‘Just Eat It’: Northern Quarter to host Manchester premier of food waste documentary

Manchester’s Real Junk Food Project is hosting the city’s first screening of Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story, in association with The Wonder Inn.

The multi-award winning documentary’s screening will be held at the Northern Quarter’s The Wonder Inn on Thursday September 24.

The documentary, featuring UK Food Waste Campaigner, Tristram Stuart, sees two filmmakers investigate food waste in the UK, USA, and Canada.

It’s purpose is to inform an international audience about the issue in the West. Over the next year, it is predicted that 1million people will have seen the film.

Corin Bell, Director of the Real Junk Food Project, Manchester, said: “The film screening is part of a series of events to raise awareness and inspire action on food waste in our city.

“I’ve been trying not to watch it before the event, so that I can experience it with everyone!”

There will be drinks served before the screening, a short introduction about the film, about TRJFP, as well as a discussion afterwards.

Grant Baldwin, 38, Filmmaker (Director/Cinematographer/Composer) and Jenny Rustemeyer, 36, Filmmaker (Producer) from Vancouver, Canada, are the brains behind the documentary.

In their research, they discovered that 40% of food is thrown away, leading them to inquire into the food from farms, shops and in their fridge.

Appalled by their findings, the couple made the decision to stop grocery shopping cold turkey on Sunday July 1, 2012.

They began to live solely on food that would have otherwise gone to waste. An estimated 15million tonnes of food is wasted in Britain every year ‘from plough to plate’.

Ms Rustemeyer said: “We were okay buying food as long as it was headed for the bin, but it was challenging to convince people to let us buy it; it was much easier to get it from the dumpster.

“I was also shocked at how good most of the food was – we definitely didn’t go hungry. If you don’t work in the grocery industry, you don’t have the opportunity to see the vast amount of food being wasted.

“The high was when we’d get a big find – like $13,000 worth of organic chocolate.”

Ms Rustemeyer and Mr Baldwin challenged each other to a year long competition to see who could produce the least garbage.

By the end of the year, they had so little that their rubbish could fit into a microwave.

The couple’s focus going forward is to propel their message in schools and community groups, and to support the work that others are already doing with food waste.

Ms Rustemeyer said: “I get really excited about grassroots events; I have connected lots of people interested in starting food waste restaurants, trying gleaning, or buying ugly produce with like-minded folks.

“The best way to understand the quality of food that is being tossed is to taste it!

“We are really pleased to have the Real Junk Food Project using our film as a tool to breed public awareness.”

Ms Rustemeyer and Ms Bell first connected on social media before sitting on a discussion panel for Al Jazeera in June.

The Real Junk Food Project is currently building the city’s first-ever ‘utterly upcycled’ restaurant, and will open Manchester’s first ‘food waste restaurant’ later this year.

The tables and chairs in the restaurants will be made from palettes, the cushions will be homemade by Ms Bell, and the sofas are to be made by Alfred Chow, who has sourced cast-iron baths for the job!

The Manchester screening of Just Eat It takes place from 6.30-10.30pm, at The Wonder Inn, on Thursday 24 September. Click here to book.

Just Eat It premiered at Hot Docs last year and played at IDFA. It premiered on the Knowledge Network in Canada, and on MSNBC in the US. At the 2015 LEO Awards, Ms Rustemeyer and Mr Baldwin won Best Feature Length Documentary Programme for the film.

The film is screening across the UK, Canada, and the USA, as well as in China, Japan, Australia, Sweden, and Lithuania, amongst others. It will be available on iTunes in most countries from Tuesday 20 October.

To find out more, contact Corin Bell here, or call on 07912 509 665.

Visit the film’s official website here.

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