March 27, 2018
On Tuesday, April 10, Quincy Climate Action Network will cosponsor, along with the Thomas Crane Public Library and the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station, the new documentary film Wasted! The Story of Food Waste.
In the film, solid-waste experts, along with celebrity foodies such as TV chef Anthony Bourdain and writer Mark Bittman, discuss how Americans can help save money, lives, and the planet – and experience some great new dishes – by taking a more thoughtful approach to food. The movie will screen at 7 p.m. at the library’s main branch at 40 Washington Street in Quincy.
Wasted reveals some uncomfortable facts about Americans’ relationship with food, including the fact that a shocking 40% of the food produced in the US goes to waste, worth $1 trillion annually. It also reveals that food production is the biggest cause of deforestation and that soy and corn grown to feed pigs, animals that do better on a diet of food scraps, could feed far more people than the number that currently go hungry. Crucially, it also points out that methane emissions resulting from rotting food in landfills make a major contribution to climate change.
The film outlines a hierarchy of strategies for reducing food waste and mitigating its effects. Best of all, food should feed people rather than go to waste; second best, it can feed farm animals; third best, food that can’t be consumed can be turned into electric power in anaerobic digesters such as the one run by Stop and Shop stores in Freetown, Mass.; and if all of those options fail, it can be turned into rich organic fertilizer through composting.
Among the novel projects featured in the film are Toast Ale, a UK-based business that uses surplus bread in its brewing formula, and the Daily Table, a Dorchester, Mass., nonprofit store that sells affordable groceries, including fresh produce, that would otherwise be discarded by for-profit supermarkets. The film also shows chefs crafting delicious-looking dishes that use foods or parts of foods that normally get thrown away.
After the film’s showing in Quincy, the city’s director of waste management, John Sullivan, will award one audience member a free composter that can turn food scraps into rich garden soil. The composters normally cost $25 at the Department of Public Works at 55 Sea Street.
The film’s cosponsor, the Quincy Climate Action Network, is working to get the city to join a growing number of other communities, including Cambridge, Mass., in picking up food waste along with trash and recycling in an effort to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“If you’re looking for an entertaining film that will also show you ways to eat better and help reduce climate change, come and see Wasted,” said David Reich, QCAN board chair. “I can almost guarantee you will have a great time.”