tv [untitled] March 18, 2012 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
we throw away ninety six billion pounds of. thanks for joining us in the hour here's a quick recap of your headlines a car bomb blows up in a residential area and syria's second largest city of aleppo reportedly leaving three people dead after similar terror attacks killed over two thousand in the capital. colombian fall they're calling in a tragedy the media's take on the u.s. soldier accused of turning a sleeping out down the village into a bloodbath with washington once again the college was in for the actions of its military. anniversary arrests for occupy wall street protesters as yet
more heavy handed policing leads to many wondering if western nations practice their democracy their. next step groceries in the grind hall the back alleys of l.a. are the supermarket aisles for those saving thousands were perfectly edible thrown away food stay with us. here's my letter to dan bain the c.e.o. of trader joe's i've also included a copy of the good samaritan act which was signed into being in one thousand nine hundred six by bill clinton and that encourages grocery stores to donate food and it protects them from being sued so i'm just asking him to consider moving trader joe's into the next step of simply not wasting as much food and getting it to people who need it i figured the c.e.o. of trader joe's probably wouldn't get back to me after one letter so i've decided
to send him. a letter a day for the next month a letter went out to t.j. c.e.o. dan bain every morning and we continued diving as normal time passed dumpsters swelled with food and then suddenly the landscape changed we began seeing more people at the dumpsters and not your typical dieters people that seem to need to food a lot more than we did kill as i waited to hear back from trader joe's about all the food in our trash cans the world spiraled into a food crisis a chain kirshner. came and chain me to. try. to be losing. limbs coming.
being. tuned. after sending letters for two weeks i got a call from the trader joe's headquarters allison from public relations asked me to stop sending letters and to please stop bothering me they would not be discussing wasted food or anything else with me when i insisted on a simple conversation as a concerned citizen no cameras or interview allison hung up on me she said and i quote just so you know in our communities in which we have stores we do donate food that we feel is safe to donate seven days a week in all our stores across the country so i guess the problem is they don't feel that all this food is safe to eat at the thirty stores i called ninety five percent throw away everything except for bread so the dairy the produce the meat i guess they they don't feel it's safe to consume even though they throw it away the
day before it expires i guess is bananas aren't edible are quiet made from a wire trader joe's shouldn't be singled out it's just one company among many crowds vons safeway whole foods cosco sam's club and many others throw away staggering amounts of food every day but stores are only part of the problem of food waste all of us throughout perfectly good food on a daily basis we let it rot in our refrigerators we toss leftovers because they don't sound good or were afraid because we don't know enough about food to judge whether or not it's edible wasting food is a bad habit that permeates all of society implicating all of us in the problem which means we're all responsible for creating a solution. the problem not a lot going on forty percent of health overall health problem for about.
a year what we saw was among younger people and you have a one point lack of. i don't know what a bad there's a cure for this this half is bad i think great here. he's a spring up a good point about. a little bit about food safety here. i have never been sick eating dumpster food my family has never been sick and i have to be really careful i'm feeding a small child trash essentially. so you start learning more about food we don't know exactly when these eggs were thrown out and you can't you can't really smell an egg to know if it's good or bad so i researched it and what you do is you take the egg and you get a bowl of cold water and you drop it in and if it sinks to the bottom and lays flat
it's perfectly good and if it angles up it's a little bit better for baking and if it floats it's terrible so these eggs are enjoy by november nineteenth today is october twenty first so i'm not sure why they threw these away but will test them and make sure they're good really slim pickens there's so much food but it's all very underneath this mountain of trash is all crushed so basically i have. breakfast for the family eggs and toast for about a week. people kept telling me about the issue of the just sticks now there's enough food available but the difficulty of storing it and transporting it to needy people make wasting food more practical. help i do you have. no doubt there are real complexities but my son fen solved the problem quite easily
pick up the food then take it to hungry people but this requires people caring and volunteering the public will and political will to end hunger is is not great enough if people cared enough to make this a huge priority in our policy work then we could we could end hunger in the u.s. i mean almost not overnight but i mean pretty rapidly. here's what i want to know i mean. what kind of society wastes this much food. because the body that would weigh about a full one the character value. and the product but again if there are whole personal character but it could be the profit. to revalue the
earth. that we value all that it produces. if we lost our connection to creation. do we see its beauty. its fragility. do we care for it. for all the comes from it. do we nurture it. appreciate it. has it become just another product for us to consume. just finished some potato league soup made from the greens from the dumpster.
and some eggs from the dumpster. i don't know if dumpster diving and eating food from the dumpster has made me value food more or value food less because it's easier now to throw a few away because we have so much of it and so part of me i think that i'm valuing the food as. you can all. live our role. model. i know i don't want to waste my time with. i'll always be there. now the. you. can hear the plan i think that's what i'm talking about. you need for lunch. good luck no you. don't waste it yet you did.
you. so it's a day new year's eve and i'm working on a little plan i got the idea on christmas eve when i went dumpster diving so tomorrow is christmas the twenty fifth they've thrown this away two days early because the stores closed tomorrow there's hundreds of dollars of me here kinds of bread tons of salad why wouldn't they at least attempt to give this food to the food banks the stores are all closed tomorrow too so tonight they'll be twice as much food again the plan was really ingenious my son scout actually thought.
i would try going through the front door instead of scavenging through dumpsters i just talked to the trader joe's on arroyo one of the ones we dumped stood by that and they said i could come by tonight at six pm and the store closes and pick up all the food so maybe that's better than jumping in here to tell mr so that one trader joe's gave us six grocery carts full of food. and if i wouldn't call them today i would have been in the dumpster tonight we were taking the food to the salvation army's bell shelter southeast of downtown l.a. the bell shelter down there. where we are the shelter is a halfway house offering long term treatment for substance abuse and mental illnesses they provide room board and treatment to four hundred fifty people. on this earth rotation army. yeah. ok thank you we should have had ten
truckloads of food but many of the trader joe's i had called didn't want to take the time and the whole food store backed out of the last minute. sandra the lead cook told me that getting enough food is a constant struggle especially as the country's economic crisis deepens i answered martin i'm believe it or not we shun the bell scientist kids here we supply a breakfast lunch in here for. forty fifty people a day if we wouldn't pick up this bit tonight at trader joe's it would have dire come for it is it better for you to get it unless you get it right i k k i'm sure if you're wrong thank you very much for coming out here. we all felt pretty good the night had been successful going to very small scale approaching individual stores had worked much better than going to corporate headquarters but
saving perishable food requires organization and work and it's difficult convincing stores to give more than bread and dented cans. most of the time wasting food is just easier. path. i met one of the trader joe's that told me that i couldn't pick up food because they were giving it to someone else and i and i looked in this one dumpster and just pulled out this bag. those are all fifteen dollars broiler chickens all expire tomorrow i see a lot more food down below but there's tons of nasty sticky garbage but there's a lot of food not dumpster so we could have taken that to the bell shelter tonight too we weren't always like this there was
a time when we viewed food as something precious much more than a commodity food was life itself the center of community culture and home to throw it away would have been unimaginable our grandparents and great grandparents lived the virtues of waste not want not and demonstrated the proper etiquette necessary to join the ranks of the clean plate club in that era saving food was presented as part of the war effort and to do otherwise would be unpatriotic using food wisely and being aware of waste became second nature to a generation that had first hand experience with world war economic downturn and food scarcity. in both world war one and world war two the emerging might of american industrial and manufacturing power was bent toward the war effort and consequently to feeding the troops in a world where millions of starving america has become the bread winner from of the
guard from of democracy. our farmland in ranges must produce more food than ever before to write our own needs and to help our fighting to live. and the greatest food producing country in the world backing him up the american soldier no matter where it may be in the jungle. the arctic. the desert. or in his home care can rightly consider himself the best soldier in the world and in the future the war born love that has made him so well read over the world can guarantee that no one. suffer from malnutrition all from. ironically the advances in reducing food waste and increasing production through new food science efficient packaging and distribution laid the foundation for
modern agribusiness and ultimately a broken food system that wastes one half of all that it produces. food has often been linked to war and its accompanying imagery. polian bonaparte's famous quote an army marches on its stomach found its world war one iteration with is ammunition don't waste it part of a massive campaign to educate citizens to conserve food for the war and to raise awareness that individual consumption had an effect on a global scale. much of the war propaganda of that they urged people to buy a local fresh and seasonal food to plant edible victory gardens to eat less meat and more veggies to raise chickens for eating food scraps and providing aid to can preserve and dry excess food for the coming months and not only were people urged to clean their plates there was less on them to begin with largely due to the war
rationing portion sizes were much smaller and people were urged to eat a very diet of healthy foods rather than consume oversized portions with little or no nutritional value. although our tastes and habits have changed many of the ideals and very spare great grandparents generation haven't. the language of the past may be couched in war terminology but the parallels between that time and ours abound we're experiencing a new resurgence of the same type of consciousness that existed then the main difference being that now it's happening on a grassroots level the rise of edible gardens in urban environments and increased emphasis on sustainable living a growing trend of keeping backyard chickens and a widespread shift towards buying organic seasonal and local products all directly reflect the fundamental principle that food is precious food is not ammunition food
is life and should never be wasted and if saving good food is a value that resonates deeply in our national character shouldn't the establishment that provide us with food reflect that value and shouldn't we be practicing it in our homes and communities as well. wastefulness now seems to be a defining factor among the wealthy nations of the world with very few exceptions in the u.k. over eighteen billion pounds of food is thrown out by households every year. and the european union wastes nearly two hundred billion pounds of food annually. but
we don't have to waste food this is one simple thing that we can change the impact of which will reverberate throughout the entire planet. we are on our way to a food bank called god provides i discovered them when i was trying to pull off the new year's eve truckload of food to the bell shelter and these guys apparently pick up food from a lot of trader joe's stores and a lot of other grocery stores so they're doing exactly what needs to happen food that would go to the dumpsters getting it to people who need it god provides hands out over eleven million pounds of food every year they serve four thousand families up from six hundred just a few years ago primarily we get our food from
a fresh rescue program with trader joe's albertans don's trader joe's was the first really big chains to really jump ship from being afraid to give the food away taken us to bill clinton passed the good samaritan act when it's really close to the expiration dates we have a freeze at which time locks the expiration dates before he saw the yogurt and dairy and food if you guys didn't pick up that food and you didn't have that set up that food would most likely go into the yes and therefore not on time for a few hours later it's in the dumpster most families would give them so much food by cases the produce that we tell them that we hope will give you so much food you have to go next to your neighbor that you don't talk to and give them some food god provides opened me up to the good some grocery stores are doing for trader joe's stores contribute every day as well as many i'll bet sims which i learned is a leader in food waste reduction with its nationwide fresh rescue program a simple program that could easily be imitated by all grocery companies. we also
experienced firsthand how hard the work is without volunteers none of this food would be rescued and redistributed to people who really can't live without it we have to help each other that's what we're here for to help everybody and everybody kind of check that attitude you know i think we're in much better. sometimes i wish we could take back all of this waste that trash cans and dumpsters and landfills would give up their food to those who really need it that we could erase all the damage of our bad habits but i know that's impossible we can't go backwards the problem won't conveniently solve itself either. we have to move
forward creatively start living differently so that everyone has a chance to live fully it's about more than not wasting food it's about making sure everyone has enough to eat clearing our plates is a good place to start but it's not going to put food in hungry mouths or stock massive waste in grocery stores or throughout the food industry. noam chomsky said changes in progress very rarely are gifts from above they come out of struggles from below the answer to what's next depends on people like you it's a must stop world but it's the only one we've got and we have to wake up and start carving out a new way of being maybe we can begin to help create a world for our children and their children and their children a world where all of creation and all of life is sacred and beautiful and valued for what it is.