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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wasted Food--Linda to the Rescue

This is a post that is mostly cut and paste of reports of my safari adventures. As Jonathan Bloom reported on Wasted Food, over 40% of food produced in the US is wasted. Of course, I assume he is not talking about what comes entirely from our homes. For the last several years, I have enjoyed the fruits of dumpster diving, now to be known as safaris. It is frugal, tasty, fresh. Well, it is as fresh as some things that have been in my refrigerator, just waiting to be consumed. This act of salvation is frugal, thrifty, cheap, parsimonius, whatever. It is clean or I do not get it. Some is even organic!

Here are a few examples of my hauls on various days in a city far from where I live. I drive one block out of my way.

For the chicks:

2 large tomatoes, past their prime
2 qts + cherries, mango, strawberries

For me:
2 cups grape tomatoes
2 onions
5 lb bag potatoes (one bad potato)
5 ears corn
1 Granny Smith apple

Day #2
4 bags of Dole salad--romaine, raddichio, endive, carrots

2 large lemons
2 lbs white grapes
1 squash

Only the lemon is for me, along with a few grapes in the original bag. The grapes that spilled in the box belong to chicks. I ate one bag of salad greens. Chicks ate three.

Day #3

4 pieces of watermelon to equal a half watermelon
3 cabbages, still wrapped
a dozen grapes
7 1/2 dozen eggs!

The chicks will love me for the watermelon. I will eat the cabbage, cooked of course and share with a friend.

My lucky day--eggs were still very cold, not even sweating yet, thanks to whoever put plastic over the box, hiding them for a friend, I suspect.The egg box and all the cartons were so clean that I wrapped them in plastic bags and placed them in the refigerator. Only two eggs were broken!
Day #4

I was walking out of Target with my friend who went in to find card holders for her coupons. She pointed to a cart of trash and told me I could get Coke codes. Looking in the cart I saw two boxes that each once held 12 packs of Diet Coke--now trash. I started ripping the codes off and noticed there were lots of Coke cans. One of them rolled like it was full, so I checked, and lots of the Coke cans were full. I asked the clerk that had pushed the cart out why the cans were full and what was all this stuff? (sitting right in front of the store) He said it was trash. I asked him why. He said people leave things in their carts, and they just throw them away. Hmmmm. I asked him if I could have the Cokes and he told me I could have anything in the basket...hmmm. I started digging around and got the following:

16 or more cans Diet Coke
7 or more cans tomato soup
sunglasses--used, not new (donated these)
2 matchbox cars-used, not new
6 oz Parmesan cheese
4 baking potatoes
huge bunch of celery
4-pack of C batteries filled with water (are they still good?) (they were)
half a roll of strapping tape
a "chip clip" type clip

The reason I am not sure about the number of Cokes or soup cans is that I gave my compact friend more of those than I kept. Another friend will probably use both of those items.

I left the leather gloves that seemed to belong to an employee and other items that seemed to belong to workers or the store.

The cantaloupe was very overripe and appreciated by my chicks.

Linda<-------unwitting thief...sorry judge, it was an accident.

Nasty Dumpster Food?

All food (bananas and cansand other packaging) is washed in Dawn and vinegar, dried and immediately stored in the proper place. Nothing that ever has touched the side of the dumpster comes home with me. People have commented that a rat may have crawled on the food while in the dumpster. AND? How do you know that a rat did not crawl across the bell pepper waiting on a truck before transport? How can you be sure what has crawled on any of your food? I will guarantee you I washed bananas from safari but not those bananas I purchase from inside the store.

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