A review of From Dumpster to Dinner Plate which is screening at the Fear No Film Festival - Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

While Horman received numerous entries from American filmmakers about dumpster diving, he and his fellow jury members were drawn to an entry from New Zealand: ‘From Dumpster To Dinner Plate,’ an 11-minute documentary directed by Vanessa Hudson. It is estimated that the equivalent of $750 million of edible food ends up in New Zealand’s trash every year. However, Hudson puts the essential question of ‘would you eat food from the trash’ to an experimental test.
To read the full article:

An article that appeared in the Manawatu Standard when the film screened in the Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival, Palmerston North, NZ

Wake-up call over food wastage                                                                                                                                    Last updated 12:00 11/05/2012

Vanessa Hudson is crusading to stop people being frightened of food that looks less than pristine perfect.

The maker of From Dumpster to Dinner Plate is appalled that poor people go badly nourished in New Zealand, eating the wrong sorts of cheap food – fizzy drinks, fluffy white bread – while out the back in supermarket dumpsters a fortune in good, nourishing food goes rotten, because of best-before dates.

She believes well-meaning laws that try to protect people from their own ignorance about when food is actually crook are driving needless waste.

"Blocks of cheese, bags of potatoes, tinned goods that are dented, packets of pasta that might have a pinhole in the packaging, it's all thrown away. When you cook these foods properly, any risk goes right down. It's criminal, the law that requires that to happen."

Our grandmothers would be horrified at the waste. They cut rot spots from apples, and stewed wrinkly tomatoes.

Research showed that on average, families in New Zealand throw away about $10 of good food each week, scared by best-before dates.

"That date's just a guideline. Doesn't mean it's rotten. We need a system where supermarkets can sell food that's past its best-before, buyer-beware style."

Figures from landfill tonnages suggest that about $750 million of food a year is dumped in New Zealand.

"So we all pay for this mad idea that all our food has to be perfect when we buy it. Supermarkets have to cover the costs of dumping that food, and it gets loaded on to the prices."

She researched dumpster diving – people who fish through supermarket dump bins at night, rescuing edible food.

From Dumpster to Dinner Plate, screens 11am tomorrow at Downtown Cinema 3, one of 56 films in this year's Eighth Environmental Film Festival. Bookings essential.

© Fairfax NZ News

To read the article on the Stuff webiste