Movie Screening: Dive!
by Jessica Jorgensen
Ninety-six billion pounds. That is the amount of food wasted in America each year. Documentary filmmaker, Jeremy Seifert, was troubled by this gruesome reality of a consumer culture that regards food as a disposable product. Every night while the city slept, Seifert and his friends made escapades to the supermarket dumpsters on the streets of L.A. He literally dove into dumpsters in search of food that was safe to feed his family. He didn’t have to search far. Seifert found so much food that his wife dreaded waking up every morning to the bounty they had gathered from the night before. It seemed like every morning there was more food than she could handle. The cooking and preserving became a daunting task. Seifert, and those of us watching the documentary last Wednesday, had to ask why this food is wasted in the midst of hunger and poverty even in our own country. Supermarkets were throwing away meat that was still one day away from its expiration, or a carton of 11 eggs because one had cracked, or a sack of tomatoes with one rotten one. This is not trash. Ask any hungry person on the street. Seifert went to these supermarket chains to discover why they weren’t giving this food to the hungry people who needed and wanted it.
Seifert helps us conceptualize the scale and scope of food waste in America. It is an insightful reflection on the opposing personal value and economic value of food in America.