I watched pretty great documentary the other day. Theater of Life on Netflix was very moving. Since food is always my favorite thing to watch, play with, learn about and turning this into my movie night pic was a no-brainer. I wan’t expecting to be so moved by it, but it really spoke to my heart strings.
- A big Expo center in Milan had tons of waste food. One chef decided to make a space that uses this waste food as the food for a much needed soup kitchen for those who, in the city of Milan, need a meal. It’s a beautiful documentary because there is substantially less ego in the act of caring for people who need help than you see in too many non-profits. There’s frequently so much pity for those who don’t have what you have, which is better than nothing at all, but to treat these people who need some dinner as equals is so much more kind and authentic to reality. You see the story of how people got there and it’s obvious that they are not just lazy or useless, stuff happened, just like stuff has happened to all of us. It could be us and we should fix this problem for all of us, we are the ones that are doing something wrong as a society is the vibe of the film.
- Different chefs, including famous Mario Batalli, take turns managing the kitchen that takes the left over throwaway discarded food, primarily the day old bread and transform it into truly lovely meals. I’ve personally used tons of day old bread in my cooking, especially as bread crumbs, so there is nothing undignified about eating what wouldn’t sell that day. All the bruised apples, and bananas that people wont pay for at the market still taste great. They even made use of the banana peel to make a banana bread.
- There are so many parts of plants we don’t think of as being edible that are. One that comes to mind I learned from gardening – broccoli leaves are delicious! But just get wasted on the farm because people will not buy it. And of the food we do consider edible 33% is still thrown away. It gets wasted on the farm for being misshapen or having one small insect bite, in delivery it gets a bump or falls on the ground, isn’t sold from the store shelves for superficial reasons, or is simply unused at home. Roughly 40% of food purchased is never eaten. 30% of fruit is not eaten because it is misshapen. Would you buy the crooked carrot or the apple with a big divot? No. But fruits and veggies grow in funny ways all the time. If you garden you’ll see that “normal” is actually not at all. It adds up and ends up creating tons of methane gas that is very harmful for the environment. 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted each year while people go hungry and the people in this documentary aim to shift that starting with this one free soup kitchen in Milan.
- The dining area itself is well lit, clean, and modern. It’s not a depressing place. People come in, share their thoughts, connect with people going through similar hard times and get the chance to not feel like they are bottom of the barrel or worthless. They are served with hospitality and care. It’s a positive place. Most people have known financial difficulty, only a very few people on the planet have had endless financial abundance, so to treat people in need as if they are somehow inferior is both disgusting, idiotic, and preparing yourself for your own mistreatment in the future when (can you really be sure it’s an if?) you find yourself in need too.
- There are more than one billion people in need of food while one billion suffer from problems associated with over eating. How nuts is that!? A little bit of coming together and sharing would actually be helping those that are suffering from the disease of having too much.
- I loved seeing this model implemented in this film and wish to see more of this forcibly, maybe even made into law in the US. Running a small business is insanely difficult, so dumping more rules on people just getting by is not good for anyone, but to make rules for big chains that are throwing away tons of unsold groceries would be beautiful. Maybe if your company makes over x dollar per year it is illegal to throw away what could be donated. There were stories of some grocery stores dumping bleach on their throwaway food to prevent dumpster divers from eating it. I think that would fix a lot of problems for so many people that just need to live in a better society.
- Also, erasing the shame of needing help. If I needed a meal from a soup kitchen I know I’d feel humiliated. Why? We all want to be successful, but most people aren’t all the time. So why do we have to feel shame. It should be so much more shameful to be the very wealthy, greedy lawyer that stole money from his own clients, right? Why isn’t being a sh*tty sharky guy more shameful than needing a little help after dealing with one?