A film night focused on food

Photo by Kayano Waite

Whitby Ajax Garden project volunteers Darlene Dzura, left, and Victoria Templar

Imagine not buying groceries for months at a time. Or only being able to eat food found in dumpsters. That’s what filmmakers Grant Baldwin and Jenny Rustemeyer did for six months.

Their film was recently shown at the Regent Theatre in Oshawa where several dozen locals saw the movie for free.

The documentary Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story is an award-winning documentary about a married couple who choose not to not buy shelved food for six months. The film also shows how much food the food industry and consumers waste on food products.

According to the film, In the U.S., nearly 40 per cent of food goes uneaten. y. This is worth more than $30 billion worth of food wasted yearly, according to the Toronto Food Policy Council.

Large amounts of organic material going to landfills makes methane gas, which become hazardous to the environment.

The event was hosted by the Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee, together with the Region of Durham and UOIT.

The chair of the Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee, Susan Hall, said the film could teach viewers about actions to not waste food.

“We picked this movie in part because it ties food waste to climate change,” she said.  Also in part because we haven’t done a movie that focused on food and waste like this before.”

The overall focus of the night was on waste reduction, food production and climate change.

There were several displays set up before the movie started. One of them belonged to the Whitby Ajax Garden Project.

The Whitby Ajax Garden project is a not-for-profit community and communal garden.

Volunteer Victoria Templer says food made in the garden goes to several agencies, including local churches, food banks, shelters and the Boys and Girls Club.

Templer says DC students have helped with pest control at the garden over the past two years. “They and their teacher came out. They would go through all the garden, find out what was infecting our vegetables and then come back and give us a small report,” she said.

Shane Jones, a horticulture professor from Durham College, was the guest speaker of the night.

Jones agreed with the view of the film. He says people may not think much about how much food they’re wasting.

“What I found is that we have a greater respect for our food when we’re physically growing it,” he said. “When we’re the ones physically putting our hands in soil, when we’re the ones watering day after day, when we’re the ones pulling off weeds, when we do all of that we have a greater connection to our food and a greater respect for it”.

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Kayano is a second-year Broadcast Journalism student at DC. His focus lies in the arts, focusing primarily in film and television. He also hosts a show "Black Camera" on Riot Radio. Kayano hopes to be a television writer.