Archive | Gleaning: A Timeless Practice to Avoid Food Waste

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Archives | Gleaning: a timeless practice to avoid food waste

Gleaning is a timeless activity that is experiencing a resurgence.

For millennia, people have collected what could remain in the fields once the agricultural production has been harvested. This practice, which is called gleaning, as our archives prove, persists today and is even experiencing a resurgence in popularity.

Gleaning existed, especially in medieval France, when people were allowed to pick up grains, fruits and vegetables that were left in fields and orchards.

The practice was immortalized in a famous painting by French painter Jean-François Millet titled Les glaneuses.

Gleaning is still done today and seems to be growing in popularity.

Report by journalist Thérèse Champagne on gleaning activity in the Okanagan Valley. Yvon Leblanc hosts La Semaine verte.

On December 23, 2001, the program La Semaine verte presents a report by journalist Thérèse Champagne who explains to us that the gleaning in the modern world is often done with a humanitarian objective in mind.

In the very rich fruit and vegetable valley of the Okanagan in British Columbia, volunteers unite in a non-profit organization called The Gleaners.

These collect surpluses, including unsold peppers from greenhouse grower Edith Beck.

For various reasons, a substantial portion of her crops, such as those other producers in the Okanagan Valley and more generally in North America, end up in the dump and are thus wasted.

Okanagan gleaners do not recover these surplus for themselves.

Since 1994, they have been organizing chores to transform this food to feed the hungry in poor countries.

It was the images of famine in Sudan and Ethiopia that motivated the founder of the organization, Ben Ellis, to do something with unused agricultural produce from the Okanagan Valley.

Many volunteers will cut and dry a dozen varieties of vegetables and fruits that will be incorporated into soup mixes and snacks.

The fruits and vegetables collected have fed empty stomachs around the world.

In the fall of 2001, they notably fed refugees in camps in Afghanistan and continue to be active in 2022.

Report by journalist Michel Nogue on gleaning activities in Bouctouche, New Brunswick

At the other end of the country, in Bouctouche, New Brunswick, gleaning also has its followers, as shown in this report by journalist Michel Nogue presented on Téléjournal Acadie on September 18, 2013.

Gertrude Duplessis is one of its activists.

< p class="e-p">She participates in the picking of carrots left in the fields after the harvest. She can keep half of it.

The other half goes to a local food bank.

Gertrude Duplessis lives with a retirement pension that she finds small. Gleaning helps it to eat at a lower cost.

It's also a way to meet people and support the social fabric of your community.

On July 27, 2012, the Téléjournal presented a report by Émilie Dubreuil on déchetarisme which is an urban form of gleaning.

Report by journalist Émilie Dubreuil on the practice of dechetarism in Montreal

Dechetarism, we learns the presenter of Téléjournal Claudine Bourbonnais, is increasingly practiced by young people in Montreal.

They often do so for economic reasons, of course, but also a lot out of ideological conviction.

Émilie Dubreuil went to the Atwater market to meet activists of dechetarism.

The latter claim to search the garbage cans of this public market Montrealers because they want to fight against food waste.

They want to consume differently and reintegrate some of this discarded food into the community.

While some traders and producers support this approach, others are rather resistant to it, because safety and public health, in particular, are of concern to them.

In 2021, according to a report published by the United Nations, Canada was the North American leader in food waste at home.

Each Canadian was throwing away 79 kg of food a year, the report noted.

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