LONDON, ONT. -- When the COVID-19 pandemic hit our province and city, many grocery stores had empty shelves.

"When we all started to worry and we headed to the grocery store the shelves started to empty at a rate quicker than they were ready to respond to at that time," says professional home economist and professor at Brescia University College Dr. Peggy O’Neil.

O’Neil says the good news is there is enough food to stock the stores, but the bad news is we are a very wasteful society

"If you look at the United Nations food and agriculture organization statistics, not just Canada but also in the developed world, most of the food waste is on the plate."

O’Neil says there are several forms of food waste, and now more than ever with many Canadians on limited incomes, it’s important to cut down on the waste. She says number one thing is to plan what you’re going to shop for.

"Thats why staples like bread milk and eggs go with so many things, they’ve got a lot of economies of scale."

O’Neil says it’s also important to find ways to use up your food, rather than tossing it in the trash.

"We don’t need another job but we need to start somewhere so maybe the next time you will think about your bread and realize, 'Oh this bread is about to go maybe we will toast this before we open another one.' It starts with baby steps."