In a country where nearly forty million daily struggle to get enough food, millions of meals are literally being wasted.
Lost Calories: US trashes $ 1 Bln worth of food (per year, which constitutes 30-50% of produced food)
Please watch this 2 1/2-minute Russia Today clip, which discuses America's throw away culture even as poverty rises, and features New York and Los Angeles dumpster divers:
Out of the dumpster at 2 PM and into the crock pot at 2:30 PM
This morning for breakfast I had a delicious egg white omelette sandwich, an apple, and coffee. For lunch I ate lean turkey Italian sausage. For dinner, I just finished some delicious leftover crock pot beef stew with sweet onions, spices and red potatoes, that started with Italian salad with caesar dressing. Later on, for desert, I am planning to eat some great big strawberries, because they are in season early due to the unseasonably mild non-climate climate change.
Everything was served on stoneware and eaten with flatware from dumpsters. The coffee brewed in a coffeepot from the dumpster, and currently, in the crock pot, also from a dumpster, is a ham roast so large that even with halving it and trimming it, the lid does not quite fit. After breakfast, I switched from coffee to iced tea; the two drinks I mention here are the only consumable items we purchased. The tea and coffee are always served, of course, in dumpster cups and glasses. Everything else came from the trash. Sometimes for fun, we pull out china and silver plated dinnerware, also from dumpsters, and eat off that.
The ham roast was pulled from the dumpster at 2 PM, and placed into the crock pot at 2:30 PM. We will put the pot on low, and begin eating the roast tomorrow.
To search for the YouTube video from Russia Today (RT), I used a back lit gaming keyboard called a Razer Lycosa
, in perfect condition, from a dumpster. The keyboard retails or EBays for $79.99 USD. Then, I listened to the clip with padded Phillips headphones with volume control on the cord, Model SHP 2500, also from a dumpster.
We were beginning to worry. Competition for dumpster food is on the increase as it was with scrapping, which, as you know we quit because the gas was too expensive and the competition for scrap too stiff. By the way, we are saving a fortune in gas on this motorcycle. We do not miss the truck at all.
We know for sure that we have one major new competitor and probably more, at one of our food dumpsters, and while we welcome others who are poor and just now discovering America's throw away culture, I will say this: These guys are really good at it. They take everything but the echo from the dumpster. That is not really that cool, as dumpster etiquette goes, but the new competition is clean, and I am sure that over time, they will take only what they need.
Still, we needed a plan. We looked at the dumpster early to get a look at the baseline, and then basically posted up. Then, a while later, we hit it pretty hard for a dive. Still, we left plenty, and, of course, just like hikers, we left the area cleaner than it was when we got there, which was clean to begin with.
The other guys are neat and tidy as well, but they leave little forensic telltale signs of their presence, such as leaving the side door slightly ajar, which we never do.
While I am aware that folks often skip the videos in posts, I hope you see the one above from Russia Today, because I will add a couple of comments regarding the dumpster diving. Our experiences are pretty consistent, but one thing I notice especially is the gigantic industry that Big Meat really is. I do not care for the cruelty behind the Big Meat blood empire; just today my mother emailed me from The Humane Society yet another egg production cruelty investigation. These cruelty investigation documentary films are elephant films
for me, and I cannot watch them because they break my heart.
If we had money, we would likely not eat meat or poultry, but at the same time, in an odd sort of way and being poor, I feel as if ethically driven to keep these items from going to waste in the landfill. All of our eggs, cartoned egg whites and meat, as well as most dairy, including that to-die-for Greek yogurt, therefore, come from the trash, except for the occasional half gallon of whole milk, because believe it or not, I still drink milk.
On those same green lines and since we only have backpack room, we avoid plastic bags at the retailers we do visit. Early on, someone called the police when I carried a backpack into the store, so we usually leave our backpacks outside and carry items with receipt out of the store to the awaiting packs. Where retailers know us, we take the packs in, but it is not necessary, because there is so little crime in this area, and the way I see it, if someone steals my back pack or his, which both came from dumpsters, the person needs the pack more than we do.
For novice dumpster divers reading, our experience is that we keep a very close eye on food in the warmer months. We smell-test everything, but we have had to discard little, one of the items being something that we purchased inside a store. This has worked well for nearly a year and a half now. We have not been sick. In fact, we are sick less now than we ever were when we had money (excepting my migraines, which are not bacterial or viral). The exception is poultry. Poultry does not keep at all, for some reason, so we usually leave it.
That said, our freezer is so full that I had to remove ice trays to get everything in, and our refrigerator is equally full, such that we keep an eye on the thermometer, because we may still have to abandon some items to their original destiny at the landfill.
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