By Seth Columbia
A few days ago I talked about how waste is a popular, consumerism driven misconception: most things that are “wasted” are just that, items of value that go deliberately unused.
Do you have any freaking clue how much food goes in the dumpster?
No that’s not my point, I meant: In America people go hungry every day and OH MY NON-SECTARIAN GOD IS THERE A LOT OF GOOD FOOD IN DUMPSTERS! wait no… refinement.
What I’m saying is:
America does not face anything close to a food shortage…, in fact
what we face is a money shortage
or an abundance of poverty meaning that, there is simply no good reason to haul this food off to the needy, when they have no money to pay for it.
America produces 2X the food that it needs meaning that, lets run the numbers ~%50 of all our food winds up in the garbage.
Yup that’s what I wanted to say, if you feel your stomach turning now, it might be a good warm up for your first dive.
Ethics of the Bigger Picture
Free food lives in a highly stigmatized place: the dumpster.
Perfectly good food in a stinky place. The risk of getting dirty and the reward of sweet sweet nourishment. Because I’m eco-groovey and like to challenge norms and societal standards, I’m all in for dumpster diving.
I would also like to mention the potential for helping the needy. Groups like Food-not-Bombs, located in New Haven, CT go far and out of there way to harness wasted foods into healthy meals for those in need.
One aspect of permaculture is that surplus is not hoarded, but instead gifted to the community at large.
What would that look like if we had a community setting where surplus was regularly and routinely given back to the surrounding community?
I can show you what it looks like when one person reaps the unintended gifts of food waste….
Coming Up: Part 3 of Dumpsterize My Diet!- PermaCycle Will Eat Trash