We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash? Filmmakers and ...
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We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash? Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping and survive only on discarded food. What they find is truly shocking.Written by
A likable, nicely shot, important and informative doc, often shocking as it shows just how much perfectly good food goes to waste in the U.S. and Canada (it's more than you think – even if you think it's a LOT).
The central element: director Grant Baldwin and his mate and film-making partner Jen Rustemeyer decide to live for 6 months only on food that is discarded. Far from having to ingest disgusting half-eaten snacks, they find a plethora of high end, terrific, nutritious foods, sometimes tossed because they were at – or just somewhat near – their 'sell by' date (which the film explains has little real world relation to freshness or health), or because of minor cosmetic blemishes, or sometimes – as with boxes upon boxes of high end chocolate bars and containers of hummus – for no obvious reason at all (they check for food warnings and recalls to make sure they're not accidentally poisoning themselves).
Along the way we also see interviews with various experts on food waste, meet organic farmers, and get glimpses of how crazy the waste through the whole system is – from farm to store to home. (For just one of many examples; celery routinely has a large number of perfectly good stalks from each plant cut off to make packaging and shipping a bit easier, leaving behind a field full of top rate, unblemished chopped off stalks.) It's all educational and often maddening.
That said, it's not a film I feel a need to own. It's not a particularly emotional or deep experience, and the facts it shares are straightforward and clear. So I don't think it's something I need to see again, as glad as I was to have seen it once. That's both a strength – the film accomplishes it's goal of awakening the viewer admirably and efficiently – and a weakness – as a film it doesn't transcend from enlightening and entertaining lecture to an artistic experience.
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