Maximus Waste: A Food Waste Mocumentary
The characters (in order of appearance):
Act 1: IZZY’S APARTMENT
(IZZY sets the table for a dinner with her friends. There is a knock at her door. SARAH, JOE, and JACK, are at the door. IZZY lets them in.)
INT: AT The Dinner Table
(Everyone sits at the dinner table that is filled with food.)
I just want to thank you all for coming. Its so rare that we all get to take time out of our busy lives and sit down at a table to eat dinner. I-
Can we eat now? I’m starving!
I was just going to say that food is precious. Food brings people together. Food is-
Getting cold, lets eat!
Wait! Nobody touch anything. Did you all wash your hands?
Do you know how many germs there could be on your hands right now? I have a mid term next week and I can’t miss it. So I am not going to let your dirty hands influence my grades.
(SARAH passes around a bottle of hand sanitizer.)
Oh and another thing. You know Izzy, I really like your silverwear but I really think that we should use the silverwear that I brought, the plastic forks and knives, because it’s totally sanitary.
(SARAH passes around the forks and knives.)
Not that I don’t trust your dishwashing skills but I would feel a bit more comfortable if we use these.
Are you kidding me Sarah? I spent three…Nope… whatever makes you happy.
Ok. Now we can eat.
Jack fills his plate with a bunch of food.
(stabbing a bowl of uncooked ramen noodles with his fork)
Who brought these ramen noodles?
They’re not even cooked.
It’s cuz I wasn’t able to cook. I live in the U.C.
2:10 [image: Jack Dorst as the Wretched Waster]
I hope you recycled the plastic wrapping.
Actually, I don’t know. It might be on my floor somewhere.
Wow Joe, this salad is great!
Thanks, its organic. Also, the bowl is Bio-degradable.
Did you say, organic?
Im sorry, I can’t eat this.
Why, “organic” means its good for you.
No, it means its dirty. And did you wash the vegetables correctly before you cut them up?
Well, what did you bring Sarah?
Store bought food, all FDA approved.
Well if anything Joe, the salad looks kind of bland.
(looks at the camera man)
You think my salad looks good right?
()The Camera Guy shakes the camera “no” by quickly panning left to right.
See, he thinks it looks good.
Wait, where’s Lia?
(All of the sudden, there is a knock at the door. IZZY gets up and lets LIA in.)
Sorry I’m late! I was- uh, shopping… (She pulls in a heavy garbage bag.)
Why do you have a garbage bag?
Oh, just, you know its easier to carry. (She struggles trying to bring in the food.)
3:13 ABOUT 10 minutes later
The table is completely filled with food. At this point, JACKS plate is stacked.
Thank you Lia! Finally some store bought food.
Yea, yea, it’s from the store.
Aw man, all this looks so good.
(He digs into his food, takes one bite, and then puts his fork down)
Jack, you barely took one bite.
So? I can just go eat at the U.C later.
(JACK gets up and throws his plate in the garbage.)
Hey, that’s really wasteful. That knife is going to end up some whale’s blow hole. That food is going to attract disease-ridden flies. And that plastic plate is just going to end up in another landfill. Come on Joe.
3:55 [image: Joe Erwin as The Takeout Tree Hugger]
I love how positive Joe is.
Could you um, excuse me for a second, I have to go to the bathroom.
Yeah. It’s right back there on the right.
4:12 (LIA gets up and sneaks over to the kitchen. She begins digging through the garbage. IZZY gets up and finds LIA in the kitchen digging through the trash.)
Ah. Lia. What are you doing?
You did buy that food, right?
I…I got it while diving with my freegan friends.
And by diving do you mean fishing or something?
Um, No. Dumpster diving.
(from the table) What?!
(walking back to the table)
Its all clean though, and nothing is expired.
(IZZY, SARAH, JOE, and JACK quickly spit out the food that was in there mouth, scrub there tongues, and drink water to get the taste out of there mouth.)
This is the worst dinner party ever!
(SARAH’S comment leads to an unintelligible argument between all of IZZY’s dinner guests.)
(Stopping the argument)
Stop it, all of you! If you think the way you see food is right then go out and prove it!
5:23 Intermission: Stirring the Pot with Izzy
Welcome to stirring the pot with Izzy. Here are some statistics. Did you know:
* One third of all food locally is wasted.
* 1.3 billion tons of food is not local.
* 40% of the food grown or raised in the US is not eaten. There has been a 50% rise in food waste in America.
* 25% of the freshwater and 300 million barrels of oil is used on food that is wasted
* $250 billion is lost globally every year due to food waste.
* Food waste is the single largest component in American landfills and is a huge producer of methane gas.
Thank you for watching “Stirring the Pot with Izzy”
(All statistics from EPA Food Surplus Guide)
6:18 Act II: Izzy’s Follow-Up Dinner Party
INT: IZZY”S APARTMENT
Everyone sits at the dinner table that is filled with food.
OK guys, I hope you all brought some great information and now maybe we can eat in peace!
I’m sure we all did, lets eat!
(She slaps JACK’s hand with a spoon.)
Tell me what you found first.
Ok, Ok! First off, I was interviewing a couple of my friends.
(Show U.C INTERVIEWS)
6:29 Claire Wendlandt, Columbia College Chicago Student
In college? Not as much. I’m not as well informed as I should be, but, um, I wish I knew more about the UC because that’s where I go, that’s where I eat stuff, but, no, I don’t know that much.
6:43 Alex Poling, Columbia College Chicago Student
6:44 Jason Bui, Columbia College Chicago Student
Yes. It happens a lot. I’ve seen it a lot. I’ve done it myself, sometimes.
6:54 Ryan Colegrove, Columbia College Chicago Student
Uh, at the cafeteria, we have like a…conveyer belt and it seems like so much food is just wasted. I mean I’m guilty of it sometimes even if I actually want to eat all the stuff I get, but, I mean, it’s just like, it’s sad, but its
7:16 Dominique Huiras, Columbia College Chicago Student
Want more, get more
7:18 Pilar Canchola, Columbia College Chicago Student
I don’t think I’ve ever once come down here to get a meal without seeing a plateful of food left at the turning rack.
7:26 Claire Wendlandt, Columbia College Chicago Student
I try not to. I don’t really buy that much food and I try to be mindful, especially when I get food here. But, um, I don’t think I throw away that much.
7:34 Jason Bui, Columbia College Chicago Student
No. Um…usually I get, like, a small bowl or portion of the food that I want to try so that I don’t waste it. A lot of the food here, it looks good, but when you try it, it doesn’t taste that good.
7:46 Alex Poling, Columbia College Chicago Student
(Jack off camera, “Ok. Can you elaborate?”)
Yes. I can. (laughs)
7:50 Claire Wendlandt, Columbia College Chicago Student
People are stupid. It’s like, why waste all this food. Like, there are people that are starving out there who deserve this food that you’re wasting and like, you know what I mean? You just throw it away.
8:05 Ryan Colegrove, Columbia College Chicago Student
Yeah. I feel like that, and I was just saying and I don’t know what these guys think but, yeah, there’s a lot of food waste. I feel that they should encourage more recycling and composting and stuff like that.
8:17 INT: Back at Izzy’s Apartment
Lets just say, I’m not the only wasteful person on this campus. I think that’s because I don’t know where this food goes. And I’m just a college student, so there’s not that much I ca really do about it.
Thats not true, Jack. You can make a difference.
Yeah! Just the other day Izzy and I spoke to a woman online from The Food Recovery Network and they work with college students to take food from the university centers to give to people in need.
(Show Food Recovery Newtork interview here)
8:37 Autumn Rauchwerk, Food Recovery Network
The easiest way to describe what the Food Recovery Network is is it is a network of colleges and universities throughout the country that recovers surplus food from dining halls, on-campus catered events, um, on campus restaurants and donate the food to organizations that are feeding people that are experiencing hunger. Um and this is food that would have been thrown away at the end of the night, but we are able to recover it and it is still edible, still really good, fresh food. We start around dining hall closing time, at about 8 or 9 pm. And students come to the dining hall. They are wearing hats, and gloves, long pants, closed-toe, non-slip shoes, and, um, basically the staff in the dining services workers collect the food that wasn’t sold or served that day. And then the students are the ones who, you know they have washed their hands with warm soapy water before they begin the collection, and they are the ones taking the food. They are taking separate care of the food. They are packaging the food into trays, weighing the trays and reporting what types of food and how much the food weighs to us. And they are actually putting the trays in vans and driving it down to a local partner agency, which is often a homeless shelter. It could be a local church, a boys and girls club. It is all student volunteers, so basically, as a national organization we are their consultants or their mentors through the process of starting a chapter. And, you know, if students who want to start a campus organization and they want to make a difference, you know, fighting hunger and food waste at the same time. I mean, 40% of our food is wasted while 1 in 6 Americans are considered food insecure. So it’s using one problem to solve another. And students are like this is what we want to do and it’s using that student power. And we provide grants, um money for them as well, for things like gas reimbursement, for their trays, their scales, and we also send them cool swag like this (shows Food Recovery Network hat) cuz you know they are supposed to be wearing hats in food recovery. So awesome Food Recovery Network hats (puts hat on).
10:51 INT: Back at IZZY”S apartment
But Sarah, your just as wasteful as Jack.
I know. I realize that. And I used to think that doing things like donating and dumpster diving was just unsanitary. But I talked to a couple of people who showed me that food insecurity is a huge thing and you need to donate. And that packaging and labels isn’t that important.
(show Food Depository interview here)
11:08 Food Depository Interviews
So we are heading towards the Greater Chicago Food Depository to talk with Jim Conwell. He is the Director of Communications.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository is the city of Chicago’s food bank. We serve Cook County, Illinois. So, we provide food to hungry people throughout a network of 650 pantries, free soup kitchens, shelters, and programs. We know that about 860,000 people in Cook County are food insecure, meaning they live with hunger and they have difficulty accessing food at all times and, um, they sometimes don’t know where their next meal is coming from. We serve about 678,000, um, unduplicated individuals a year.
11:53 (Food Safety) Food safety is a big priority for us. Wear gloves, masks if you are working with, um, unpackaged foods like fresh produce or bulk items. We carefully inspect all food items that come in before they go back out. That includes food drive donations. Every single can, every single box, every single box is inspected for code dates and quality control, so if the package wasn’t damaged or contaminated in any way.
Alright, Food Rescue, which is our fastest source of donated food. Last year we did about 10.5 million pounds of food rescue. That’s where we go and pick up food from retailers. Primarily grocery stores and then distribute that directly to agencies.
12:43 Protections for Food Donors
The Good Samaritan Law, um, came along in the early 80’s I believe. It was a really good thing for hunger relief in our country because, um, it made people understand that they could help without fearing litigation or anything like that. It really eased peoples concerns about the risk of doing something good to help hungry people. There is no lack of food in this country; there is lack of access to food. What we do at the food bank is we provide food to anyone in our community in need. And for us, more good quality, nutritious food that can be given to people in need and not go to waste is a good thing. (music/images of food pantry)
13:38 Interview with Stuart Iseminger, Director of Programs and Operations at the Lakeview Pantry of Chicago
INT: Back at IZZY”S apartment
I realized that I was apart of the problem because I’ve thrown away so much food that was perfectly edible.
Shhh! Wait your turn.
Now Im beginning to understand how precious food is because there are alot of people who have to go without.
I told you guys that food was precious and-
Izzy! Wait your turn.
I’m going to make an honest effort to be realistic about my food. Im even going to become a volunteer at the local pantry!
I…I want to volunteer too.
I think we should all volunteer.
Yea thats a good idea. But, you know its not just about the food that goes into peoples mouths. There’s alot of food that gets sent to landfills and creates alot of environmental hazards. I talked to (blank) about how food waste effects our environment and she gave me alot of good information.(Show interview)
Yea, and (blank) gave us a good idea of environmental effects too. (show interview)
Yea, but I guess not all food “waste is bad. A lot of discarded food can be used to make composts.
Whats that? I mean, Ive heard of it before but I don’t really know what it is.
Its basically (fill in blank). Do you remember when we talked to the guy who owns that Cafe? (Show interview). He composts all his leftover food. Actually, I think we saw one while we were dumpster diving with Lia.
Oh yea, It was that bin with all the fruit in it.
Ugh, I still cant believe we did that.
It actually wasn’t that bad.
Yea, but Im kind of upset that we didnt find anything.
We found the compost.
Yea, that was cool. On one hand, Im happy some stores are composting because its good for our earth, but on the other hand, alot of stores are using compactors so people like me can’t get in them. It makes me so mad!
Look on the bright side, at least your activley trying to make a change. I never realized how cool freegans are until now!
Did you talk to any one?
Well…(hopefully Ill have an interview by then). (Or a funny montage with maximus.)
I think it’s
awesome that you all did this, I’m really proud of you guys. You know, history shows that (blanks)
IZZY Finishes her speech and looks around the table. Everybody is asleep.
I’m sorry, I didn’t know we were still in class Professor Izzy.
You know what? Lets just eat.
There is a quick montage of everyone laughing, talking, and eating there food. IZZY finishes her plate and stares straight into the camera.
So, whats next?