Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Waste Not, Want Not

alternate title: Dumpster Diving, Anyone?

In this weekend's Gazette somewhere in the middle of the inane blathering about what Gazette employees are watching on television (note to the editors: FIND SOME ACTUAL NEWS), I was introduced to 'Freegans' - people who are so against the waste in our society that they get their food by dumpster diving. They don't do it because they can't afford food - the person in the Gazette article (sorry - I tried to find a link in the Gazette online archives, but Freegan turned up 0 results...) had a tidy sum in the bank. Freegans dumpster dive to make a statement about how gross it is of us to waste so much food.

While I agree that it is gross of our society to be so wasteful, I don't think I could do the dumpster diving thing. Am I a pampered, spoiled Westerner? I will grab odd things people have put on the curb on trash day (wood, furniture, etc.) , but not food.

I make an effort to not order more than I can eat - I'll split a meal with someone or take the leftovers home. At home I really try to not throw food out, but with two people, stuff inevitably goes bad. I started composting this year so at least the rotting fruit and vegetables don't go to waste.

Am I missing something? Are the rest of you dumpster diving and I'm the only fool actually buying new bagels? They're probably all dropped on the floor and sneezed on before they're bagged and sold in the store anyway...


Dodi said...

I find that horrifying.

I'm a food waster. Deli meat is good for about three days if it is super fresh to start with. I try to buy in smaller quantities so I don't throw throw out much.

Ugh. Simply gross.

stephen said...

I really don't throw out much food at all. i tend to only buy groceries for the next few days and cook much of it in batches for ture meals at home and work. i do find stuff is overpackaged though. the chicken breast i buy come on biodegradable trays. which is cool, but who needs a tray at all. just bag-um.

Karen said...

I am constantly chucking moldy bread and half-containers of moldy hummus. I love having a veggie garden in the summer - I can pick just enough lettuce for one salad, and a sprig of parsley at a time instead of buying huge quantities at the store that I don't need.

not sure about trayless bagged chicken breast - kinda squishy.

Dodi said...

I like buying meat at the counter in Fresh Market. They put the meat in plastic baggies and then wrap in brown paper. Still some plastic, but it's better than getting chicken blood on everything.

I throw out a lot of veggies past their prime when I get excited about cooking more at home. Easier to eat out.

Anonymous said...

You can put two-day old bread in the fridge and toast it as you need it. Or let it air-dry and run through a food processor to make bread crumbs. No waste.

stephen said...

do people still eat bread?

Karen said...

I do eat some bread - unfortunately the healthy, sprouted, unprocessed, no preservatives added stuff is also fast-rotting.

Wonder Bread keeps 4 ever.