Dumpster Diving for Food: A form of Civil Disobedience?

One of the things that interested me in the film I watched Monday, How to Cook Your Life, was a woman who “finds” food–in dumpsters and things that are either growing wild or in people’s yards that they aren’t using. She claimed that she eats extremely well and doesn’t pay a dime for her food.

Each year, 96 billion pounds of food is thrown away in the U.S. How many homeless and hungry people could be fed on just what we throw away?

I found this movie called Dive, and it’s about the food we waste and the people who are engaged in acts of civil disobedience to save it. Now some of these folks who dumpster dive for food are just hungry and/or poor. They need food and this is the only way they can get it. But others are engaged in this as a means of protesting the huge waste Americans participate in daily. And since dumpster diving is illegal, these people are breaking the law to stand up for what they believe in.

I don’t know anything about grocery store waste but I know a lot about waste in our house. Too much of it, in fact. I make meals that the kids won’t eat. Or I over-cook. Left-overs are ignored. Down the trash it goes. We compost some but not enough. Sometimes I buy too much. It rots without being eaten. Or we get super busy or go out of town unexpectedly. Then there’s too much food sitting around and much of it has ruined. How to find this balance? This is a hard question but I’ve often thought that if we were growing all this food ourselves (eating only what we grow) we’d be a lot better about not wasting our food.

2 thoughts on “Dumpster Diving for Food: A form of Civil Disobedience?

  1. Yes, food waste is such a hard one especially with little ones. Sometimes I serve something for my toddler and it’s not enough and other times he doesn’t touch it but spills all over the floor. I think just being mindful of food waste is the first step. Menu planning is another big one and being creative with recipes- not sticking to the same old but throwing in some celery just because that’s what’s in the fridge and it needs to be used.

    xo m.

    • good suggestions. I was looking through Edward Espe Brown’s, The Complete Tassajara Cookbook, this morning and he has a whole section of recommendations of what to do with vegetables that look like they are past there prime. I’m going to spend some time with this section and see if I can’t put some of this into practice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s