If you are at all interested in the lives of celebrity chefs, then you have heard of Anthony Bourdain. From his many books to his film and television productions, he has moved from being a chef to a producer of food media. In his most recent work, he tackles the issue of food waste. His newest movie is titled: Wasted! The Story of Food Waste. As can be gleaned from the title, the documentary follows the different aspects of how we as a society waste food. Bourdain make it a point to say he hates being an advocate, but the movie doesn’t actually focus on him all that much. Instead, it looks at each stage of food production and consumption to show just how much food we waste.
Where do you think your food waste goes? How long do you think it takes for a head of lettuce to decompose in a landfill? I can guarantee you that it’s longer than the time it takes for it to decompose in your compost.
What makes Wasted the film to watch isn’t just that it opens your eyes to how much food we waste, but positive measures that are being done to address it. Even though Bourdain (in his own words) would have preferred to guilt us all into saving food and consuming it with care - the film is very uplifting. All around the world, innovation are taking shape to solve this problem. In Japan and Korea, food waste is not only measured by household, it is put into the mouths of livestock and reused. An elementary school in New Orleans teaches children how to grow food and how not to waste it. Celebrity chefs make an appearance took, from Mario Batali to Massimo Bottura, to explain to us why we need to stop wasting food.
We don’t necessarily think about the relationship that our society has with food. After watching this film, I admittedly am driven to think about my own habits in wasting food. It’s a global problem that extends from how we make food to how we eat it. Luckily there are small ways we can all contribute. Plan your grocery shopping, use more food scraps, compost, put some thought into how you treat your food after you’ve finished eating it and read more tips here.
You might find this hard to believe if you have seen this film or have even heard about its focus, but this is a true story.
Set in the 1990’s, this film portrays the widely televised case between infamous Holocaust denier David Irving and historian and professor of Holocaust studies, Deborah Lipstadt. Irving interrupts Lipstadt’s lectures and sues her for libel in the courts of the United Kingdom. This is important to note because in the United States, the burden of proof lays with the plaintiff. But in the U.K, it is vice versa. So, Lipstadt has to prove that when she accused him of being a Holocaust denier, that she wasn’t committing libel, rather that he did in fact deny the Holocaust and in doing so, lied.
This is a gripping story - emotions and tensions run at an all time high. I found myself consistently asking the questions: 1) How could anyone deny the Holocaust? and 2) How could it even get this far?
Lipstadt and her legal team clash on how to go about handling the case. She wants to testify on behalf of herself and also have Holocaust survivors testify as well. But, her team wisely advises against it as Irving has re-traumatized survivors, in the past. They don’t want to put the Holocaust on trial. So much is at risk, for if they lose the case, it would open the door for deniers to negate such a critical, horrific period in human history. Not only that, but it would dishonour the victims and re-traumatize the survivors at the very least. Needless to say, this was a herculean task Lipstadt and her legal team face.
I won’t include any spoilers, for I strongly encourage everyone to watch this film. But I will say that it is very important, especially in today’s world with the rise of the alt-right, neo-Nazis, and other similar hate groups. Although history has many sides and the victors generally write it, one cannot simply rewrite it or deny the existence of certain events, especially ones as awful as the Holocaust. Instead, we bear the responsibility to remember in order to avoid repeating such atrocities.
Check out the film here: