Traveler, writer, television host, and chef Anthony Bourdain has gone to the ends of the world and back to discover what's on the cultural plate. Now, he's delving into one of the biggest challenges the world faces when it comes to the food supply - food waste. In Bourdain's new documentary Wasted! The Story of Waste, he along with several prominent figures in the culinary world address the global issue of food waste.
The documentary set to hit theaters October 13 is geared towards opening the public's eyes to how much food goes wasted unnecessarily. In a fresh approach on the subject, the film features appearances of influential chef figures Massimo Bottura, Dan Barber, Danny Bowien, and Anthony Bourdain himself. Through their eyes we see how chefs are battling food waste by challenging the idea of what many of us consider food. Transforming undesirable rejected foods into incredible dishes - many found on the menu of five star restaurants - these talented chefs are changing our very notion of food.
In United States alone, one-fifth of our food will wind up in the landfill. To put that in retrospect, $218 billion worth of our food supply winds up wasted. That's $218 billion dollars that could go towards feeding hungry mouths, be turned into garden compost, or utilized in some other way.
This amount of waste not only affects the food supply, but it directly affects our environment. Deforestation, biodiversity loss, and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions are all results of unsustainable food practices. The idea behind Wasted! is to make the public think about food in a more sustainable manner.
Bourdain sums it up stating "use everything waste nothing." While he may cringe at the thought of considering himself an activist, as a chef, not using everything is insulting. In the culinary world, utilizing every part of a pig, cow, or bunch of produce is a must - some of the best stuff even comes from the scraps. This approach to cooking is an absolute rule in many cultures.
Anyone who has witnessed an episode of Bourdain traveling to a third world country can attest to the fact that other cultures specialize in making something out of nothing. Yet, in first world countries such as America, we tend to waste almost as much as we eat. In response to this issue, Wasted! was born. Backed by prominent figures in the media and culinary industry, Wasted! may be the film that grabs viewer attention on the topic on a nationwide scale.
Partnering with the Rockefeller foundation, Wasted! The Story of Waste is produced by Anthony Bourdain and Zero Point Zero Production - the company behind Parts Unknown. Partners on Anthony Bourdain's PBS show The Mind's Chef Nari Kye and Anna Chai co-directed.