Skip to comments.For anyone who is hungry or eating poorly, I have a secret to share. (Hussein's America)
Posted on 02/01/2009 5:26:12 PM PST by Libloather
For anyone who is hungry or eating poorly, I have a secret to share.
Here is some advice for those who are hungry:
My partner and I don't have enough money to eat well and neither do our friends. But we have a little secret I'd like to share with you--on one condition--you have to share the food you find with others and also use good judgment. This works best if you live in a suburb or a small city. (Those in NYC and LA might want to ignore this advice.) I live in a city of about a million people.
Find the area-wide warehouse distribution center for any of the national upscale grocery stores in your region. (I'd rather not name names, but I think you can figure out which ones I'm talking about). There will be an area where trucks are loading massive amounts of new food into the warehouse. Because these stores cater to upscale clientele, they will throw out pallets of food if some items have superficial packaging imperfections (i.e. dented but intact hard plastic, etc.) Because sales are low, they are also throwing out food that is 'less new' but perfectly edible. For example: if new produce arrives, unsold produce will be discarded en masse, even if it will stay good for another 10 days.)
Over the past few months, we have found boxes of whole wheat pizzas, boxes filled with organic frozen dinners (we took about 6 boxes containing 200+ dinners, left the rest), bananas, about 300 pounds of soy nuts, enough baby organic spinach to feed hundreds of people, cookie dough, dips and sauces of all sorts (hundreds of containers), hundreds of boxes filled with organic yogurt, expensive sparking water, pounds of nuts, organic baby mixed greens, etc. We feed many families with what we find.
Here are some tips:
1) Go after 10pm and before 3am.
2) Don't go to STORES themselves, they tend to throw garbage on top of their dumpsters and may even throw poisons on top to keep animals away. You're only likely to find a few busted yogurts with paper and coffee grinds thrown on top of them. Only hit the distribution centers.
3) You will be more successful at high-end stores with a picky clientele. At the regular store they can sell foods in dented packages at a discount. They won't do that at stores that have the aura of health and purity.
4) Use good judgment when dealing with unpackaged and unboxed food. Most of what I find is double and triple boxed food (food in plastic, in a box, in a larger box, inside a huge box all still sealed).
5) Use good judgment in dealing with expired foods. If it is straight out of deep freeze, we've found the "best if used by" dates to be pretty irrelevant. My entire community of friends has eaten on frozen food even 2 months past the "best if used by" date. If the crates of food are still hard-frozen, you're very likely to be AOK. Open one item and do a smell test. Throw away anything that doesn't pass your muster. Use common sense.
6) Always read up on massive recalls of a type of food. If the gov't is saying some tomatoes have salmonella, you might want to think twice about tomatoes.
7) Be careful with children, the elderly, and the immuno-compromised. Have the healthy people eat first as a precaution.
8) Wear comfortable shoes, protective clothing and bring a flashlight.
9) Be aware that your attempt to feed yourself may be trespassing or even illegal. Or it may not be a big deal. Our theory is that upscale 'holistic' stores are less likely to be brutal to foragers because it wouldn't be good advertising to refuse poor people your garbage (or advertise how much they waste.)
10) I'm personally most suspicious of dairy items. Toss anything that doesn't taste PERFECT. But don't worry, you'll find a hell of a lot of perfect tasting food.
If you're germ-o-phobic think of it this way: people touch your prepared foods at restaurants all the time.
Good luck. Please kick this if you think it will help someone.
The things that really are wasted, just in the U.S.-yikes!
How are you getting this food? I"m sure nobody is giving it to you or stacking it neatly for you to pick up. It must be thrown away in the trash and these places do not like people going through their garbage. There may be laws about this now - I'm not sure.
I wish I could participate in this. That perfectly good food is thrown away makes me ill. But I don't think it's as easy as it seems. Perhaps others here have a more up to date perspective on this.
13- As a general rule, if in doubt about the freshness of foraged food, take off one of your sandals and smell it. If the foraged food smells worse, leave it. If it smells about the same, give it to others. If it smells better, take it home to your partner citizen.
Is this different from the gleaners of fields after harvest back in the days of medieval serfdom?
Probably a little more upscale than simply begging on the corner.
People used to go to the bin at the nurseries to pick up the thrown out plants. Well, the neighborhood nurseries realized this and started dousing their plants with weed killer when they put them in the bin so whatever you picked up would be dead in two days. That is wasteful. Amazing. Why didn’t they discount them or replant into larger containers, I can’t tell you.
part of it is lawyers and part of it is they figure you are more likely to come in and buy something if you can’t get it for free.
If you dont work you dont eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10
Resources for job seekers during the recession
Try a church or make friends at a mom & pop grocery or small restaurant. But make friends first. Maybe do some volunteer work at a church and see what turns up. Ditto for fine restaurants & their back doors. Also try the bakery outlets. Food can only keep so long.
During the Great Depression, my grandparents never turned away someone who came to the back door asking for food.
Finally, get some beans, eggs, those chicken and beef broth cubes and milk. Make soup with the beans & broth and boil the eggs. Cut the milk a little but it’ll still taste good.
Start a barter gig. Think of something you can trade for food. 1 hour’s work, maybe 2. Could be work a day’s food.
Find coupons. Use them.
THis is when we help each other, folks.
Great read, tells how these people dive for food and then give it out on the street later :D
As bad as it is now, it was worse before. Legal "food rescue" was an extremely risky (in the legal sense) proposition prior to the Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (1996). The cretinous parasitic trial lawyers fought that one tooth and nail ("to protect poor people from businesses looking to offload their disposal costs"), and have been chipping away ever since.
Well, if it works for you... where I live you’d need to have a Conceal & Carry license to go where the food terminal is, particularly between the time you are suggesting 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. What do YOU do for a living? I and most of my friends work and get up at 5-6 a.m. for work, etc. so being out at 11 p.m. foraging for food isn’t going to be very good for the sleep cycle.
No thanks. While it might be a great way to save money, my life is more valuable to me.
Dumpster-Diver. Some mother’s son. Such a high calling.
By the way, I used to run a food bank at our church. We got all sorts of give-aways by the markets. So much of the whining is a few decades old.
I swear half the population doesn’t know how to even COOK anymore....except to put it in the microwave