Sometimes, seeing is believing.
Whether you want to increase your own knowledge about the realities of food waste and what you can do about it, or if you want to introduce others to the issue, a good documentary is a great way to do that.
Here are our top 5 picks for food waste documentaries:
What exactly happens to food waste in a landfill? Why is that so much worse than composting? What are the real dangers and causes of food waste? How can we connect food waste in developed countries with food scarcity in others? And, most importantly, can individuals actually have a positive impact on this problem?
Wasted! is an incredible documentary featuring top chefs and a range of food industry experts gives an in depth look into the root of the problem, what we really need to do to change it (spoiler alert: it’s more about changing our habits than producing less) and the true impact each one of us can have.
BONUS: If you love to cook, this documentary will give you some incredible ideas for experimenting with your culinary skills!
Winner of ALL the awards (Best Documentary - Leo Awards, People’s Choice Award - Calgary International Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize - Yale Environmental, Best Canadian Feature - Planet in Focus, Top 20 Audience Picks - Hot Docs, and so, so many more), Just Eat It looks at our obsession with “pretty” food, meaningless expiry dates and the real impact of our food waste habit.
In answering the question, “What do we do about this?”, the Just Eat It filmmakers delve into “food rescue” - the practice of seeking out perfectly edible food that’s destined for the trash bin and turning it into something delicious. What they discover is eye-opening and inspiring. But you don’t have to go to extremes of dumpster diving to change the world. Just small alterations in your daily habits really can have a significant impact.
Now we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again… you don’t need to go to extremes to make a difference. However, if you want to go to extremes, this is an amazing documentary to check out.
Another big winner of countless awards, Dive! looks into the subculture of dumpster diving as a means of lessening one’s impact on the environment and the world. If anything, this documentary will open your eyes as wide as they can get to how much perfectly good food is being thrown out, for no good reason. You’ll find yourself wanting to scream, “WHY???!!!” And looking at dumpsters a little differently.
Focusing on the American food production industry, Sustainable asks the all-important (and pretty scary) question… is this sustainable?
How much longer can our planet support our habits? How much longer can our economy support it? What about the global economy? How far are we from the point of no return?
Despite the scary truth to these questions, Sustainable is a phenomenally hope-filled film that explores the very feasible changes we can make (and that some people and businesses are already making) in order to turn this problem around for the good of our planet and our economy.
Produced by Electrolux (yes, the appliance makers) this series of ten video chapters explore different aspects of food waste and what we can do about it.
Each chapter is no more than a few minutes long and features food tech specialist, Johan Jӧrgensen, top chef, Dan Barber, urban farming pioneer, Anastasia Cole Plakias and more. The chapters are fact-based and share real solutions and ideas for how we can make the world a better place. Of course, there is a chapter about the benefits of freezing food to reduce waste… probably because the company makes freezers, but it is nonetheless factual and valuable information.
If you’re looking to introduce a friend, family member or even your group or class to food waste, Ten Stories About Food Waste is a great starting point.
Expired is a short film (less than 6 minutes long) exploring the reality of “sell by” and “best before” dates through a look into the extreme labelling laws in Montana. Sell by dates are something we often don’t question. Why would we? They must be determined scientifically to ensure only safe-to-consume foods are being sold, right? Watch the film and learn the truth.