Just Eat It film screening and Discussion with Tristram Stuart in Liverpool
As part of the Food For Real Festival (www.foodforreal.co.uk), Liverpool Food People welcomed the chance to meet with Tristram Stuart from Feedback and hold a conversation about food surplus and waste within a Liverpool context. We invited Charlene Spencer from Fareshare Merseyside, Natalie Hughes-Crean and Gabby Holmes from The Real Junk Food Project Liverpool, Kathryn Casserley from Faiths4Change and Nina Edge, local food activist & green campaigner to join us. Our discussion covered current activity around food surplus in Liverpool – Fareshare Merseyside redistribute surplus food to over 100 charities and community organisations working with vulnerable people in the region; Faiths4Change enable people to learn and work together, for example teaching how to use leftovers and improving cooking skills; and newly established The Real Junk Food Project Liverpool intercept surplus/ soon to be out of date/ use by food and serve it up on a Pay As You Feel basis. Their recent “Binner” party was a great success and diverted 30 kilos of food from the bin and used it to feed 40 people. Liverpool Food People are chasing data on what happens to food waste across the city – from schools to hospitals to homes. One thing we know for sure, too much food is going to landfill in the Liverpool City Region, something that the event sponsor Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority are particularly keen to address.
Just Eat It (www.foodwastemovie.com) was shown at the Odeon in Liverpool One to over 100 people, and was followed by a Q &A session with Tristram. The film itself presented powerful examples of how food is wasted within our society as it followed the story of Grant Baldwin and Jenny Rustemeyer, who embark upon a six month experiment of eating only food that has been discarded or is about to be discarded. Images that stay with you after the film include the swimming pool sized container full of discarded but still edible hummus; the boxes and boxes of Green & Black chocolate thrown away because of a label misprint; and the journey of a pepper, from seed to processing plant to supermarket to domestic fridge, whence it sits, rots and is binned, wasting all of the energy that has gone into its production.
Tristram Stuart was one of three activists who feature in the documentary, and the audience appreciated the opportunity to be able to ask him questions after the screening. One particular issue that kept cropping up was the confusion created by sell by, use by and best before dates – something that everyone needs re-educating upon. Another was the “legal” argument – fear of getting sued after redistributing surplus food that has a short or expired so called shelf life.
So how do we tackle this? Direct action, re-education, campaigning and active demonstration were all discussed. Is it time for a Feeding 5K event in Liverpool? We think so. Squash Nutrition (the grassroots arts organisation behind the Food
For Real Festival) held a Disco “Scouse” in Toxteth as part of the film festival – inspired by Disco Soupe, this was our regional version with 50 volunteer cooks making pans of blind (veggie) Scouse served with salads, pickles & breads to 600 people. All the food was donated via Fareshare Merseyside, Homebaked Anfield and Claremont Farm. There’s an appetite for this – let’s make the next event even bigger!
Contact details for the organisations mentioned:
Squash Nutrition – www.squashnutrition.org
Liverpool Food People – http://sustainablefoodcities.org/findacity/cityinformation/userid/44
Faiths4Change – www.faiths4change.org.uk
Real Liverpool Junk Food Project – www.therealjunkfoodprojectliverpool.org
Fareshare Merseyside – www.fareshare.org.uk/regional-centres/merseyside/
Homebaked Anfield – www.homebaked.org.uk
Claremont Farm – www.claremontfarm.co.uk
Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority – www.merseysidewda.gov.uk
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