Seed to Food Program Launch

Posted on Friday, 4 September 2020 under Stories

food recovery hierarchy chartWe are excited to launch the Seed to Food program. This program aims to salvage food from our Research and Education Seed Farm and redistribute it to people who need it most. Furthermore, it will work towards creating economically viable methods for other seed farmers to be able to redirect their food by-products into potential new sales streams.

Currently, most of the food grown during seed production ends up either composted or going to waste making it a substantial concern to the environment. While composting food waste from seed farms is clearly better than simply letting it become part of an ever-growing landfill, the best option is to never let food go to waste in the first place and instead find an economic use for it or give the food to those most in need.

In many cases, crops can be harvested for both seed and food. For example, seeds of tomatoes and squash can be removed and the remainders turned into a sauce or soup. Leafy greens from kale, broccoli, and various lettuces can be consumed without disrupting the seed production process. In addition, the culls from our carrot breeding projects at the seed farm are still perfectly edible and the food produced from our variety trials can be eaten too. All in all, there are many opportunities for diverting compost from seed farms like ours into food systems and the Seed to Food program is here to highlight the possibilities.

We are proud to be collaborating with Food Stash on the Seed to Food program. This Vancouver-based foundation aims to reduce the environmental impact of food waste and bridge the food insecurity gap within the community. They are graciously accepting produce from our seed farm and redistributing it to those in need.

If you are interested in reducing food waste, check out the info sheet from our second Climate and Food Story Series- Food Matters: Let’s not waste it.

Check out what Dr. Tammara Soma, a food waste scholar has to say about food waste in Canada in our Climate Solution Stories here.

The Seed to Food program is funded by the Government of Canada through the United Way Emergency Community Support Program.

Government of Canada and United Way logos