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LynneSin

(95,337 posts)
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:19 AM Jul 2016

This Guy Spends $2.75 A Year On Food And Eats Like A King

This Guy Spends $2.75 A Year On Food And Eats Like A King

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dumpster-diver-freegan-food-waste_us_577bd32ee4b0a629c1aac3d1


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Over the last two years, William Reid has spent just $5.50 on food.

Reid is a committed dumpster diver: He dredges unsold grub from supermarket dumpsters and collects food scraps wherever he finds them. And he feasts.

A graduate student in film and electronic media at American University in Washington, D.C., Reid forswore store-bought food in August 2014. Since then, he’s been munching on found meals of green vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, milk and candy ― really, “anything you can imagine,” he said, adding that he’s never gotten sick from food he’s scavenged, nor has he ever lacked access to healthy meals.

<<<snip>>>

That Reid is able to easily find good food in supermarket dumpsters is evidence of just how widespread the country’s food waste problem is. Roughly 40 percent of all food in the U.S. goes uneaten, and yet one in seven American households doesn’t have a regular supply of good food.

While food is wasted at every step along the supply chain, nearly half of the country’s wasted food is lost at supermarkets and restaurants, creating a vast supply of uneaten food sitting in dumpsters and trash cans ― ripe for the taking by people who know how to find it.


I am absolutely fascinated by the concept of dumpster diving for groceries but the concept of rooting through a dumpster for edible products in hopes that I could find a decent meal kinda gives me the creeps. But what's worse is these grocery stores waste so much food when it could be donated to charity and help feed the millions of people who go hungry in this country. I wish we could create some sort of system that allows for grocery stores to donate this food so we can help solve hunger in this country.

Oh take the poll - would you do dumpster diving? Only time I was in a dumpster was to find my passport the night before I was to fly off to Canada and turns out it got tossed with a bag of garbage. NOT FUN!
27 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
I already dumpster dive for food
3 (11%)
I would consider it but only for certain foods
5 (19%)
No Way!
16 (59%)
Other
3 (11%)
Show usernames
Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll
38 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
This Guy Spends $2.75 A Year On Food And Eats Like A King (Original Post) LynneSin Jul 2016 OP
my fridge looks like a dumpster retrowire Jul 2016 #1
*** tosses the dinner invite she got from retrowire into the trash *** LynneSin Jul 2016 #3
that's why god invented crockpots! Gabi Hayes Jul 2016 #11
I guess you and me are a serious minority around here bonemachine Jul 2016 #28
back in the day, my yoga class teacher and I used to make the rounds of the grocery stores Gabi Hayes Jul 2016 #30
Honestly... bonemachine Jul 2016 #34
whereabouts? I have friends/family in Oregon and Wash. Gabi Hayes Jul 2016 #37
Portland bonemachine Jul 2016 #38
We have a small magnetic write on/wipe off board on front of our fridge door to note/date leftovers woodsprite Jul 2016 #19
"Reid said hes never been ticketed or hassled for picking unsold food out of dumpsters." Brickbat Jul 2016 #2
Amazing point LynneSin Jul 2016 #5
The article says he used to reclaim food for Food Not Bombs to give to food shelters; then he Brickbat Jul 2016 #7
He's working on a documentary that is coming out in 2017 LynneSin Jul 2016 #24
^^ This! Democrats Ascendant Jul 2016 #9
A couple years back, there was a story about a woman who had a party closeupready Jul 2016 #4
That is what freaks me out about dumpster diving for food LynneSin Jul 2016 #6
Correct - or items which have been picked over by vermin, insects, birds, closeupready Jul 2016 #8
And she deserved to lose them after that stunt... Blue_Tires Jul 2016 #22
I would perhaps attend a party like this... LynneSin Jul 2016 #25
I will happily eat dumpster dived food bonemachine Jul 2016 #10
Could you add a option for "I've dumpster dived in the past'? Lancero Jul 2016 #12
We used to get boxes of lettuce and cabbage and what ever they had for the farm snooper2 Jul 2016 #13
When I was a kid in the early 70s Lance Bass esquire Jul 2016 #14
You really can eat well. liberalmuse Jul 2016 #15
Everybody has been mentioning dumpsters and food pantries -- watch this librechik Jul 2016 #16
".......these grocery stores waste so much food when it could be donated to charity......." WillowTree Jul 2016 #17
I don't know how it varies from state to state... Initech Jul 2016 #20
Exactly. WillowTree Jul 2016 #29
It's crazy how many people have the mindset not to waste food. glowing Jul 2016 #18
No chance in hell... Blue_Tires Jul 2016 #21
first of all there is no standard for expiration dates on non-dairy items. Javaman Jul 2016 #23
Next thng you need to do is jamzrockz Jul 2016 #26
... Major Nikon Jul 2016 #27
It's amazing some of the things we've thrown away in the past Bradical79 Jul 2016 #31
just think of the savings enid602 Jul 2016 #32
May through September in south Texas: you'll die Ilsa Jul 2016 #33
To all the naysayers who say "you'll get sick" bonemachine Jul 2016 #35
2nd Harvest ... GeorgeGist Jul 2016 #36

LynneSin

(95,337 posts)
3. *** tosses the dinner invite she got from retrowire into the trash ***
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:23 AM
Jul 2016

Just kidding.

I try to keep mine cleaned out and I have wasted food before. I try to remember what food I bought that I ended up not using so I don't waste money on it again.

bonemachine

(757 posts)
28. I guess you and me are a serious minority around here
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 12:06 PM
Jul 2016

The only two yes votes so far...

I love my crockpots!

 

Gabi Hayes

(28,795 posts)
30. back in the day, my yoga class teacher and I used to make the rounds of the grocery stores
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 12:54 PM
Jul 2016

in Arlington, VA, and discovered many delightful, delectable, delicacies

from memory

Stills: say, can I have some of your purple berries?
Crosby: yes, I've been eating them for six or seven weeks now, haven't got sick once
Stills: prob'ly keep both of us alive

DA DA...........DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

can't we all just get along:



''Linda.....where have you gone? what happened to you? do you still love me?" whines our protagonist, his nose dripping with nostalgia.

''Mona, is that you? Yes, I'm in that house next door.''



edit for better mona....so many from which to choose

bonemachine

(757 posts)
34. Honestly...
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 03:07 PM
Jul 2016

I'm mostly into dumpster diving as a subcategory of foraging in general. I love living in the pacific northwest - everywhere I walk right now there are snacks!

 

Gabi Hayes

(28,795 posts)
37. whereabouts? I have friends/family in Oregon and Wash.
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 06:24 PM
Jul 2016

wish I could move, but I'm locked in where I am, which, uh, EATS it, bigtime



not really this, but, can you imagine?

woodsprite

(12,010 posts)
19. We have a small magnetic write on/wipe off board on front of our fridge door to note/date leftovers
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 11:19 AM
Jul 2016

in the hopes that the kids will scarf those first if they have to grab something quick before class or have an evening at home alone.

Brickbat

(19,339 posts)
2. "Reid said hes never been ticketed or hassled for picking unsold food out of dumpsters."
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:23 AM
Jul 2016

Ain't it great to be a middle-class white man?

LynneSin

(95,337 posts)
5. Amazing point
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:24 AM
Jul 2016

If he was homeless or a minority I'm sure the cops would be all over it.

Would be nice if he dumpster dived and then shared that food with the homeless. The homeless would be hassled if they did it and he could make a difference!

Brickbat

(19,339 posts)
7. The article says he used to reclaim food for Food Not Bombs to give to food shelters; then he
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:27 AM
Jul 2016

realized he could just bypass the middle man and eat it himself. What a damn hero.

ETA: Don't get me wrong; there is a terrible amount of food waste in this country. But this guy is not going to make change by "raising awareness." Why not set up a program to reclaim the food and get it to people who need it? Oh wait, he already did. Sheesh.

LynneSin

(95,337 posts)
24. He's working on a documentary that is coming out in 2017
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 11:44 AM
Jul 2016

Who knows - perhaps if people are made aware of the issue change could happen. I still think Morgan Spurlock's "Super Size Me" did much help in making folks aware of portion control and adding the Calorie Counts to fast food restaurants.

And perhaps I'd like to think along with gathering food for himself he helps to donate some of that to shelters and food banks.

 

closeupready

(29,503 posts)
4. A couple years back, there was a story about a woman who had a party
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:24 AM
Jul 2016

with foods prepared from items she'd gotten from dumpster diving - this was in Arizona, I think.

She didn't tell any of her guests until AFTER they'd finished eating.

She lost a lot of friends that day.

LynneSin

(95,337 posts)
6. That is what freaks me out about dumpster diving for food
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:25 AM
Jul 2016

Not sure if I want to feast on the protein or dairy that has been simmering in a hot Arizona Dumpster all day.

LynneSin

(95,337 posts)
25. I would perhaps attend a party like this...
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 11:45 AM
Jul 2016

As long as I was made aware ahead of time that the food was coming from Dumpsters. Probably out of curiosity. There would be some foods I would avoid like the plague (Salmon from a dumpster - HELL NO!) but perhaps others I might considered if I was aware of how the food was prepared to ensure I don't end up with a tapeworm or other weird buggie that could land me in the hospital.

bonemachine

(757 posts)
10. I will happily eat dumpster dived food
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:31 AM
Jul 2016

I recently had a dinner party that was in large part foods that I had scavenged, foraged or would have otherwise been thrown away. Damn good dinner too!

Actually, though, most of my dumpster diving is in print shop dumpsters for art supplies. Over the last year, I've scored hundreds of dollars in inks, paper, sticker stock and assorted materials to paint on.

Lancero

(3,083 posts)
12. Could you add a option for "I've dumpster dived in the past'?
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:34 AM
Jul 2016

Back when I was younger, me and my dad would go diving a lot.

In our case it intended for food - Though we did get some occasionally, usually past date chips and boxes of jarred stuff that was tossed because one jar broke during shipping - but rather for tossed out small appliances and the like for scrapping.

You wouldn't believe the stuff that people tossed. Dehydrators and box fans were the most common thing we'd find, though it wasn't to odd to pull tv's, vcrs (Was back in 02, so these were still around), and the occasional dvd player. Hell, couple times we pulled a computer.

Hell, about 75% of the time these things worked fine. Well, ok, the dehydrators would usually have a busted rack but the others would be intact and perfectly usable.

My favorite find though was a old NES, will most of the cords and a half dozen games. Didn't have a power supply, though my dad knew enough about electronics to be able to jury-rig a different power supply to work with it.

Best food find though was a bakery toss off. Four boxes of bakery and deli foods along with 8 cakes stacked up outside the dumpster, most of it still edible.

 

snooper2

(30,151 posts)
13. We used to get boxes of lettuce and cabbage and what ever they had for the farm
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:40 AM
Jul 2016

Pigs loved it, just throw the whole damn box in and let it go back into the muddy earth when they are done-

Sometimes I'd find boxes of little debbie snack cakes, just about everything...Good times

 

Lance Bass esquire

(671 posts)
14. When I was a kid in the early 70s
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:43 AM
Jul 2016

Would go behind the Woolworth or sears and dive on in
Never got anything high end .. broken toys..knick knack stuff. But was a treasure trove when you were 9 years old.

liberalmuse

(18,766 posts)
15. You really can eat well.
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:52 AM
Jul 2016

When my daughter first moved here and was staying with me, her new friend showed her all the best dumpsters in Seattle. They are both vegan, so she brought home field roasts, artisan breads and tons of organic smoothies. This was expensive food that was still fresh And well-sealed. We ate like queens for a couple of weeks.

I never took the time to have her show me the rounds or else I'd do a dive myself, except the homeless and poor, hungry college students need it much more than I.

WillowTree

(5,325 posts)
17. ".......these grocery stores waste so much food when it could be donated to charity......."
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 10:54 AM
Jul 2016

Among the reasons why they don't do this more is that if anyone should get sick from anything that met the criteria for disposal but was donated instead the stores or restaurants could, and no doubt would, be held liable which would have all kind of unpleasant repercussions for them. Would be nice if there could be some kind of "hold harmless" statutes could be put in place but, barring that, it's safer for those businesses to just throw the stuff out. Sad but true.

Initech

(100,617 posts)
20. I don't know how it varies from state to state...
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 11:26 AM
Jul 2016

But I do know that here in California we have some of the strictest standards in the country when it comes to food and waste disposal. I think that concept of donating to charity is a good idea in theory but in actual practice could be a disaster if food was prepared and served well past its' expiration date and doesn't meet that states' guidelines for waste disposal.

 

glowing

(12,233 posts)
18. It's crazy how many people have the mindset not to waste food.
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 11:11 AM
Jul 2016

Kids are told to eat what on their plate and they are lucky to have yucky bristle sprouts because there are starving children in Africa who would love a wholesome meal... Yet, they are more than willing to see 40% of supermarket foods go into a dimpster, than for anyone else in Ameeica to get something for free... Mainly because they are jealous they aren't getting something they think someone else "less deserving" is getting over their own selves.

We would probably help close this mind set or punishing people/ families/ children living in poverty, if we actually raised the qualification income across the board for families in America. A working poor family or lower middle class family is struggling heir butts off to put any food on the table and pay the rest of their bills.

Either they need a raise or govt programs need to start helping offset the costs for living in America. As it is, there is no state one can rent an apt and make min wage. In many places even that $15.0/ hr min wage is too low... There would be less grumbling or support for a congress to take away benefits for poorer families of the govt were to increase the people who could gain access to the program.

My family doesn't qualify, however, we could really be helped out big time if we could get just $200/ month in SNAP benefits. Many times I have had to grab a credit card and pay interest on a "pick me up" loan.

You know the back in 2007 - 2008, before the crash, when families were feeling a big pinch and recession was looming, Bush decided everyone needed a cash infusion. Could you imagine in Obama suggested that now?

You know, if everyone in America making less than $50,000/ yr could get a $10,000 govt pay out check, the economy might actually flourish just a bit. Yeah, some people would pay off old debts. A "married" couple may combine their pay outs and place a down payment on a house to own. Students may pay off a student debt. Others would take the money to open up a business (smart young people could actually combine 10 people into a company and have a $100,000 investment to start up a company.

I think it's past the time where govts need to begin thinking outside the box in regards to a "capitalistic society", and collecting taxes as "wealth" of the country. There has got to be a way to begin valuing intrinsic items like human beings, ecosystems, clean water and air, nutritious foods, housing... With out technology and globs working community, no human being needs to even work 40hrs a week any longer. There should be a basic value given to people to live without having a job at all, and with a job adding to that amount as "extra"... So there would still be a class system, but a young mother could choose to take 2 yrs off of work to stay home with their baby and not wonder how to pay the rent/ mortgage. And maybe long term mortgages in homes just doesn't really work any longer... Perhaps we need something in-between renting and owning. Many people have to be able to be mobile to go where their job or a job market for their field may take them.

I don't even know how we begin to equalize human beings globally to ensure every human has a basic right to exist, have access to safe housing, nutritious foods, healthcare, clean water and air, and free education. And a means of easier travel and living and working in other countries... We should have as much opportunity to travel and work as the very goods that are produced and transported all over the globe. Right now, we are seeing a retraction to borders and nationalism as a pushback to the type of globalization the wealthy are fostering on the world... Where everyone else produces their goods, people struggle to purchase those goods, and the wealth is sucked up to the top.

Blue_Tires

(55,445 posts)
21. No chance in hell...
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 11:33 AM
Jul 2016

And Reid isn't the first, either http://citylimits.org/2016/01/12/nycs-freegans-attack-food-waste-one-dumpster-dive-at-a-time/

I understand there are people who must do it to survive, but it's not for me... If this is how Reid gets his kicks, more power to him..

Javaman

(62,732 posts)
23. first of all there is no standard for expiration dates on non-dairy items.
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 11:40 AM
Jul 2016

My GF works in a supermarket and tells me tales of perfectly good food that is thrown away because; cans are dented, labels are gone, one day over the "expiration" date, etc...

we waste entirely to much food in this nation that could go to feeding the homeless or the poor.

I completely approve of dumpster diving, what I don't approve of is supermarkets locking their dumpsters and preventing people from that food. In Oregon, dumpster diving is allowed and encouraged at no liability to the store that threw out said food.

throwing out food is an absolutely disgraceful practice. THAT should be the crime.

 

jamzrockz

(1,333 posts)
26. Next thng you need to do is
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 11:51 AM
Jul 2016

do an inventory of the food you buy and see how much food YOU actually thrown away in your own homes. Its not just grocery stores and restaurants, normal people who are generally outraged by what grocery stores and restaurants do also throw lots of food away/let good food rot in their own homes.

Better preservatives I guess.

 

Bradical79

(4,490 posts)
31. It's amazing some of the things we've thrown away in the past
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 01:07 PM
Jul 2016

I work at a big home improvement store. Now, I get the green light to sell nonstock items off at whatever price I feel like after it has lost its shelf spot, or the packaging looks like crap. When I first started many years ago I was actually forbidden from selling some of that stuff. Had to go straight to the dumpster. Having to toss a perfectly fine $500 crystal chandelier into the compactor was pretty upsetting.

enid602

(8,816 posts)
32. just think of the savings
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 02:57 PM
Jul 2016

You know, he could save on rent by sleeping and relieving himself in the dumster. If he were to telecommute from the dumpster, he could really save on transportation.

bonemachine

(757 posts)
35. To all the naysayers who say "you'll get sick"
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 03:09 PM
Jul 2016

Yes, absolutely, if you fail to take some basic safety precauations.

But seriously, it's not like you HAVE to take and drink the spoiled milk. The point is to reclaim the good food that's being discarded, not to force yourself to eat rotten produce.

Proper washing and cooking will make food, especially prepacked foods, just as safe, whether they came off the shelf or out of the bin.

GeorgeGist

(25,353 posts)
36. 2nd Harvest ...
Tue Jul 12, 2016, 04:40 PM
Jul 2016

The Food Rescue program gathers prepared and perishable foods from local restaurants, schools, groceries and other sources in our community. Food like day-old baked goods, milk and cheese approaching expiration, bruised fruits and vegetable, perishable goods with damaged packaging and even meat products are rescued. The food is rapidly distributed in a refrigerated truck to on-site hunger relief agencies such as group homes, soup kitchens, after-school programs and shelters where it can be served quickly to hungry people seeking help. These organizations would spend millions of dollars a year if they had to purchase the food they receive free through the Food Rescue program!

Finally, the hungry people who receive plates of food distributed by the Food Rescue program are getting high-quality, fresh, nutritious food. The nutritional value of this food is a real benefit for a group of people that typically do not eat enough fresh foods.

“We love getting so much fresh food from Second Harvest. We can cook a lot of different kinds of meals with the food we get. The folks who come in here to get hot meals are really benefiting because of it.” – local soup kitchen coordinator

Sponsors Include: Wal-Mart, Kroger, Food City, Target, Food Lion, Sams Club, Publix, Aramark, Hundres of local grocers, restaurants, farms, local growers and others.
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