Stop Food Waste Day Waste Warrior Spotlight: Cayla Runka

cayla runka photo

Cayla Runka, Director of Sustainability & Wellness, Business Excellence, Compass Group Canada

1. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

I am encouraged that there is such focus on food waste. My family teases me as I use the term ‘don’t be wasteful’ a lot at home. Having grown up in an agriculture community and family, I feel everything we produce is precious and given those who also go without enough to eat, there needs to be massive social change to cut down and reduce the waste. It’s a huge problem and we are each responsible to do our part.

2. What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the kitchen?

I have dedicated ice cube trays in my freezer for food. When I have fresh herbs, I chop them all and they go into a tray and then the freezer. Just pop a few cubes out and fresh flavour is added to anything you want. I also do this with tomato paste, broth and anything else where there is a little left. It’s so easy and convenient and saves money in the long run too. I also keep trimmings like onion peel, carrot tops/peels, fennel tops and herb stems in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer for throwing into the bottom of a roasting pan or stock pot for added flavour.

3. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Meal plan and shop with a list. I know it sounds boring but when you know exactly what you are cooking, you only buy the things you need and know you will use.

4. What is your favourite way to repurpose leftovers?

I’m not sure I ever have to do that…leftovers disappear in my house the next day for lunch! If there are odd bits of ingredients left…it’s either the soup pot or the salad bowl.