Just Eat It
A Food Waste Story
Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of food waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge.
Directed by Grant Baldwin
Produced by Jenny Rustemeyer
Executive Producer: Melanie Wood
Director of Photography: Grant Baldwin
Editor: Grant Baldwin
Composer: Grant Baldwin
Writers: Grant Baldwin, Jenny Rustemeyer
A Peg Leg Films Production
[Note: Campus-wide screenings of JUST EAT IT can be booked at Bullfrog Communities.]
"In this hugely entertaining study of America's culture of excess...[the filmmakers] have drawn attention to an important, overlooked issue." Variety
Note: Spanish subtitles also available on DVD
We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash?
Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away. In a nation where one in 10 people are food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling. But as Grant's addictive personality turns full tilt towards food rescue, the "thrill of the find" has unexpected consequences.
Featuring interviews with TED lecturer, author and activist Tristram Stuart, acclaimed author Jonathan Bloom, and food/agriculture scientist Dana Gunders, JUST EAT IT looks at our systemic obsession with expiration dates, perfect produce and portion sizes, and reveals the core of this seemingly insignificant issue that is having devastating consequences around the globe. JUST EAT IT brings farmers, retailers, inspiring organizations, and consumers to the table in a cinematic story that is equal parts education and delicious entertainment.
Grade Level: 7 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2015
Copyright Date: 2014
DVD ISBN: 1-94154-548-3
"Powerful...Just Eat It delivers the real story about food waste in the developed world. This film will change your perspective; it will encourage you to waste less food; it might inspire you to join the movement to fix our food system."
Wynn Calder, Co-Director, Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future
"An enjoyable film. Just Eat It uses both everyday people and respected experts to create a personal look at the problem of food waste in industrialized societies. The problems and insights of the narrators personify the problem and create an accessible entry point for discussions about solving the enormous problem of food waste in our society."
Dr. Jeffrey Miller, Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University
"Offering real food for thought in a hungry world, this engaging and information film is highly recommended."
C. Cassady, Video Librarian
"Just Eat It explores the personal implications of a global environmental issue. The filmmaker's quest to live on food that would have been wasted is filled with moments that are authentic, challenging, and enlightening. This film is an excellent educational resource, and a wonderful conversation starter for those concerned about food waste and food security."
Dr. Kate Parizeau, Assistant Professor of Geography, Director of The Social Life of Waste program, University of Guelph
"Highly Recommended...School, public and college libraries will benefit by including Just Eat It in their collections, particularly for those populations concerned with the efficient application of resources."
Andrew Koval, Educational Media Reviews Online
"Hugely entertaining...Will leave audiences gobsmacked...Baldwin and Rustemeyer have drawn attention to an important, overlooked issue, and taught by example that a difference can be made, simply by tweaking rather than revolutionizing one's lifestyle."
Maggie Lee, Variety
"Just Eat It presents a compelling glimpse into the scale of the food waste problem in North America. While there are many contributors to the problem, the clear message is that personal choices are at the heart of the issue. The film shows that the food system cannot become a better steward of Earth's resources until we ask hard questions about consumption in our modern society."
Dr. Thomas A. Trabold, Associate Professor and Director, Center for Sustainable Mobility, Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology
"This film explains this important issue in a clear and teachable way. It's a great educational tool."
Jenny Ventling, School Library Journal
"Includes interesting information on buyer trends such as our tendency to make aesthetic purchases and our culture of abundance...Would serve well as a catalyst for a related inquiry project on topics related to sustainability, local food waste statistics, and so forth."
Green Teacher Magazine
"Funny, shocking and fascinating."
"Just Eat It is an entertaining (and sometimes horrifying) way to learn about the issue of wasted food. The film could be used to spark discussion in communities and in classrooms across a wide range of levels. For example, I'm hoping to host a screening and discussion here for our graduate students. And at the same time, my 10 year old walked by while I was watching it and got so interested he ended up staying."
Dr. Roni Neff, Director of Food System Sustainability and Public Health, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health, Johns Hopkins University
"A well-written and well-produced documentary."
Jimmy Tung, Science Books and Films
"Offers unsettling statistics--for example, the water required to produce one hamburger is the equivalent of a 90-minute shower--along with striking visuals--a field full of wasted celery stalks, a dumpster filled to the brim with containers of not-yet-expired hummus. After watching, you might just rethink going out to eat while those leftovers sit in the fridge another day."
Neil Genzlinger, NY Times
"Food Waste is one of the greatest problems in our food system today, from the farm to grocery store to the bulging refrigerator. This film combines expert testimony with the story of a young couple seeking their own solutions. At the very least, it will make you want to buy ugly fruit."
Ken Albala, Director of Food Studies, Professor of History, University of the Pacific
"Welcoming and highly accessible...This film adopts an experimental and inclusive tone that makes one feel empowered and inspired...It can only be hoped that this educational, entertaining, and potentially life-changing film will reach a wide audience, for if it does, a revolution in the way we eat surely is inevitable."
Talia C., The Arts Guild
"Just Eat It is funny, thought provoking, and is bound the steer the ship in the next wave of environmental consciousness, one best-before date at a time"
Montana Cumming, Link Magazine
"Just Eat It raises awareness of a significant environmental issue and examines what food waste looks like from a global perspective...Viewers will come to understand the tremendous amount of food that is wasted in our society, why there is such waste, how this food waste impacts society, and methods that can be used to reduce and reuse waste."
Teaching Sociology Journal
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2 versions on same DVD: original feature 73 mins and educational cut 50 mins
Teacher's Guide produced by Hot Docs' Docs for Schools
Top 12 Tips to Reduce Food Waste flyer
Coloring Book for younger audiences
English SDH Captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
The film's website
Host a campus-wide screening
Awards and Festivals
Best Documentary, Best Documentary Director, Best Documentary Musical Score, Leo Awards
Audience Award, CPH:DOX
VIFF Impact Award, Must See BC Winner, Runner Up Documentary Audience Award, Vancouver International Film Festival
Emerging Canadian Filmmaker & Top 20 Audience Choice, Hot Docs
Top 20 Audience Choice, International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam
People's Choice Award, Calgary International Film Festival
Best Environmental Film, Sedona International Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize, Environmental Film Festival at Yale
Festival Choice, One Earth Film Festival
Best Canadian Documentary, Edmonton International Film Festival
Best Canadian Feature, Planet in Focus
Audience Award, Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival
Cleveland International Film Festival
Festival Cinemambiente, Turin
Hollywood Film Festival
Durban International Film Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Long Beach International Film Festival
Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival
Sonoma International Film Festival
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
American Conservation Film Festival
Wild & Scenic Film Festival
San Francisco Green Film Festival
Portland EcoFilm Festival
Salt Spring Film Festival
One Earth Film Festival
London Green Film Festival
Climate Change/Global Warming
Food And Nutrition
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... more Reviews
"Smart, snappy documentary...While it might all seem a grim prospect, the film is lively, funny - Mr. Baldwin, in particular, has a dry 'Was what I said just funny?' sense of humour - and thought provoking...likely to prompt thoughtful audiences to look at the contents of their refrigerator with a new perspective."
Globe and Mail
"Just Eat It challenges our cultural obsession with abundance, of always having more than we need because we can have it."
Katherine Martinko, Treehugger
"Offers some eye-opening statistics and some real world solutions and delivers a serious message in a fun, easy-to-digest way...This vibrant and energetic film is insightful and interesting and will leave you hungry to know more."
Natalie Salvo, Human Rights Arts and Film Festival
"Quick-moving and insightful...an eye-opening examination of our attitudes toward food. By the end, you'll never look at that bumpy grocery store apple the same way again."
"In eye-popping (and often gorgeous) detail, Just Eat It illustrates how much food we waste in North America...After watching Just Eat It, I was moved to clean out my refrigerator and took a silent vow to be mindful of what I put back into it. Maybe next time I go to the farmers market I will buy that less-than-perfect piece of fruit, or that lonely bunch of greens."
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