By Peter Jarvis
It was standing room only for Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin’s screening of their latest film, Just Eat It – a food waste story, at the South Cariboo Health Centre in 100 Mile House on March 3.
The film is a hilarious romp through the subject of wasted food as the pair attempt to live for six months on discarded food, and in the process, uncovered equal amounts of shocking waste and silly rules that increase the amount of food waste we produce.
The film explored the many issues enhancing the problem – food expiry labelling, customer psychology (the last item on a display or misshapen cucumber), the end destination of unsold food (landfill) and the waste of the world’s scarce resources (land, fertilizer, gas, water, etc.) and, most importantly, many hungry people.
Interestingly, although stores claim liability issues both in Canada and the United States, there is legal protection for those donating food.
A lively question-and-answer session followed the film and Grant revealed he had not been sick during the exercise, but had become sick at a five-star restaurant afterwards. He also mentioned a European restaurant that serves only discarded food and that European food-waste regulations are as nonsensical as those in North America.
When asked how we could change the mindset of grocery store chains, Jen suggested starting with polite words questioning procedures, escalating to letters to head offices and governments, followed by protests.
The South Cariboo Sustainability Society (SCSS) and Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society thanked Jen and Grant for their presentation and wished them success as they continue their tour around the Cariboo.
Incidentally, Jen and Grant’s previous film, The Clean Bin Project, will be shown at the SCSS film series at the Employment Centre on March 26 (see What’s On on page page A22).
Peter Jarvis is a South Cariboo Sustainability Society director.