food waste (doc)

Director: Grant Baldwin @Vancouverfilmer @JustEatItFilm

Producer: Jenny Rustemeyer @JustEatItFilm

with: Tristram Stuart @TristramStuart, Jonathan Bloom @WastedFood, Dana Gunders @dgunders


notes/quotes – 1:13:00 []

2 min: d: here we were trying to get farmers to be just a little more efficient with water/fertilizer use.. and yet.. 40% of the food is not actually being eaten.. how is nobody talking about this..t

3 min – j: globally about 1/3 of all food produced not consumed

d: it’s very scattered throughout the system.. makes it hard to point a finger.. hard to see

t: if we’re wasting 1/3 of the world’s food supply and we need to increase food availability where it’s needed.. food waste is one.. really quite simple.. place to start..t

4 min – g&j: challenge – survive for 6 months on food waste: 1\ eat only discarded food  3\ ok to eat what friends/fam serve

6 min – j: we fill our refrigerators to the point that we couldn’t possibly use everything before it goes bad..t

agri surplus ness

j: study in ny looked at all food waste in one county.. most waste came from households.. more than restaurants/supermarkets/farms..t

d: in our households we’re wasting somewhere between 15 and 25% of the food that we’re buying.. that’s expensive.. imagine walking out of a grocery store w 4 bags of groceries.. dropping one in the parking lot and just not bothering to pick it up.. that’s essentially what we’re doing in our homes today..t


8 min – on supermarkets concern with the looks of the food

11 min – a lot is about appearance.. edible.. but not edible to the supermarkets

amount of food left inside packing house .. 25-75%.. that gets thrown away .. a lot of time for a reason that a consumer would think wouldn’t be practical

food bank doesn’t have the capacity to manage the amount of fruit we could give them..

12 min – as a grower.. that’s heartbreaking


13 min – d: we have this culture of abundance.. part of being a good host is having more than plenty of food..t

j: if you’ve ever been in that situation.. run out of food.. there’s this odd sense that you failed as a host

rule of thumb for chef.. don’t ever run out of food

17 min – j: to me it’s sort of funny that wasting food is not taboo.. it’s one of the last environ ills you can do and just get away with.. throwing away food is not only widespread but it’s condoned..t

18 min – j: the last time we were asked to not waste food was during ww2 (1939-45) .. there was this sense that we had to sacrifice for the good of the country.. for the war effort

19 min – d: there were posters: food is a weapon, don’t waste it..  and other propaganda to encourage the public not to waste food

j: and since that time it’s been the opposite

d: food really became more plentiful.. we started to see much more abundant and cheaper food

j: our notion of what’s a reasonable amount of food to eat has changed.. this idea of larger portions is seeping into our households and now we’re serving our friends/fams too much food

20 min – j: we can overate or waste food.. or both

21 min – g(?): my grandad – reusing tea bags over and over.. putting 2 spoonfuls of leftovers in fridge.. and he would eat it.. he would finish leftovers

22 min – g&j: behind grocery stores.. there almost always locked bins or compactors..

23 min – g: i’m starting to enjoy this (dumpster diving).. i didn’t believe this was how much one could find

28 mi – jen: (after diving) our whole fridge is full of things that need to be eaten tomorrow

t: when we grow food we start w soil and some sunlight.. plants grow.. harvest.. packhouse.. sort.. a lot is wasted at that stage.. then distribution has to survive long journey.. might sit on shelf.. some food might be wasted there

d: then consumers come in and pick their favs.. there’s your winner.. makes it home.. but who knows what happens to it then

30 min – t: we fail to eat it.. what we’ve failed is a entire system which is in itself already wasted.. and all of the embodied energy/resources in that piece of food.. has been wasted

g & j get an over abundance of eggs and chocolate


34 min – on using waste as compost.. we sell directly to people eating food.. so little opp for food to go bad

35 min – tends to be 14-16 hrs a day.. 7 days a week during harvest season.. we really have to go for it.. to put enough away for the winter.. to survive..

farm\ing  ness.. everyone in sync ness

36 min – t: abundance is the success story of the human species.. t

affluence w/o abundance ness

t: you look back to the creation of agri 10-12 000 yrs ago.. that was all about creating surplus.. creating more food than you need .. allows to store, trade, have feasts.. all wonderful things..

agri surplus

t: in past.. if had more.. maybe it didn’t matter so much.. the problem now is that all rich countries in the world.. n america.. n europe.. have between 150-200% of the food that they actually need..t

37 min – t: people think that environ problems are about smokestacks/roads/factories/cities/concrete.. and for sure those are significant.. but if you look at the earth from the sky what you see is fields.. and it is there that we have had the biggest impact.. wasting 1/3 of the land and all that energy that we currently use.. by wasting the food that we’ve produced.. is one of the most gratuitous (lacking good reason, uncalled for, unwarranted) aspects of human culture as it stands today..t

38 min – t: at the moment we are trashing our land to grow food that no one eats..t

d: i really see preventing food waste as a parallel to energy efficiency.. you think about both energy and food.. they’re resource intensive industries facing an increase in demand as the population grows and as the world population increases in affluence.. t

affluence w/o abundance ness

j (?): from an energy perspective.. there’s an estimate that about 4% of all us energy consumption is embedded in the food that we ultimately toss.. so 4% of all the energy we’re using.. is being thrown away

39 min – j(?): it’s difficult to think of water as a precious commodity esp for people who don’t live in desert/drought ridden communities.. but the water that’s embedded in the food we throw out could meet the household needs of 500 million people..t

t: one of the problems when food waste started being picked up by govts and they started doing studies on where and what kind of food was being wasted .. it immediately became apparent that by tonnage.. fruit/vegetables were being wasted the most.. and so a lot of campaigning went into focusing on fruit/veg waste.. and that’s not a bad thing.. but.. although the tonnage for meat and dairy waste are much smaller.. the resource use rep’d by that waste.. making dairy products.. is far greater.. you use vastly more land and other resources to produce meat/dairy products than veg products

40 min – d: (on leftover hamburgers at a bbq)..   ..t

t: we’d have to use our land in a sensitive way to plan/manage it in a way that ensures that people are fed and ensures the longterm health of the ecosystem that we depend on for our survival

41 min – jen: it’s a lot diff than what i thought.. i thought we’d be really scrounging for food.. but it’s more like mass quantities of certain foods.. the scale of the stuff we’ve seen so far is pretty shocking and i think we’ve only seen like the littlest bit

rob greenfield et al

42 min – grant: it’s been impossible to track the amount of food we’ve found.. often we’re looking at the top few inches.. and it’s 8 ft deep.. it’s been challenging enough to log everything that we’ve actually taken

jen: in first month alone we brought home $1127 of food.. only spent $33.. after that it got so out of control i couldn’t even monitor it anymore

43 min – grant: starting to lose the excitement of finding tons of food like this.. but ultimately what we’re doing is it’s not reducing the amount of waste.. somebody’s losing money on this .. it gets thrown out

jen: on one hand i’m happy we found food.. on other.. guilty.. because it’s such a shame that so much food is going to waste.. and it’s really depressing



45 min – j: discing in food or plowing it under is certainly helpful to the soil.. it gets the nutrients back to the soil and helps the soil become more fertile.. but when you think about the resources that go into producing our food.. if we were to rescue those foods and channel them to people who need it.. that’s a much better use of the resources/nutrients.. than simply plowing it under

46 min – j: gleaning is the process of going out into to fields that have already been harvested and recovering foods that would be plowed under.. recover food and get it to people who need it..

47 min – j: gleaning goes back to new testament and used to refer to the hungry folks going to the fields and picking what would have been left behind.. changes since then.. now gleaning looks diff and is basically volunteers harvesting food for the hungry..

that obviously isn’t working..  are the hungry waiting for us to gather them food when we get out of work/school? at thanksgiving..? we can do so much better.. ie: ginorm/small farm\ing ness.. everyone

48 min – j: there’s a secondary motivation in that .. it’s a whole lot of fun.. to get out into the fields and get your hands dirty.. play a role in our food system.. connect to where our food comes from

yes.. should be all of us.. not just the rich/leisurely for the poor.. ie: holmgren indigenous law et al

50 min – grant: i’ve gained 10 lbs.. i think it’s a combo of processed foods.. and just stuffing myself when we’ve got copious amounts of one thing.. the race is not trying to find food.. it’s trying to not waste it again

52 min – d: about 60% of consumers are throwing food away prematurely because they don’t understand what the dates are telling them..

t: it’s been shown .. a million tons just in the uk.. of food.. are wasted in people’s homes because of date labels..t

d: there’s two buckets of dates out there 1\ sell by – really a communication between the manufacturer and the stores

t: that date shouldn’t appear.. it should be encoded so that only staff understand it because it confuses people

d: then this whole other bucket of dates 2\ use/enjoy by – which consumers are meant to see.. and those dates are indicators of quality and not safety..t

53 min – daniel miller (food labeling): there’s no reg that prevent them from selling it after the best before date because there is not safety concern

j: the only thing required by law to have an expiration date in the us is infant formula..t

d: other than that there’s really no other food product that has a federal regulation

54 min – grant: dumpster size of swimming pool filled w hummus.. initially i thought it must have all gone bad.. but had 3.5 weeks left on the best before date.. when we started the project.. i had prepared myself to see it (waste) but when you’re actually standing in front of something like that.. it’s totally diff

55 min – j: there’s this misconception that simply throwing something away isn’t a big deal because food is bio degradable.. yes.. that’s true if ie: throw apple core in woods.. problem comes when all that waste is aggregated.. and it decomposes w/o air in a landfill.. that anaerobic condition is what creates methane.. which is a green house gas that’s more than 20x as potent as co2 at traffic (?) heat.. so essentially we’re creating climate change from our kitchen waste bins

and in plastic wrap

d: putting food into land fill is just a huge waste of resources.. if nothing else.. those are resources we could be capturing and reusing..

56 min – j: so there’s this hierarchy of uses for our food.. top: feeding people; feeding animals; create energy from it; then.. composting.. get resources back into soil.. only if we can’t do any of the above should we be land filling or incinerating or sending our food to the waste water treatment plant .. in real life.. it’s flipped around and the majority of our food waste does end up going to the land fill.. in the’s about 97% of all the food waste that’s created ends up in a landfill or an incinerator

57 min – t: we need a robust system for ensuring food waste can be recycled; fed to livestock; turned back into a resource that we can use

58 min – pig farm in las vegas to eat that food waste and turn it into protein – rc farms rescues just 8% of the food waste from the vegas strip and feeds 2500 swine

1:03 – t: i don’t know of a single incidence where a single company has been sued by a recipient of free donated food.. so i think very often they’re using the ‘fear of being sued’ to cover their shame

1:04 – j: so in the us.. anyone (person & org) who wants to donate food can do so free of fear from being sued.. there’s a federal shield law called the good samaritan act that protects people who give food that they deem to be in good shape..t

j: from my perspective it’s a completely unfounded fear

t: i think the co’s are morally responsible for assuring that the food in their custody gets to people who need it and doesn’t end up in the bin.. and we.. the public have a responsibility to demand that that takes place..t

1:05 – jen: store filled with donated food.. good in between of good banks and stamps

(ken march): quest saves roughly 4 mn dollars a year in food – goal is to help those in need and not those who have.. if we didn’t salvage.. would end up in landfill – there are warehouses.. million sq ft of food products.. easiest thing to do w/it is dump it.. and a large part of dumping is simple econ


1:08 – t: what we need is to believe that wasting food is not acceptable.. it comes down to citizen morals… it comes down to cultural attitudes essentially..

d: there are all sorts of changes we can make in our own personal lives to just start chipping away at how much food we’re wasting: 1\ use freezers more – you can freeze almost anything.. and it’s a really great last minute thing to do if you think you’re not gonna get around to eating something

j: if you’re someone who likes to just shop once/week then it’s really important to 2\ plan out meals.. make a detailed shopping list.. and really stick to that..

j: or it might make more sense to have 3\ more smaller frequent trips and just buy what you need

d: we can 4\ start making dinner by thinking of what we have and less about what we’re in the mood for

1:09 – t: it doesn’t require a complete revolution in terms of the way we treat food.. it’s just tweaking it slightly .. and usually in delicious way

well.. it does if we want everyone to eat.. to have that luxury

1:09 – (on project being over) jen: i think i’ll still try to 5\ buy food that is imperfect.. and look for food that other people wouldn’t buy

1:10 – grant: of everything i learned.. my new sense of value for food is what’s going to stick w me the most (jen: g used to look in fridge and say.. nothing.. and go get sushi.. but now he’s learned how to prepare foods.. and it makes him happy.. interest in the kitchen)

jen: he actually made this little bin that says: eat me first   .. on it

1:11 – grant: i definitely won’t miss having to go and search for food.. but i’m probably still going to have a peek from time to time.. i mean.. how can you not

during the 6 month project jen and grant spent less that $200 on groceries and rescued over $20 000 of food

d: just by being aware of it.. you’ll make a diff.. you can’t help it.. you start to see it everywhere you go.. food waste we can handle.. it’s something we can actually do something about, we can do something about it now


agri surplus







storage – testart storage law



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Passionate zero wasters, food rescuers, and community builders. Filmmakers behind  and The Clean Bin Project ()

vancouver, bc



SDG2030 (@SDG2030) tweeted at 3:08 PM – 20 Jan 2019 :
French super markets are banned from throwing unsold food
Edible food must be donated to charity
Before that 7.1 million tons of food was throw away @wef
@ConsulFranceNYC @franceonu @deespeak @olavkjorven @FAOKnowledge @AUThackeray @MikeAdamOnAir @MikeBloomberg @biz (


United Nations (@UN) tweeted at 4:06 AM – 26 Oct 2019 :
About 1/3 of food produced for human consumption worldwide is wasted, costing the global economy nearly US$750 billion annually.
See what steps YOU can take to #StopTheWaste. – via @WFP (