is happening. We learned that nearly 60% of food produced in Canada – totalling 35.5 million tonnes – is lost and wasted annually. Of that waste, 32% – or 11.2 million tonnes – is avoidable and could be redirected to support people in our communities.Learn more
Data drives decision-making
At Second Harvest, we rely on accurate data to help us make informed decisions in everything we do. In addition to our ground-breaking research, we leverage data to measure our impact. We’ve developed a unique greenhouse gas calculator to determine the environmental impact of the food we rescue. Our dollar value calculator puts a financial value on this rescued food. And our annual surveys and ongoing analytics reflect our data-driven approach to reporting.
You can learn more about our calculators below.