Need more War on Waste inspiration? Watch Food Fighter (airs Tues., Oct. 16, 8.30pm; Lifestyle), the surprisingly entertaining – and emotional – story of the 66-year-old former event planner turned Oz Harvest founder and her passionate dream to stop edibles being chucked while some starve.
You say you’re an “accidental activist” … When I chose to do this I kinda just thought, “I’ll rescue some food and make sure it goes to feed hungry people” – I didn’t think I was embarking on a path. I think my innocence and stupidity helped create something. Are you getting better at it? If one person’s behaviour is changed, if one person is inspired to action and if food waste becomes as big a topic as it needs to be, then it’s all been worth it – my job is done. Was it a quest to improve your life? I was working to make money. I loved what I did, but the purpose was to have more – more things, more of everything, until I realised I don’t need more. When I said I was going to start a charity, one of my girlfriends said, “Does that mean you are going to wear old clothes?”
The galvanising moment? A 1000-person event. It was all so beautiful. But there was masses of food left and I couldn’t save it all. I put some in the car and took it to a charity. But I thought, “We’ve got to be able to do more.” The bokashi composter is a star of the film. Where can we get one? From Oz Harvest. All you have to do is call. It’s simple and easy. What else can we do? Join the movement. Go to the website [Ozharvest.org]. There will be tips, hints and help for individuals to learn how to fight food waste. My goal is to get 500,000 people signed up. Spread the word!
“It’s never been about global domination, it’s been about sharing the model,” says Kahn of expanding into NZ, the UK and her birthplace, South Africa.