Dumpster Diving

Jan 6, 2012
by: spalmer
Dumpster Diving

Would you ever eat food that has been thrown in the dumpster? Today, “dumpster diving”, as they call it, is very common. I was completely oblivious of this issue until I came across a documentary on the idea. Grocery stores are throwing out food that is expired. But are they really expired? No, these dates posted on the food products are set to be very cautious in order to avoid law suits. Other food that is thrown out is due to one bad tomato in the pack, or one brown piece of lettuce in the bag. Thus, getting the food free from the dumpster or buying it at the store is basically the same thing, minus the money. And who would pass up free food?

The dumpster divers call themselves “freegans” and the numbers are increasing. With the economy in the pooper people look at this as a great way to save money. Some are even doing it for environmental reasons as a way of recycling. It depends on your location and the store to know if dumpster diving is legal or not. Police don’t really see it as an issue when there are other things to worry about. Safety is a problem though. Wondering in back alleys in the middle of the night can be dangerous. But that doesn’t stop the dumpster divers.
Here is a story from a MSNBC article:

“A programmer by day, Todd takes to the streets of North Carolina by night, digging through Dumpsters at drug stores and grocery stores all around his rural neighborhood.

"You would be simply amazed at what businesses throw out," he said. "I've only had to buy two loaves of bread all year. ... Last week I had a trunk full of cereal, cookies, chips and ramen noodles."

Todd slinks in and out of smelly places with low-light flashlights to evade rent-a-cops who will shoo him away. Most nights, his 14-year-old son comes along.”

My friends and I are already planning a trip to the dumpsters. Whole Food’s dumpsters was our first choice due to the expensive prices. This can be a great way to save money and help the environment and I will definitely be taking part.