A lot of people look at movie watching and think “it’s great because it entertains me for a couple of hours”. But what if the movie night could actually turn into something educational?
I have been hooked on watching documentaries lately. And being more and more concerned about the amount of food wasted globally, I thought that watching documentaries about food waste was a great idea. So over the last couple of weeks, I have gone through “all” the big food waste documentaries out there (with the English language) and made a list.
This is my list.
Table of Contents
- In a hurry? Here’s the full list of recommended food waste documentaries
- No impact man
- Wasted! The Story of Food Waste
- Global Waste: The Scandal Of Food Waste (2011)
- Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story
- “What The Health?”
In a hurry? Here’s the full list of recommended food waste documentaries
|Title||IMDB Rating||Release year||Trailer (Youtube link)|
|No impact man||6.7||2009||Click|
|Wasted! The story of food waste||7.4||2017||Click|
|Global Waste: The Scandal Of Food Waste||6.3||2016||Click|
|Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story||7.3||2014||Click|
|“What The Health?”||7.4||2017||Click|
If you find interest in any of the movies, I have written an honest review of each and every one of them below. Feel free to have a look. 🙂
No impact man
How do you go a full year without making no net environmental impact?
Colin Beavan teamed up with his wife Michelle Conlin to make a documentary about consumption. How does it work to put two Manhattan citizens out on a journey in order to create zero environmental impact throughout a full year?
“No impact man” is not only about food waste or another type of pollution. It is also a story that tells us how difficult it is to live in today’s society without creating trash. Society has made it that way. People really have to try hard in order to not be a part of a growing environmental problem.
Despite not being only about food waste, this is a movie that is rather interesting. When I first heard about the project, I thought: “no way, that is simply impossible!”. But once you actually see how dedicated these people are, you start to understand that the movie will be quite a good one.
What I first thought when I saw the trailer for this movie was that they would move away in some cabin on the mountain. Bring their fishing equipment and a gun to shoot animals. But no, the movie is actually filmed mainly in Manhattan, New York – which I think is the most vital part to why this movie “succeeded”.
The dedication level from Mr. Beavan is strong in this movie. And what adds a very interesting dimension to the project is that he only got a semi-supportive wife.
PS! I can see that I am pretty aligned with what most people think on IMDB (Internet Movie DataBase) as it currently got a star rating of 6.7/10 .
Wasted! The Story of Food Waste
The full history of Food Waste.
This movie is starring a lot of the famous chefs in the world. They are trying to sell you the idea that food waste is not necessary if you just know how to deal with groceries in a proper way. That is the whole idea behind the documentary.
It also goes deep into the climate change discussion. 40 % of the food produced in the US goes to waste. And the movie will show you how deforestation is deeply linked to the food that goes to waste. The third element in this video is featuring the social consequences of wasting food. It is one very famous quote from the movie that I remember:
“We literally take the food out of the homeless mouths and put it on the landfill. It is madness!”
In other words: “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” got a very clear recipe (pun intended):
1) Show you how you should deal with food in order to minimize your food waste.
2) Show you that if you don’t follow these (simple) steps, there will be big social and environmental consequences.
This is the food waste documentary that I really felt that “everyone should see”. One of the biggest contributors to climate change is the food that we throw away. This is a documentary that really got the right format:
1) It presents objective and relevant facts in a nice way.
2) In addition to that, it digs deep down to the small stories about how we can prevent food waste.
3) The movie is highly inspirational. After the movie ended you sit with a feeling that “oh, I really don’t want to throw the rest of the popcorn in the trash can!”
Global Waste: The Scandal Of Food Waste (2011)
“Short” documentary about food waste.
No trailer available online, but you can see this small TedTalks clip where the star of the movie, Tristram Stuart, talks about the global food waste problem:
Documentary in French about food waste. You can read more on IMDB.
In my opinion, this is maybe not the best documentary about food waste out there. And that is not because it got a low budget or anything like that. In fact, I think the production itself was quite good.
But the movie really tries to include too many topics at once. Despite the fact that “food waste” seems like a narrow topic for someone, it really isn’t. It is quite complex. And I just feel that “The Scandal Of Food Waste” tries to tell too many stories:
1) About what is being done by politicians – and more importantly: what is not being done.
2) About small businesses that try to make a change for the better.
3) How you, the person watching this movie, can and should change your habits to produce less food waste.
4) ….and so on.
You might also quickly notice that the documentary only lasts for 54 minutes. So a combination of too many topics and a very short movie, unfortunately, end up being pretty bad.
Score: 3/10, no need to watch.
Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story
What does it take for two “normal” persons to change the food industry in the US in order to minimize food waste? A lot.
This movie is made by a couple of normal people living their everyday lives and suddenly starting to think: “Ouch, I think I am throwing out an awful lot of food! How can I minimize that?”. Jenny Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin really want to find out why the amount of food waste is so huge in our society.
In order to do so, they dig into the routines of the grocery stores. They look at consumer behavior. And they see what it takes to change not only their personal habits but the whole food industry to become more environmentally friendly.
The movie also includes several farmers telling their story. That story is very often the same: they want to sell all their fruit, but that is rejected. It is rejected by supermarket chain saying “no to ugly fruit”. This is an element in the movie that will be considered provocative by a lot of viewers. Big, American corporations throwing away loads of fruit and vegetables in order to make their fruit departments look a bit “cleaner”:
A very American story about food waste. And by “American”, I mean that it is made to touch upon your feelings. And that is very good. Documentaries should not only educate people, they should also try to make people do something about the problem.
And “Just Eat It” is a story that really makes you want to go out and act. It really makes you want to pick up the phone, call your friend and tell him or her about why that person should not waste food. Why supermarkets should stop throwing “ugly food”. And why each and every person living in the society got a responsibility to prevent food waste as much as they can.
Some of the facts overlap a bit with “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste”, but you wont be bored if you see both these movies. You should maybe try to not see them
“What The Health?”
Did you REALLY believe that you could trust the global health organizations?! Hah!
Despite the fact that it is not directly related to food waste, I still want to include “What The Health” in the list. Kip Andersen, which made the infamous “Cowspiracy”, is a very interesting filmmaker.
The movies` slogan is “The Health Film That Health Organizations Don’t Want You To See”, which is quite describing. Andersen makes a point out of revealing that leading health organizations in US are sponsored by leading profit-seeking companies in the meat industry. Well, not only are they sponsored. They are, according to this documentary, also willing to provide false information to the public due to the fact that they are given money from certain companies.
If you ever believed that you can trust everything from health organizations: you should really watch this movie. Despite the fact that I have seen a lot of documentaries about food and health, this is probably the most shocking one.
I would simply say: see it! And if you like it, you should give “Cowspiracy” a chance as well. Very well documented and just as shocking.
This movie is not perfect – and it is not ever going to be perfect. But I really just listed all the food waste documentaries that I have seen personally. Writing a lot of fake movie reviews in order to get visitors to your website is not something that I would ever do. But…if you know of some relevant documentary within this genre that I should see: feel free to comment in the comment section below.
And please note that the movie should be accessible through legal channels (Netflix, Amazon Movie database, free upload on Youtube, etc.). But I am more than happy to hear suggestions from people who have seen movies that I haven’t.
By the way, I also wanted to let you know that we have a list over all the documentaries related to environmental issues. On that list you will find movies like Before The Flood (made by Leonardo DiCaprio about climate change) and Ten Biillion (about overpopulation). Worth to have a look if you are interested in these topics.
Please don’t get me wrong. Watching food waste documentaries is excellent, but there are a lot of other topics out there related to the environment that you maybe should check out.
1 thought on “Best Food Waste documentaries available”
What happens to the food waste?
The food waste that is delivered in the green food waste bags is sent to ME where it is converted into fertilizer and biogas. The fertilizer is used as a soil improver, and biogas is used as fuel for the buses in Trondheim.
Why is it important to sort out food waste from other waste?
By doing this properly, you are helping to keep important substances in circulation, including phosphorus – which is a scarce resource and a very important building block for all life on earth. In addition, you contribute to reduced use of fertilizers and you contribute to reduced greenhouse gas emissions by the buses using biogas for fuel instead of diesel.