Wasted! The Story of Food Waste is an eye-opening documentary produced and narrated by author, traveler, foodie, and television personality Anthony Bourdain. It’s supported by Zero Point Zero Films which has followed Bourdain on other food-related adventures in the past and backed by The Rockefeller Foundation which made a $130 million commitment to cut food waste in half by 2030.

The film takes us around the world, showing us what we humans are doing right and wrong in equal measure.

On the one hand, we get to meet passionate people like chef and sustainability expert Dan Barber as he leads his staff in a roundtable discussion of plant utilization, chewing on roots and pulling apart blossoms. We follow Chef Danny Bowien to Japan where they raise waste-fed pigs and he learns their techniques. He eats chicken areolas and pig rectums and dubs the meal the best he’s ever had, proving that every part of an animal can be used. We journey to a school in New Orleans teaching young children how to compost. Their excitement for growing and eating their own food is infectious. Master Chef and restaurateur Massimo Bottura shares with us how he is using his influence for good to recruit other chefs to stop waste.

On the other hand, it exposes sad truths like the way grocery stores steer us away from good food; the ways they strategically stock their shelves to trick us into buying things we don’t need and ignoring things we do. It teaches us the science behind landfills and greenhouse gases – did you know it would take a head of lettuce 25 years to fully decompose in a landfill?! It reveals the way poor communities are often forced to turn to fast food instead of whole, nutritious meals, creating health issues and a lack of knowledge about nutrition – problems that are passed from generation to generation.

Though the film is filled with eco-buzzwords like ‘sustainable’ and ‘renewable energy’, it isn’t inaccessible. You aren’t ever left thinking “Well sure, that’s great, but I couldn’t do that.” It puts things into simple terms and shows small ways you can make changes in your life that seem perfectly doable. Nor is Bourdain on some high horse. Quite the opposite; he admits early on that he sees the role of ‘activist’ and turns tail. He just feels how he feels (in his charmingly blunt way) after years of experience in kitchens and traveling around the world, and this documentary just so happens to align with those feelings.

While the film is great and has a strong message, it runs the risk of being white noise amongst all the pro-vegan, pro-organic, anti-fast food, anti-conglomerate, food conspiracy documentaries out there nowadays. For that reason alone, it may not cure us all of our wastefulness right away. However, if you do watch it, it does have an effect. You might just find that after watching, you in turn look past the “Sell By” date on a can of tomatoes in your cupboard or experiment with chicken innards instead of chucking them in the trash. And what a good thing that would be! First one person, then another person, then a group of us, and then the world.

Wasted! The Story of Food Waste is available on VOD October 13th.

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