Why we dumpster dive

Why would anyone want to jump into an enormous trash can and eat what they found inside?  Ok, firstly, it often isn’t as gross as you’d think.  Sometimes it is, but not always.  Secondly, we consider dumpster diving to be a moral and political act.  According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Americans throw away NINETY-SIX BILLION POUNDS of food each year (USDA’s website); a 2004 study by the University of Arizona put this figure at ONE HUNDRED BILLION POUNDS, or 50% of all food in the U.S. (Utne Reader 10/10).  In 1996 the Dept. of Agriculture estimated that recovering 5% of all wasted food could feed 4 million people a day; recovering 25% could feed 20 million (Dive!’s website).  And if you’re under the impression that all this wasted food is inedibly old, covered in mold, or otherwise unhealthy to consume, think again: we’ve been eating perfectly edible and delicious (often plastic-wrapped or otherwise packaged for near-perfect cleanliness) food out of dumpsters for years, and Rachel figures that if she did happen to consume a little mold in the process, it probably just strengthens her digestive system.

We believe that having food is a fundamental human right, and the fact that this much food is being tossed into landfills while millions of people go hungry because they can’t afford the high cost of food is morally outrageous.  Thus, we have joined the legions of folks who are simply ending their participation in this inhumane, inefficient, wasteful system and taking their food for free from dumpsters.

If you want more interesting information about food waste and dumpster diving, check out the United States Environmental Protection Agency website, read Doin it and doin it well and The Art & Science of Dumpster Diving and go watch the documentary Dive!

Awesome 20-minute film about waste in the United States: The Story of Stuff