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Old 03-04-2008, 03:15 PM
265 posts, read 1,070,397 times
Reputation: 106


did anyone watch oprah last week where she interviewed "freegans" - people who choose to find their food in dumpsters behind grocery stores, restaurants, etc. because they believe we're so wasteful as a society. they basically said there is no reason to let all this food (that is may be just damaged or dented or only a day or so from expiration), go to waste. I think this is intriguing. they took a reporter on a "dumpster dive" in NYC and came up with soooo much stuff that actually looked edible. unopened pantry food, produce, even milk!
curious if anyone out there is into this? do the stores just overlook this going on in their dumpsters?
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:49 PM
170 posts, read 825,390 times
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There's a reason why you should eat anything out of a can that's been dented. But if you want to take your life in your hands then go ahead.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:34 PM
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
2,868 posts, read 8,444,336 times
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I saw this show and just was so shocked. ...

When I was 15 my first job was at Famous Recipe Chicken...Like a KFC competitor...At the end of the night, ALL THEIR FOOD that was left over went in the trash...I am talking 4 large warmers of chicken, all the biscuts and sides...It was a crime. I always asked why they did not donate to a kitchen or something...feed some hungry people a nice warm meal at night time, ya know??? I was always just sho shoed...

But yes, if someone dumpster dived in that dumpster each night, they would have a hot fresh meal to feed an army.

Sad really.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:33 PM
265 posts, read 1,070,397 times
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at an einstein's bagels, the "freegans" found a HUGE plastic bag full of bagels that were probably a day old. places like that, or panera, have fresh baked stuff that if it's not sold, just goes to waste!
and it's edible - people are not taking their lives into their hands by consuming it...it's just easier to trash it than donate it, which is what the show said.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:47 PM
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
5,082 posts, read 12,579,535 times
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There should be a law that all good excess food should be made available for those who need food, and all good appliance boxes should be saved and made available for those who need shelter.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:10 AM
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,797,403 times
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To all you folks wondering why prepared food gets trashed instead of donated... the reason is because in most places it is against sanitation laws/ordinances to donate prepared foods (it has to be prepared on-site so that it is subject to inspection); and even if that were not the case, a lot of shelters and places you could donate it to wouldn't have the means of preserving the volume of non-packaged foods they would otherwise receive. So in other words, the shelters would throw it out instead of the restaurants throwing it out.

Also, donating non-prepackaged foods greatly increases the donor's exposure to liability, especially if the donor has deep pockets like, say, a corporate restaurant.

A lot of restaurants around here dump bleach in their food-disposal dumpsters to keep divers and rats out.

And my final thought: anyone who would drink milk out of a dumpster is an idiot.
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:05 AM
Location: on an island
13,374 posts, read 40,153,042 times
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Quite often, long-established grocery stores will make arrangements with shelters for regular pickup times. Timing is everything.
The freegan movement has been around for at least a decade. Sure, some people take it too far, but the way the economy is these days, the freegan subculture might receive a bit more respect.
Check out the French movie (2000) The Gleaners and I.
One person's trash really can be another's treasure.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:11 AM
Location: Bay Area
2,406 posts, read 6,797,390 times
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Its very sad when there are starving people all around the country and world that all this food is being thrown out.

Einsteins and many other bagel shops throw away all the bagels/bread that was baked that morning that didn't sell. Huge amount of food! And this happens at many other chains and restaurants. How repulsive that they throw bleach or other chemicals on it as not to be liable.

SO many lives could be saved if we switched our priorities.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:31 AM
16,487 posts, read 20,332,656 times
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It is correct that it is a liability issue as to why many of these places throw away their prepared food at the end of the day, but that is very much a waste. There should be a place where any restaurant, fast food joint, grocery store etc. can bring (or maybe have picked up) their extra food each day and be available to anyone that wants/needs it. This is a very wasteful country and that is sad. People should have to sign papers or something that they won't sue to eat this food. There has got to be a way to not waste so much. Now as far as digging through garbage cans I am not comfortable with that. The cans themselves are riddled with bacteria, not to mention mice and rats and flies etc. in these places. Many years ago I had a friend that told me a story about when she was first married, very young, with a little baby and they had nothing. Her and her husband would dig through the grocery store garbage cans. She told me with pride how they found an unopened large package of PORK chops one summer day and ate them. I have never forgotten that story. Yeah she lived to tell that story but that is scary stuff.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:42 AM
Location: Maine
5,969 posts, read 11,132,103 times
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Even if someone can't get past eating from a dumpster, what about composting all this wasted food? Something's better than filling landfills with this.
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