Dumpster diving

17/11/2010 - Fun Team

Why dumpster dive?

There’s a lot of prejudice towards dumpster diving. It seems useless to dig through a garbage heap of rotten food. But diving in a bin is more resourceful than we think.

Most of the food discarded from major chain supermarkets are still fresh and edible. Fresh fruits and vegetables are often thrown away due to irregular appearance or shape. Sometimes bags of fresh produce have to be thrown away even though only one or two of the items inside are damaged. As shelves are re-stocked with newer products, older stock is discarded, despite being still edible. There are also a lot of vegies and fruits, which now come in sealed packets. But even if they’re not, they will have only been there for few hours. In any case, a quick washing at home should be enough. And most veggies can be peeled and cooked, anyway.

Dumpster diving not only saves you money, but it also reduces landfill waste and also the emission of methane, a greenhouse gas generated in landfills.

What can we do at home?

However, we understand that not everyone will dumpster dive. There are also other simple ways to reduce weekly grocery costs and reduce landfill. You can plan your shopping ahead. Only buy the fruit and veggies that you KNOW you will eat within the week. You can even choose to shop more regularly, but buy less, making your trips to the supermarkets short and sweet. It is also important to store your food correctly. Some produce keeps better in the crisper, and some products will need to be sleeled in an air-tight container if you want them to last longer.

And you can get creative! Even if your apples aren’t crispy like the day you bought them, you can always stew them into a compote or make a marmalade jam! Think twice before throwing away : )

Related links

Love Food, hate waste – This complete website tells you all you need to know about reducing your waste and save money. Some of the useful tools and info you can find are a practical calculator to cook perfect portions, leftovers recipes, or the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’.

Trashwiki, the Wikipedia for dumpster divers!

To know more about the topic, start with the wikipedia articles about dumpster diving and freeganism. There you can find more useful links at the bottom of the page.

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