Author Topic: $100 of food  (Read 13533 times)

Mr Dumpster Stache

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$100 of food
« on: January 06, 2015, 05:04:16 PM »
I liberated at least $100 worth of delicious last night.


ruthiegirl

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2015, 05:08:30 PM »
Liberated?

Paul der Krake

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2015, 05:09:57 PM »
Liberated?
Look at OP's username.

Also, who the hell throws a wrapped up camembert away? Where I'm from, this would get you thrown in jail!

DesireeD

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2015, 05:13:15 PM »
Thank you for preventing the waste of otherwise usable food.

ruthiegirl

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2015, 05:15:05 PM »

Look at OP's username.

Also, who the hell throws a wrapped up camembert away? Where I'm from, this would get you thrown in jail!

Oh shit.  That all came from a dumpster?  What the hell?  I can't believe we can be such a wasteful society. 

Mr Dumpster Stache

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2015, 05:24:22 PM »
And that was just what was easy to grab... I left more than I took. It's truly mind blowing the amount of stuff that could be eaten, composted and recycled that gets thrown away every single day.

boarder42

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2015, 07:48:28 PM »
Where do you find this. Behind a grocery store in the dumpster?

Hey It's Me

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2015, 08:37:53 PM »
WHATTT? That's crazy - good work buddy!

MrSal

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2015, 09:14:01 PM »
what do you mean?

You got this from the trash?! Or is it going to the store by closing time and asking them what they are going to throw away? Do they give you that easily?

Please share!

Mr Dumpster Stache

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 07:46:47 AM »
We just go to the dumpsters behind the grocery stores. There are only two in town that don't have compactors (compactors = the devil!). It's legal here, but most of the store employees don't like it. On the other hand, sometimes it looks like they are intentionally leaving good stuff right on top for us. I hope that it bothers some of them how much food they throw away.

I know in some places (Boulder, CO I think has one) there are organizations that have volunteers on bikes go around to the different stores and get the "leftovers" from the employees and then distribute to the community.

If you can, check out the documentary "Dive" - that's what got us started.

Bob W

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2015, 08:20:11 AM »
The apples are amazing!    I'll need to look into this.   I'm all for saving food.  I think in the US something like 40% is wasted or thrown away.   

I try to keep my waste below 10% and will generally eat anything in the fridge or pantry regardless of "best by" date.

Ranch dressing?   Seriously,  that shit has to have at least a 1 year best by date.  Can't imagine it sat that long.   

Many towns have a system of picking up end of the night food from restaurants and grocery stores where they then distribute it to the homeless and needy.   

Although,  I'm guessing that some people will think this is a little too hardcore Mustachian. 

Allie

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 06:05:48 PM »
That all of that was put in the trash is awful.  If my husband wouldn't freak out, I would love to get into this...

I remember a college boyfriend telling me about his job at staples?  Best buy?  Some place like that. 

They would have to dispose of electronics and devices that were returned, damaged lightly, etc.  and couldn't be resold.  He was always bummed he couldn't just take them home, since they were going in the trash anyway.  It seemed really wasteful.  Being a teenage boy, he at least enjoyed the disposal process, which involved smashing them into hundreds of unusable bits before putting them in the dumpster.

sideofcash

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2015, 07:33:35 PM »
If you smell bleach, keep moving. I know places that throw the food in the dumpster, then poke it with a sharp stick to puncture the wrappings and dump bleach all over it to ruin the stuff. A lot of companies get full credit for the products they don't sell and have an agreement that it will not be useable after disposal.

Great Job on the Dive!

takeahike

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2015, 09:29:15 PM »
Renting "Dive" on itunes to watch on my flight tomorrow. $2.99

Mr Dumpster Stache

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2015, 08:58:17 AM »
If you smell bleach, keep moving. I know places that throw the food in the dumpster, then poke it with a sharp stick to puncture the wrappings and dump bleach all over it to ruin the stuff. A lot of companies get full credit for the products they don't sell and have an agreement that it will not be useable after disposal.

Great Job on the Dive!

Yup.  We had liquid laundry detergent dumped all over everything once, sure appeared to be deliberate.

ruthiegirl

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2015, 10:02:13 AM »
I looked up my local laws and it is illegal to take trash of any kind.  The laws sites 'privacy' issues. 

I took a bike ride down the back alleys yesterday checking out dumpsters and it looks like all of my major stores (Winco, Trader Joe's, Market of Choice) all have huge compactors behind high security fencing.  And cameras!  Lots of security cameras. 

Seems like I am not the first person to have this idea. 

Mr Dumpster Stache

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2015, 03:29:50 PM »
I looked up my local laws and it is illegal to take trash of any kind.  The laws sites 'privacy' issues. 

I took a bike ride down the back alleys yesterday checking out dumpsters and it looks like all of my major stores (Winco, Trader Joe's, Market of Choice) all have huge compactors behind high security fencing.  And cameras!  Lots of security cameras. 

Seems like I am not the first person to have this idea.

Bummer!

Eric

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2015, 04:32:14 PM »
Damn dude.  That's impressive!

HalfDollar

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2015, 04:57:35 PM »
Amazing. I have to see that documentary. Do you score every time?

Mr Dumpster Stache

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2015, 09:13:43 PM »
Amazing. I have to see that documentary. Do you score every time?

There is almost always something, unless you show up right after they garbage truck comes. The haul pictured is somewhere between average and really good. If the store closes for a holiday, the day before is often really good, since they have to throw out everything that "expires" for two days instead of just one.

When my wife was going every day (Pre - broken collar bone and pregnancy) we would go 6 to 8 months without buying milk, eggs, spinach, bananas, apples, yogurt, strawberries. We would stock up on things like ground beef, tortillas, cheese, lunch meat whenever we found them since they were not as frequent.

In addition, we have occasionally found open bags of cat litter and dog/cat food at the pet store.

If there was ever a really large amount of something and we couldn't figure out why it was thrown out (not expired or damaged) we would check for recalls. It's been about two years and we haven't gotten sick from anything we've dumpstered. For a while our under-two son would ask for bananas every time he saw a dumpster. :D

surfhb

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2015, 09:47:41 PM »
I liberated at least $100 worth of delicious last night.



OMG....me and my co workers are cracking up!  Bravo Mr Dumpy Stash dude!!

Make a recipe book!  Ha ha

kathrynd

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2015, 08:46:30 PM »
One of our tenants worked at a local grocery store. He said they tossed 68 chickens one day. He offered to buy some for  $2 each, but they refused. He couldn't stand the waste, and found a different job.

APowers

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2015, 02:51:40 AM »
We just go to the dumpsters behind the grocery stores. There are only two in town that don't have compactors (compactors = the devil!). It's legal here, but most of the store employees don't like it. On the other hand, sometimes it looks like they are intentionally leaving good stuff right on top for us. I hope that it bothers some of them how much food they throw away.

I work for a grocery store in the deli, and do we ever throw a LOT of perfectly good food away. Yes, you bet it bothers me. Whole blocks of cheese and cold cuts for no other reason than they're past their printed date, pre-made salads/sandwiches that don't sell by their super-short shelf life label. It's horrible, but it's considered stealing if I (as an employee) keep it for myself instead of tossing it. I just have to remind myself that it's QFC's food/product, and they can do whatever they want with it. If I wasn't an employee, and I lived nearby, and I had enough free time to rummage through the dumpster on a regular basis, I would totally score all kinds of great food that I would never otherwise buy.

pancakes

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2015, 03:45:37 AM »
When I worked for a supermarket back in high school I was disgusted by the waste.

My favourite horror story was when I filled in for a shift in the bakery and were were packing 12 packs of croissants fresh from the oven. We got to the end and there were 11 left and my supervisor went to put them in the bin. I asked what he was doing and he said I could eat them if I wanted to but we'd be throwing away so much stuff that I wouldn't possibly be able to eat it all.

Staff were generally allowed to eat this kind of food but only at work. It was against store policy to take free food home.

It also used to make me really sad that pretty much any fresh food (meat, dairy, fruit/veg) that made it to the checkout only to have the customer change their mind or not be able to afford it was thrown away. Seeing a family take milk out of their shopping because they couldn't afford it and then be the person to empty that same bottle down the drain is horrible.

Yesterday day I noticed a group of people at the back of my fruit and veg markets picking through the bins. The markets close on a Sunday afternoon and don't reopen again until Friday so I'm thinking there might be a reasonable amount of the good stuff to be had.


Nancy

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2015, 06:01:36 AM »
Well done! What kind of a fucked up society throws away perfectly good food?

midweststache

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2015, 06:18:17 AM »
We just go to the dumpsters behind the grocery stores. There are only two in town that don't have compactors (compactors = the devil!). It's legal here, but most of the store employees don't like it. On the other hand, sometimes it looks like they are intentionally leaving good stuff right on top for us. I hope that it bothers some of them how much food they throw away.

I work for a grocery store in the deli, and do we ever throw a LOT of perfectly good food away. Yes, you bet it bothers me. Whole blocks of cheese and cold cuts for no other reason than they're past their printed date, pre-made salads/sandwiches that don't sell by their super-short shelf life label. It's horrible, but it's considered stealing if I (as an employee) keep it for myself instead of tossing it. I just have to remind myself that it's QFC's food/product, and they can do whatever they want with it. If I wasn't an employee, and I lived nearby, and I had enough free time to rummage through the dumpster on a regular basis, I would totally score all kinds of great food that I would never otherwise buy.

Have you ever discussed the possibility of taking that food to a food bank or local homeless shelter with your supervisors/management? I know the printed date often make that food seem bad to the employees there, but if you could convince them to take it (because it's perfectly fine) that would be a good way to make sure the food isn't wasted... plus, good PR for the store?

APowers

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2015, 06:52:46 PM »
We just go to the dumpsters behind the grocery stores. There are only two in town that don't have compactors (compactors = the devil!). It's legal here, but most of the store employees don't like it. On the other hand, sometimes it looks like they are intentionally leaving good stuff right on top for us. I hope that it bothers some of them how much food they throw away.

I work for a grocery store in the deli, and do we ever throw a LOT of perfectly good food away. Yes, you bet it bothers me. Whole blocks of cheese and cold cuts for no other reason than they're past their printed date, pre-made salads/sandwiches that don't sell by their super-short shelf life label. It's horrible, but it's considered stealing if I (as an employee) keep it for myself instead of tossing it. I just have to remind myself that it's QFC's food/product, and they can do whatever they want with it. If I wasn't an employee, and I lived nearby, and I had enough free time to rummage through the dumpster on a regular basis, I would totally score all kinds of great food that I would never otherwise buy.

Have you ever discussed the possibility of taking that food to a food bank or local homeless shelter with your supervisors/management? I know the printed date often make that food seem bad to the employees there, but if you could convince them to take it (because it's perfectly fine) that would be a good way to make sure the food isn't wasted... plus, good PR for the store?

There's a couple local food bank programs that the store already works with. But still there's so much food that is perfectly fine that can't really be donated in a handy way. For example, we custom-slice cheeses off of bulk blocks, and we're allowed to keep/use an opened block for 2 weeks (plus another week, once sliced, in our sandwich prep area)-- but many of the less-popular varieties will be opened and then not sell (and not be a popular kind for sandwiches); so we'll have an opened, two-week old block of cheese that's perfectly good other than being past our two week use-by policy. Same with cold cuts, though they have a much shorter shelf-life, obviously.

resy

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2015, 07:19:57 PM »
In my city we have a local chain-New Seasons, that is awesome. It focuses on organic stuff, fair trade, etc. It's pricer than Winco but there are a lot of things to like about them so I feel pretty good when I can shop there. One of their policies? They let their employees take home unsold goods everyday (they have a bakery, deli, hot food counter, etc). I've chatted with a frlew of their workers from different locations and have repeatedly heard how it saves them hundreds in their family's food bill. That is SO cool in my opinion.
Although I dontl't dumpster dive it irks me particularly when I happen to walk by a large compactir ir trash cans with locks on them-talk about greed!

SingleMomDebt

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2015, 09:33:36 PM »
The smaller grocery store in our area will leave "good food, but not good for the shelves any longer" in a cart by the dumpster. I think its great there are people utilizing such finds. Gotta hand it to you, nice job.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2015, 09:18:38 AM »
Boy, times have changed.  When I worked in a grocery store 25-30 years ago, we didn't throw out nearly so much stuff.  Meat that was past its date got re-wrapped and a new printed label with a new date.  We kept doing this until it started to turn dark, then it got marked down and put in the bargain bin.  Only if it started to smell did it get thrown out.  And even then it went in the by-products can, not the trash.  Cabbage had the wilted outer leaves pulled off and back on the shelf it went.  Same with the shriveled layers on the outside of onions.  Bakery products got marked down and stayed on the shelf until they sold or molded.  We got in big trouble if we didn't rotate the stock such that the oldest stuff sold first.

I'm guessing a lot of this waste is mandated by law or regulation.  I can't imagine a savvy store manager throwing away so much without being compelled.

mm1970

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2015, 09:30:07 AM »
Good for you!   I'm proud of people who save usable food like that.

I like to shop the discount racks at the stores, but not many have them anymore.

A few of the stores here, I think, work with the homeless shelter and the food goes there.

NICE!

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2015, 09:37:57 AM »
Awesome work. I want to try this when I return to the US. What days/times do you go to avoid trouble but also to have food at its freshest point (thinking specifically about meats/poultry)?

Eric

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2015, 06:16:47 PM »
If you can, check out the documentary "Dive" - that's what got us started.

So I watched this last night.  It was quite the eye opener.  I can see how it would motivate you.  My wife was also motivated by it, but more like she wants to get a new job working with non-profit food distributors, not dumpster dive motivated.  It wouldn't bother me, but she's still a little grossed out by that part.  I'll keep hinting to her (Co-stanza).  I'm going to start scouting some locations on my commute home tonight.

KD

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2015, 06:09:32 AM »
Tried to buy a whole box of fruit once as the lady was pulling it from the shelves headed for the dumpster..."We can't...you could sue the store for food poisoning."  Screwy!!!!  So, some of this is about liability.  How about having me sign a waiver?????  Like I couldn't already sue it two minutes before or two hours or two days before for food poisoning????  As Granny Pappy always said..."IDIOTS....one born every minute!"

Way to go dumpster diving dude!!!  YOU ROCK!!!  My one son makes a pretty decent little side hustle by dumpster diving on our way to and from other errands and then either garage saling them or listing them on Ebay or Craigslist.  He has gotten more working TVs from the dumpsters than anything, but we regularly pull out clothes, jewelry, cash, lumber, computers, printers, etc. out of the dumpsters where we are.  Throwing 'stuff' away?  There is no AWAY!!!  Donate it to any of many good causes who can either use it or sell it for funding!!!  Come on 'Murica, we can do soooooooooooooo much BETTER than this!

Many are considerate here and put reusable things out on the ground beside the dumpster but many just toss it in there!  Sheesh!

from the person above..."A chicken had to die"...I tell my kids something close to this all the time when they want to be wasteful with food!  No matter if it's meat, fruit or veg!  Food takes a lot of energy & resources to produce...there is value there that needs to be honored.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 06:44:19 AM by KD »

hunniebun

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2015, 06:22:48 AM »
Wow. (Wow - you are awesome and Wow- That makes me want to weep that so much food from stores gets wasted).  Why can't the food be donated to people who could use it?  I saw an undercover boss about the 7-11 chain and they would toss all their stuff that had expired and the CEO was appalled and vowed that he would change this so 7-11 would donate all the food at the end of each day. I wonder if that ever happened.  I agree with the poster about the meat especially. I feel so sad on the odd occasion that have to put meat in the garbage. Some living creature died for that :(   I am glad you found a few places that allow you to rescue it!  But do be careful...I am sure you have a strong stomach...but you never know what it might be mixed with in there (chemicals, genuinely expired food etc.)  Take care and keep up the good work! 

pancakes

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2015, 06:56:31 AM »
I'm guessing a lot of this waste is mandated by law or regulation.  I can't imagine a savvy store manager throwing away so much without being compelled.
When I worked in a wasteful supermarket it had to do with demand. The thinking was that if they reduced stuff close to the expiry date or if damaged, people would wait until there were reduced products to purchase and demand for full priced items would fall. If everything was full price all the time people would have no choice but to pay full price. It was claimed to us that there was more profit in selling 10x full priced items and throwing away 5x items than there was in selling 5x full priced items along with 10x reduced items.

Sadly lots of waste happens in the chain before getting to the store too and that stuff doesn't end up so accessible to people who might liberate it. This recent story popped into my mind: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-28/dumped-mareeba-mangoes-prompts-consumer-outrage-at-food-waste/6052036 

The most food scavenging I do is pinching fruit from trees that people neglect to harvest. Lemons are $10/kg in the supermarket while there are at least 10 trees in my street dropping rotten fruit? I don't understand why people don't pick their fruit and put a basket out if they are not going to use it...

capital

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Re: $100 of food
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2015, 11:17:05 PM »
I dumpstered a decent amount in college. You definitely find some tasty stuff out there.

I heard legends of, but never actually found, the beer dumpster.