american wasteland, dive!, dumpster diving, first run features, food bank, food waste, freegan, greehouse gas, homeless, itunes, jeremy seifert, jonathan glazer, methane, netflix, rose bowl, trader joe's
The basic point of Jeremy Seifert‘s Dive! is that Americans waste too much food, throw too much away (96 billion pounds each year) even when there is nothing wrong with it. This is likely no surprise to anyone. According to the book American Wasteland by Jonathan Bloom which is a great companion piece to this film, Americans throw away enough food everyday to fill the Rose Bowl, the 93,000 seat football stadium in Pasadena, California. Jesus hell.
Dive! chronicles Seifert and various people dumpster diving and pulling out perfectly good and edible food that is thrown away at stores and markets like Trader Joe’s every day. Most of these people subsist entirely on this food that they are obtaining by dumpster diving. And this isn’t just throw away, nasty shit – gourmet cheese, fresh fruit, and meat a-plenty, which begs the question: why isn’t this food going to people who can’t afford it, who are hungry? It isn’t as if there aren’t homeless and hungry food in every town in this country.
The film also follows Seifert’s tussle with Trader Joe’s in effort to get them to donate the food they deem as unsellable to food banks and homeless shelters so the food can be used for what it was grown rather than filling the landfills and creating methane gas as it rots, thus adding to the greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. While Trader Joe’s refused to be interviewed in the film, they did meet with Seifert with some surprising results.
At 55 minutes, Dive! is only a short look into this massive problem. The sheer amount of resources being put into food production just to have it thrown away is mindboggling, let alone the fact that it can actually be used by those who need it most. So get your inner Freegan up and check out this thoughtful film. It may just leave an impression on your waste habits.
Dive! is currently streaming on Netflix and iTunes.
Here’s the trailer.