Interview with Agon, Project Nightfall: My video about food waste

Hey there! This time, I post the english version first because the last article was german only. This article is a special one as it is the first time I post an interview here on my blog. I talked with Agon about his motivation to create a food waste video 🙂 here we go:

Agon is a video creator and musician from the UK. Working with Nas Daily, a well-known content creator on Facebook, he concentrates on the production of videos on this channel. Agon is not only passionate about mental health, motivation & music: He also wants to sensibilize people about problems like food waste.

Find Agon on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube!

He is currently in China to produce more videos. Thus, I am even more happy I can interview him today via Skype.

Hey Agon, I am happy that we have the chance to do this interview today! Looking at the name your channel “Project Nightfall” I wondered where it comes from?

The meaning of my channel’s name is related to the main topic of my channel: I make and upload videos to motivate people and to help them with mental problems. And thus I chose the name “Project Nightfall”: I believe that the life of a person can change over one nightfall.

How did you start doing videos?

Initially, I started to upload videos on youtube and worked with bigger youtube channels. But I realized that it is very hard to make influential content on youtube. Thus half a year ago, I joined Nas Daily, a well-known content creator on facebook.

I turned to make facebook videos because I think a lot of my content, e.g. my food waste videos, would not have gone viral on youtube. I wanted to create content that has a meaning for me and reach a lot of people with it.

So why did you decide to make a video about food waste?

Before making videos professionally, I worked for about three years in a fast food company. We were used to throw away a lot of food. For example, when we opened a package of sandwich bread and did not use all of it until the end of the day, it went to waste. But it was not until I became manager of the store when I fully realized how crazy it was to bring out big bags full of edible, fresh food every day! It was incredible and I wanted to do something about it, for example I tried to offer the food to homeless people, give it away for free or something like that. However, the law prevented me from doing it.

Even though it was difficult, I think I should have done more against food waste while  working there. Therefore, I created the video to make people aware of what is going on behind the scenes. The majority of customers does not know what goes to waste in a restaurant, fast food chain or supermarket every day. Thus, I am happy that video gets so much exposure!

Did you never take food home from the restaurant?
That would have been a great option and in earlier times, it was possible for employees to take wasted food home with them. However, the problem then was that workers started to hide some food and then took it home with them. Therefore, the company stopped doing it.

Why did you explicitly address supermarkets in your video? The majority of experts argues that customers throw away much more food that shops.

When I was working in the fast food chain, I sometimes went to trainings for managers to discuss different management-related topics. There I talked to different managers from supermarkets, restaurants, etc. also about waste. I used to throw away about 2 bags of fresh food every day. But supermarket managers told me that it was up to 20 times more in their branch – that’s a n incredible amount of food waste every day.

I did some research and found out that in America, the whole food industry (supermarkets, restaurants, catering) throws away 37% of all the wasted food (or of all food?). In my video, it was important for me to make this incredibly high wastage of resources understandable for people in a short time.

Have you ever been containering (dumpster diving) and what do you think about it?

Short time ago, I was in Singapore for two weeks and met some freegans. Five days a week, the collect food together, but they also regularly save clothes and electronics from going to waste. They then share the collected items and use them instead of going shopping.

Most of them also work and go to the containers nearby. But two of them entirely lived as freegans, this means they buy nothing and only live from everything they find! This was quite an impressive experience for me.

You addressed the law, supermarkets and restaurants in your video as being responsible for food waste. Do you also think consumers have a responsibility?

In my opinion, everyone has a responsibility of course. But companies have the highest potential to really change something! I try to compare it with the music industry: When producers decide to promote electronic music this year, the majority of people will listen to electronic music. If supermarkets and restaurants choose to work against food waste and offer the consumers also imperfect products, people will go with it! Because no one likes wasting food. That would be the easiest way from my point of view to prevent a lot of food waste.

Anyway, we should not forget that we a consumers have an important role even though! I addressed this at the end of my video. It is way more difficult to influence people themselves, because they all have a different cultural background, different priorities in their life,…

Agon mit Food

Love food 🙂 Agon eating traditional mezze (oriental starters)

Which feedback did you get for your video so far?

Not only a lot of people form America and the UK, but also companies messaged me! They were thankful for the video and told me that they will offer more training for their personal now to work against food waste.

Will you make further videos about food waste?

I think I will not make another video about food waste, but certainly about another environmental topic e.g. plastic waste.

Can you give some practical advice for avoiding food waste at home? What do you do to prevent food waste?

I’ll not do a video about tips against food waste, because I am not an expert on that. Currently, I do not waste any food at home, because during my journeys I do not go shopping, but have to eat at restaurants or at the hotel.

However, I think that it some tips against food waste are quite straightforward and easy to implement in your own household: The most important measure in my opinion is not to overbuy! Think about whether you really need the food offered in 2+1 free deals and make a list before you go shopping!

With small measures like this, we can all do our bit against food waste too.

Thank you for your time, Agon!

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