Monday, 12 June 2017

Dumpster Diving






"War on Waste" is a three part series which has played on TV recently and generated some  interesting discussion in our house. After watching this story about dumpster diving, my boys got very curious and decided they would try their luck at it. They have been out two nights and come back with a range of food in various states. There have been doughnuts, bread, finger buns, apples, salad leaves, eggplant, broccoli, tomatoes, milk, yoghurt, fruit juices, sausages, dog food, chicken burgers and cabanossi.  
 

 Some of the spoils looked good when they first came home but cold light of day revealed that they weren't worth the effort, other things were perfectly good or just needed a little trimming.                                              
Last night we made a vegetarian moussaka using dumpster eggplant and rice pudding using dumpster milk.

Today we have had dumpster broccoli soup with garlic croutons made from dumpster bread. We have also had some fried cabanossi for snacks and Harry the hound has enjoyed re-claimed yoghurt and a
chicken burger. I always cook the broccoli stalks for him but today they were more plentiful than usual.


The whole dumpster diving process is quite a distraction, checking local bins and rescuing food takes an hour or two, depending on how enthusiastic one gets and then the whole process of unloading it, determining it's usefulness and making room in the fridge can become quite lengthy so I expect there might be a lot of dumpster diving during the coming uni break and it might need to go on the back burner when classes resume.



Right now, it is exhilarating for the divers, fascinating for the rest of us and quite a boon for the budget.

I wonder what they will bring home next?


14 comments:

  1. Interesting. If they can learn from the experience not to waste, it will be more than enough justification for the time spent diving!

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    1. I have tried hard to teach them but front line experience is always the best teacher!

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  2. It is an interesting experiment! I will be interested to hear more about it as they dig more and more.

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    1. No doubt there will be updates :)

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  3. As you know food waste is a topic in my awareness zone at the moment. I'd never heard of dumpster diving before though.

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    1. I think most dumpster divers are pretty quiet about it, Graham, most people can't cope with the "grossness" factor.

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  4. Less waste is a wonderful thing. I don't know where the nearest dumpster to us is (and couldn't get into or out of one) but applaud the efforts made. I suspect it also requires some creative recipe development too.

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    1. Small supermarkets seem to be the best places, the large ones close too late and lock their bins.
      I have become quite a good recipe developer as a result of food magazines and cooking shows. I was addicted to cooking shows long before it was fashionable!

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  5. A great way of getting some good food for nothing except a bit of effort. Never tried it myself. As you say though, rather time-consuming, what with all the searching and checking the condition of the food. But the broccoli soup with garlic croutons sounds tasty!

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    1. It is time consuming but it's done at a time when most people would be watching tv anyway so not a huge loss.
      The top picture is the soup

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  6. I got food from dumpsters for about a year. I got so much that I could share it with friends. One celery head was very fresh with one broken rib. For this sin, it was destined to go to the dump. I rescued so many things. I estimate I got from $75 to $150 worth of food each week. I quit out of fear I would fall because of knee injuries and be found brain damaged the next morning between two dumpsters. How old are these boys?

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    1. My boys are no longer boys at 20 and 22. They are fit and strong so they have a good chance of staying safe if their bullet proof youth doesn't bite.
      I know how you feel, though and safety is the reason I haven't tried it myself.
      You had some good hauls, I'm glad you could benefit from the crazy waste.

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  7. kylie,
    This was not time-consuming for me. I traveled less than a mile. I spent 30 minutes there or less. However, I spent an hour washing everything. It all went into a pan of warmish water that had vinegar and one drop of Dawn. Bananas and bags of salad, along with other things got a quick run through the pan of water then went onto a towel to drain. I dried very quickly and refrigerated this. I never went into a dumpster. I had to reach in a door at my armpits. Even in the summer, I wore a sweatshirt so as not to contact the dumpster with skin. At home I ripped it off. One night, I found a reacher leaning on the dumpster and used that.

    I found a whole box of colored envelopes thrown out by the lady who delivered greeting cards. Those have come in handy. Another time, I found 11 tiny pots of poinsettias. I took them home and set the pots on a glass cake plate for my Christmas poinsettia.

    I brought home 21 cartons of eggs. When I got through sorting, I had 7 cartons/dozen eggs.

    The waste was amazing. But, I used, froze, dehydrated lots and shared more. Very few times did I bring anything home that I discarded.

    This talk has me excited. I need to do this more now. Never mind I fall.

    I introduced a bf to this and he loved it.

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    1. I'm so pleased to have inspired you! I am a bit scared to try it myself but thats ok because the young ones enjoy it. It seems that eggs are a common find, i wonder why that is

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