I’m not a picky eater. In fact, I can only name two things I absolutely hate: peas and asparagus. But there are just some things I am unwilling to try and this is one of them:
Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin, married couple and filmmakers, embarked on a journey, for six months, of dumpster diving for their food. They documented their pilgrimage in a 75-minute film that won rave reviews in Canada. The film is also available on Amazon Prime and iTunes . The pair said they were not concerned about scurvy or E. coli because they felt their mission, to uncover why 40 percent of food is wasted, was far too important to neglect just because they were a little nervous about illness. “I just didn’t believe the stat that 40% of food gets wasted,” said Jen. “We wanted to point fingers and see who was doing it.”
Before you scoff at dumpster diving, watch the trailer:
Sad, right? I was surprised to find myself tearing up over Rustemeyer and Baldwin’s operation, but if you get beyond the whole “dumpster thing” it’s actually in the name of a really good cause. Roughly 133 billion pounds of food get wasted every year in the United States. Economically speaking, that’s $161.6 billion dollars wasted.
The most unsettling thing about all that waste is the fact that 7.1 billion people go hungry every single day. Considering the amount of food we waste equates to 141 trillion calories, each of those hungry people could consume 1294 calories in a day.
What’s worse is the discarded food isn’t necessarily scraps leftover from a hefty dinner. It’s whole foods that have been tossed out due to tiny blemishes (like a banana with a bruise) that makes them undesirable.
The good news is there are plenty of organizations out there fighting against this very thing. The bad news is it isn’t enough. In the United States, especially, we need to be more cognizant of how much we are purchasing and throwing out. One way to use unwanted or spoiled food is to compost it. While compost piles are generally thought to be useful for those with a green thumb, they are actually a soil conditioner and allow for many nutrients to sink back into the ground, providing your grass with an economical way to fertilize.