A little while ago, I mentioned what “Food Blessings” were. if you haven’t checked that post out yet, please do. This form of Food Blessing were not on that list at the time, but it will be added now! You see, ALL of this was FREE from the dumpster! That’s right, I went dumpster diving! not for the reasons you might think though.
In America, we throw away $165 billion dollars worth of food each year; about half of all the food we produce, at the same time 1 in 7 Americans are food unstable. Food waste is very prevalent here, and it disgusts me! There are so many homeless, so many who went to bed tonight without a full stomach, so many who don’t know when their next meal will be, but stores just throw all of this out! It’s awful! I will be sharing the wealth and dropping a lot of it off at the local food bank so they can help out a little bit more.
When I say this food is perfectly good, I mean, still in code! As couponers, many of you know that the “Sell by” date doesn’t really mean anything anyway, but check this out!
This is just a small sampling, but as you can see they are still well within the timeframe that the stores can sell them. Today is 1/15/2015, so the first two still have about a month to go, and the third has 5 more days. Again, those are the suggested “Best if used by” dates, they don’t mean they automatically go bad at this point, they will still be good for quite a while after that date.
Why did they throw it away if it is still in code? I really don’t know! A dented box? The sodas were thrown out because one can out of a 12 pack was opened and leaked on the others. I washed them off and they are perfectly fine. The question isn’t so much “Why did they throw it out?” but more of “Why didn’t they donate it?” and for the longest time, I thought that it was because they might be liable if someone got sick from food they donated. That’s what Walmart used to tell us whenever we asked why we were throwing out so much perfectly good food. However, that’s not the case! Grocery stores are protected from liability by The Good Samaritan Food Act and not a single grocery store has ever been sued after donating food to a non-profit according to this University of Arkansas study. So the question again…..WHY?! I don’t know, and I’d like to find out.
Tonight while dumpster diving, I was pulled over by a police officer. I asked him what his reasoning for pulling me over was, and his reply was that it was because I was dumping in the garbage cans. When I assured him that I was not leaving garbage, but taking it, and that it was food, he was surprised. He took a look at the back seat and saw all the food I had rescued, smiled and told me to have a good night. I did let him know that when he pulled me over, that I was headed to another dumpster right around the corner and asked him if that was ok, and he said that it was and told me to have a good night. Was I nervous? SURE! However, I recently met a man named Rob Greenfield who has traveled across the United States eating food from various dumpsters, in order to bring awareness to the Food Waste Fiasco and he made a promise to anyone who was dumpster diving for food, that if you were arrested while diving, he would pay all fines and bring national attention to the issue and do his best with lawyers who have volunteered their help as well, in order to make things right. What is his reasoning for offering to pay those fines? To quote him, “Like I said I have been in about 1,000 dumpsters across America and I have never been in trouble. I have been asked to leave by employees a couple dozen times though and it’s as simple as that, leaving upon request.” basically, it is SO RARE that you would get arrested for this, that he probably would never have to do this, but he promises that if it happens, he will make it right to the best of his abilities, and I believe him!
Rob Greenfield has inspired me! I am having fun diving for food, sure, but I am also helping others as well as cutting my food bill. I am going to leave you with this video of Rob’s. Please watch it, and let me know your thoughts!