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Food Fighter: Five Minutes With Ronni Kahn

Food Fighter: Five Minutes With Ronni Kahn

MiNDFOOD caught up with Ronni Kahn of food rescue charity OzHarvest to discuss how you can reduce your food waste - and why you should.

Food Fighter: Five Minutes With Ronni Kahn

Tell us about Food Fighter?
Food Fighter is an independent feature-length documentary film that focuses on food waste and follows my journey with OzHarvest and what we have been doing over the last three years in Australia and internationally to tackle the issue and feed people in need. The thought of seeing myself on a big screen was enormously daunting, but I’ve come to understand how the film is such a powerful tool to bring about change and a strong platform to highlight the good work of OzHarvest, show the amount of good food that goes to waste and why we must act now. It’s in cinemas from June 3rd.

How did the film come about?
The director and producer of the film, Dan Goldberg, was on a flight and noticed his uneaten food being thrown away. He decided there and then that the story of food waste needed to be told and his initial research quickly led him to OzHarvest … and me! It happened to be at an incredibly exciting time for OzHarvest as we were banging on the Government’s door and taking our model overseas. Before he knew it we were flying up to see farmers in Queensland, hosting royalty in Sydney and then flying off to the UK, Thailand and South Africa in our fight against food waste!

What are some key messages you want people to take away from the film?
For me, the film is about empowering people to take action. If every individual makes a few simple changes to the way they buy and consume food, the collective impact will really
make a difference. In today’s society it’s inhumane to think how much perfectly edible food goes to waste, especially when millions of people still go hungry.
The annual bill for food waste in Australia is $20 billion and there’s a scene in the film where thanks to some clever CGI we show what that looks like … dumped in Sydney harbour! I’m hoping this will open people’s eyes to the stark reality that so much good food just gets thrown away. With over half of all food wasted coming from the home, the power truly lies with people. Only buying what you need and making sure you eat up what you buy is a great start to preventing food waste at home. I also believe if you truly value food, you are less likely to throw it away.

What’s one simple thing people can do to make a difference?
I hope everyone who sees the film will join the movement to #fightfoodwaste and sign up to be part of the solution at fightfoodwaste.org and is inspired to take action and make a difference through changing their behaviour at home.

What are some key changes you would like to see happen?
Australia has a national target to halve food waste by 2030 (set by the Federal Government and in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals). This is a big job and requires change at all levels of society. OzHarvest is committed to advocating and taking action to reach this goal, but it needs the weight of the Australian Government to prioritise this huge economic and environmental problem. The time has come to stop talking about it and accelerate the action!

I’d love to see the wonky fruit and veg range in supermarkets overtake the perfect produce and see consumers leading the way by buying more of it! Food labels are a major source of confusion and often lead to good food being wasted, so a major review is needed in this area. We also need to stop overproducing bread, it’s just crazy how much fresh bread gets thrown away every day. And in an ideal world, I’d like everyone to lead fully sustainable lives, where wasting food is morally unacceptable and food is truly valued by understanding the incredible amount of resources it takes to produce it. We already have the solution, we just need to stop throwing it away.

You call yourself an accidental activist, how do you feel about finding the path that you’re on?
I never set out to start a charity, I just saw huge volumes of food going to waste (at the time mI was part of the problem) and knew many people were going hungry. Instead of waiting for someone to come up with a solution, I did it myself! Finding my purpose in life was also top of mind at that time, so when I started rescuing food and delivering it to people in need, I knew I had found my destiny and life’s work.

For more tips on how to reduce food waste, visit ozharvest.org/fightfoodwaste

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