I stumbled upon the Just Eat It: A Food Waste Movie* the other night. It was very interesting! I was able to watch it for free on Amazon Prime. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial*
First it followed a couple who had a goal of only living off of discarded food for 6 months. Their first donation was from their brother who was moving and needed to clear out his refrigerator. About a month into the experiment they started running out of staples and started getting nervous about how they would make meals. But they kept finding dumpsters after dumpsters full of food that hadn't met its expiration date yet. It was crazy to see how much food at a retail and wholesale level was literally being trashed.
Another part of the documentary had interviews with farmers and other people involved with food waste. It was so surprising to me to see how much waste was created from growers. They showed how a celery stock was harvested and cut down to make a heart of celery. Many of the outside stocks are trimmed to make sure it will fit in the plastic bag. So many stocks are trimmed that in a one square foot area the farmer estimated that there were 2 pounds of stocks, but that there was no market for the stray celery stalks that it wasn't worth the price of labor to pick them up.
In addition to the above examples of farm waste, the documentary introduced me to the idea of gleaning. Gleaning is where farmers allow volunteers to come in after the harvest to pick any remaining food typically to give to charity. Locally, there is a program called Society of St. Andrews. It is primarily focused in the South, however has some gleaning in some other states and is open to working in other parts of the nation. One of the pictures shows how 20,000 pounds of potatoes were collected from a Milton farm. I've signed up and hope that I'll be able to participate in a similar gleaning effort in the future.
Finally the movie showed the woman of the couple who was determined to live off of discarded food volunteer her time at Quest Grocery Store. That store, which is available in Canada is a bridge between a food pantry and a regular grocery store. All of the food in the store is donated from other stores. I was curious to see if there was a store like this locally and I couldn't find one. However I was able to find the Waste Not Want Not Jacksonville. This foundation is a group of volunteers which tries to connect food waste with those who need it. Jacksonville is about 5 hours away from Pensacola, so it's not really feasible to help volunteer with this group.
One change the couple made through this experience was to have a "use first" bin in their refrigerator. They would put leftover food or half onions or anything that needed to be used first. They would then make meals based around these items rather than creating more food and leftovers. I think this might be a good thing for Hubby and I to start doing. Occasionally I'll find a half of a tomato or onion that we didn't use because it got pushed to the back of the refrigerator.
I would recommend this movie if you are curious about food waste or want some motivation to tackle food waste. It made me want to see what local grocery stores are dumping!
*This is an affiliate link, read my disclosure here.Shared on Simply Natural Saturday, Homesteader Hop, Waste Less Wednesday