Screening at the Art Theater and “Root to Stem” Lunch
On March 6th, 2016, The Berlin Bistro, The Art Theatre, and Dine LBC partnered for a fundraising event for Food Finders. The event began with a screening of the documentary “Just Eat It. A Food Waste Story” by filmmakers Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin followed by a “Root to Stem” lunch prepared by Chef Tim Balen, the executive chef of Berlin Bistro.
The “Just Eat It” documentary was a product of Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Balwin’s desire to bring awareness to food waste. After learning about how much food is wasted, the two embarked on a six month journey only existing on food that would otherwise get thrown out. They bought food at the grocery store that had already been pulled off the shelves and they searched dumpsters behind food distribution centers. They were surprised at how much food they accumulated and Grant even noticed that he gained ten pounds.
The documentary also explored sources of food waste. This included our expectations of produce and the resulting cosmetic standards grocery stores require from farmers, the increasing portion sizes, and consumer misconceptions of sell by dates and best by dates. Through their journey and shedding light on where food waste happens, filmmakers strive to change the viewers’ perception of food. The film received applause from all in attendance.
Following the screening, was the “Root to Stem” lunch at the Berlin Bistro. Executive Chef Tim Balen prepared a three course meal that consisted of items that a restaurant would usually discard. The first course was a light salad that featured a beet pickled egg. The beet skins from a separate roasted beet dish were used for the pickling. Next, there was a mushroom soup with cilantro oil that was made of the stems of the mushrooms and cilantro. The main dish was roasted chicken with a carrot top pesto. This dish utilized the green tops of carrots that most of us throw out. We finished up with a bread pudding topped with a strawberry puree for dessert. The bread pudding was made from day old bread and the strawberries that were used were over softened. Every dish was exceptionally delicious and proves that our food is much more capable than we thought.
Do you know of any food sites that may have extra food they would like to donate? Please contact Food Finders (www.foodfinders.org) at (562)283-1400. Click here to find a screening near you.
Kathryn Siemers is a Public Health Master’s student at California State University, Fullerton.