Here's Who Usually Eats The Leftover Food From Movie Sets

"Film sets are notoriously wasteful places," begins one Los Angeles Times article, which goes on to report that some large-budget movies can generate as much as 72 tons of food waste. Accordingly, many film sets are making attempts to "go green," replacing plastic bottles with reusable bottles and disposable batteries with rechargeable ones, for example. Tackling food waste, though, is especially important to making movie production more sustainable.

In her work as an eco-supervisor on film sets, Emellie O'Brien digs through trash cans to separate compost from recyclable materials, and she once donated 2,000 uneaten meals from the production of "Spider-Man," reports the LA Times. Considering that the average film has more than 500 crew members, according to Stephen Follows, that means there must be at least dozens of meals that can be donated from each one. Another bit of food for thought: It's not only the snacks set out for cast and crew that can be given to charities; it's also the meals that food stylists use for dining scenes.

Food stylists can help prevent food waste on film sets

While snacks, drinks, and meals provided by craft services are usually either donated or thrown away if uneaten by cast and crew, the food that's seen onscreen can have a different fate. As reported by Mental Floss, Hollywood food stylist Chris Oliver says that when it comes to meals cooked for specific scenes, actors usually eat them during filming, and the crew will finish them afterward. The professional shares that she often reuses food that is not used in one shoot for another shoot she is styling on the same day. If they can't be repurposed on set, she'll think of creative ways to use leftovers, turning foods into salsa or jam.

Commercial shoots, especially those for restaurants or food brands, often produce more leftovers, which are donated when possible. "I once donated an entire swordfish when we did a commercial for a fish restaurant," Oliver told Mental Floss. "We never even used it. So I kept it on ice and took it to a men's homeless shelter. They were thrilled to have it."