What food impressed you

Nutrition and consumer education
on the Internet

Taste the waste

Module 1 (secondary level I, grades 7 - 8)


1. Introduction to the subject

The focus of this module is the film "Taste the Waste" by Valentin Thurn. The film offers various points of contact with a wide range of topics and can be used in different ways.

In this module it is used to give an overview of the overall situation of food waste and to clarify the relevance of this topic for the students. Based on the film, various sub-areas can then be treated in depth. This block can basically be used to get started with the other blocks of the module, so it should be treated as the first block if possible. Therefore, this module can be found again as an element of module 4 and 5.


2. General information on the materials

The film "Taste the Waste" is available on DVD. Alternatively, the forerunner "Eating in a Bucket" can be used (WDR film (2010): Eating in the bucket: the great waste of food. 30 min.)

The school version "Frisch auf den Müll" (43min.) Is also available on DVD.


3. Possible teaching and learning goals

The students should

  • describe the extent of global food waste.
  • Identify the causes and global relationships for food waste.
  • reflect on how you, as consumers, contribute to food waste.
  • name various projects and alternative courses of action that are already being used to try to curb food waste.


4. Questions

  • How much food is thrown away?
  • Why is so much being disposed of?
  • What am I contributing to food waste and what of it could I change?
  • What projects and alternative courses of action are already in place to combat food waste?


5. Material

  • Film "Taste the Waste" (available on DVD)
    Thurn, Valentin (2011): Taste the Waste. A film by Valentin Thurn. Producers: Vandekerkhove, Astrid; Thurn, Valentin. Script: Thurn, Valentin. Director: Thurn, Valentin. Movie. Running time: 91 minutes

  • WDR-Film (2010): Eating in a Bucket: The Big Waste of Food. 30 minutes
    available at:

  • "Frisch auf den Müll" (43min.) Is also available on DVD.


6. Background information and other interesting links, literature, etc. for the hand of the teacher

Kreutzberger, Stefan; Thurn, Valentin (2011): The food destroyers. Why half of all food ends up in the trash and who is responsible for it. 1st ed. Cologne

Stuart, Tristram; Werth, Sabine; Bertram, Thomas (2011): For the bin. How we waste our food. Mannheim.

The book “Die Essenvernichter. Why half of all food ends up in the garbage and who is responsible for it ”can be purchased from Stefan Kreutzberger and Valentin Thurn for € 1.50 plus shipping at the Federal Agency for Civic Education: http://www.bpb.de/shop/buecher/ publication series / 171165 / the-food-destroyers



7. Background information and other interesting links, literature, etc. for the students

Interview with Valentin Thurn
available at:

Niemann, Katrin (2011): Too much food ends up in the garbage - an inventory
available at:


Taste the Waste - The Film

Method type:Movie; Flashlight

Aims:Provide an overview of the extent of food waste; Raising awareness of possible solutions

Content:Film "Taste the Waste"
 (Thurn, Valentin (2011): Taste the Waste. A film by Valentin Thurn. Producers: Vandekerkhove, Astrid; Thurn, Valentin. Script: Thurn, Valentin. Director: Thurn, Valentin. Cinema.
Running time: 91 minutes; available as DVD)

School version "Frisch auf den Müll" (43 minutes) is also available on DVD.

Duration:10min. Entry, 90/43 min. Film, 90min. postprocessing

Material:Moderation cards, pens, work order

As an introduction, an estimation task can be asked: The pupils should estimate what percentage of the food that the pupils buy at home in a week will not be consumed and thrown in the trash. The estimated numbers are noted on moderation cards, which the pupils keep at work to come back to at a later point in time. As a support, the teacher can show pictures of food (e.g. as part of a PowerPoint presentation) to make it clear what they mean (bread, fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, ...).

Before the start of the film, the work order is discussed and a handling for queries during the film is given so that no interruption is necessary during the film. The pupils can fill out questionnaires that will be discussed later in the plenum.

During the film, the working day is answered in bullet points. After the film, time should be allowed again (individually adapted to the learning group) to revise and complete the answers.

After the film, a short "flash light" can take place in order to enable all students to make a spontaneous statement about the film. A selection of impulse questions or a specifically selected impulse question (see below) is asked, which everyone in turn answers with a maximum of one sentence or one word. It should be clear to everyone in advance that neither the teacher nor the classmates comment on the statements. An object (e.g. ball, stone, ...) that is passed around to identify the person speaking in the flashing light can help.

Possible impulse questions for the flashlight could be:

What impressed you the most about this film (positive or negative)?
How do you feel after watching the movie?
What was new for you
What was old hat to you?

Any questions that the students noted during the film should then be clarified. Any unanswered questions that may arise when discussing the work assignments can be posted on the board for later.
refer to the estimation task at the beginning. The teacher confronts the pupils with the fact that around 50% of all food in Germany ends up in the garbage (around 20 million tons). The pupils can compare this value with their personal estimate. At this point, however, it should be mentioned that this number also includes food that is disposed of before it is sold. A work phase can then be initiated which deals with answering the work orders. At this point, a learning pace module can be used. Instead of texts, the work orders are used so that all pupils can work on the tasks at their own pace. The fourth work order could be used as a bonus task. The fourth and final assignment can lead to a discussion (or research) on how and what each individual can contribute to reducing food waste.

It is particularly important to also discuss the alternative courses of action and possible solutions that are shown in the film. Since the film also contains many frightening and shocking elements, the students might otherwise get the feeling that the situation is hopeless and cannot be changed anyway.


Alternative when using "Taste the Waste": As an introduction, the impressive picture on the DVD cover can also be used as an impulse or the title "Taste the Waste" can be illuminated in more detail.

The work orders can also be worked on in groups or with the "group puzzle" method in order to sharpen the focus on a specific question.

Complement: A preoccupation with the documentary filmmaker Valentin Thurn can be used as an additional task.


Film "Taste the Waste"


"Taste the Waste" was released in German cinemas in summer 2011. The film shows how food ends up in the garbage can around the world, what effects this food waste has and what has been done to prevent it.

Work orders:
Make as many bullet points as you can during the film. After looking, you still have time to complete your notes.

  1. In the film, various statements are made about the amount of food being thrown away.

    a. Note how much food is thrown away: worldwide, in Germany, how much bread, how much vegetables, ...?

    b. Make a note of what this amount of food is compared to in the film (truck loads, money, ...).

  2. What is the impact of food waste on the environment, people and nutrition in poorer countries? Write down and justify.

  3. The film introduces people trying to fight food waste. Explain what ideas, projects, or ways they are trying to prevent food waste.

  4. Do you have any other ideas or do you know examples from your environment that deal with the topic of food waste?


Thurn, Valentin (2011): Taste the Waste. A film by Valentin Thurn. Producers: Vandekerkhove, Astrid; Thurn, Valentin. Script: Thurn, Valentin. Director: Thurn, Valentin. Motion picture.

[Status: October 26, 2013]