Rolling a tread between People and Permaculture

Part 3 of Dumpsterize My Diet!- PermaCycle Will Eat Trash


By Seth Columbia

A few days ago I talked about the scope of food waste in the US, today I will talk about inspiration.

Jasmine and I have been inspired… dumpster.

Together we will travel the country eating as high a percentage of dumpster goods as possible. Can

In essence, PermaCycle will eat trash.

Just like this guy, Rob Greenfield, check out his amazing video of how he biked across the country eating about 70% dumpstered foods.

Rob Greenfield’s Dumpster Diving Across America

We are not ashamed and we want your attention, we want you to know about the art of Dumpster Diving. Yup I capitalized that. Dumpster Diving will sustain us and it actually sustains me right now, damn near the entirety of my regular diet is reclaimed food.

The scope of how much good delicious FRESH food that is thrown away is literally shocking for most people when they begin to experiment with Dumpster Diving. Me included!  I have thrown back lids before and found myself face to face with what looked like both the bakery and produce sections of a grocery store, nicely boxed up and waiting.  Can you say: Holy grail?!

Needless to say, Jazz and I won’t be going hungry on our trip, especially helpful because we don’t have much cash to spend!


Coming Up: Part 3 of Dumpsterize My Diet!- Dumpster Virgin No More



Author: zestyjazz

I'm a garden and a bicycle.

17 thoughts on “Part 3 of Dumpsterize My Diet!- PermaCycle Will Eat Trash

  1. Do you ever get harassed by the store managers or the police? I would think the people “losing money” from your finds might start to bug you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha well I have not yet, even though I toted about daylight tuxedo diving I typically go late in the night, after 11 or so. So no I have not ever encountered police or anger people, I have helped point some homeless people towards good food though.

      Honetly I think there is an understanding that if you are the type of person that is going to be digging around in dumpsters then the store isn’t likely loosing your business haha. Not to say I don’t occasionally buy groceries but to no extent did I ever eat as well as I do now that Im a diver aka “dumpstar” but if there is any change in this Ill keep you updated!

      there are some precautions taken by people like LL bean and most clothing retailers though, there will be marker all over the clothing and as frequently there will be tear marks and such. Im just waiting for the right jacket or boots to come my way though and I will refurbish it and proudly display the battle wounds of reclaimed clothing haha


      • I guess you can probably get all kinds of stuff from dumpsters can’t you? I never would have even thought about that. You’ll have to take up sewing and just sew up the ripped stuff. I’m glad to hear that you don’t get harassed though. I would think you might get busted for loitering or stealing. The town I came from I would expect that. I’ll be interested to hear if that happens in some of the more hoity toity neighborhoods. (No idea how how to spell that btw )


      • Haha yea I’m no spelling bee champ myself, and let me give you a quick rundown on some of the stuff I have gotten recently, I really am proud!

        Fresh mozzarella cheese
        loafs of bread
        eggs (usually one is broken)
        siracha sauce
        organic apples
        organic oranges
        Odwalla Juice and Bars
        organic pop toaster pastries
        imported irish butter
        and WAY more

        COMFY over the ear headphones
        a car charger for my phone
        a daily planner/calendar
        Klean Kanteen water bottle
        stack of current magazines

        did I mention This is all in just the past 3 weeks?
        and doesn’t include all the stuff I passed up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is amazing. I am especially shocked at the lettuce. You can hardly get good lettuce in the store! Although, what are you gonna do with a car charger on a bike? Haha!


      • I think this dumpster thing is awesome. I was telling the boyfriend about it and he is not quite on board with the idea. He did, however, say that he would rather forage for food. Have you guys thought about that as another option?


      • (Jasmine interjects) I DID NOT KNOW THAT YOU WERE A CHICK!!!!!

        Whaaa?!?! *Mind blown* I was like a male nurse? cool! But now I know that you are making this happen as a chick….so much motivation. You are super duper awesome!

        Dumpster diving is full of stigma. True. But the thing about it is that the food there is 100 percent safe for eating. Pre-packaged foods, bags of oranges with only one bruised orange etc. I will share my dumpstering story one day!!

        As for foraging, Seth and I really really really want to get in tune with the local indigenous plants in our area. Foraging is harder than you’d think, I’d persume. It takes a keenness and a knowledge of the land that only comes from carefully identifying food that is edible. It takes a botanist and an explorer all in one. Our ancestors were hunter gatherers…some ancestors (which I am learning in Guns, Germs and Steel) were capable of creating the agricultural system we have today, some didn’t because of varying geographic limitations (lack of domesticate-able animals….idk still learning). What I’m saying is this: do what feels comfortable to both of you. No reason for the binary Either/or ish that has really stained our world for the worse.

        Do what comes geographically possible for you.


  2. Oh man I wish we could go. We’ve talked about doing this ourselves. Such an inspiration!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is the goal: To inspire those around us to take radical and practical means to saving our universe and demonstrating that sustainability is something that every person can do and partake in :). Do what you can, modify it to suit you!


  3. Not sure I would be keen to dumpster dive. I guess I would be more concerned about spoiled food. That’s all.


    • Yea I will admit there have been a couple of times where I second guessed myself but I think we all have the tools to do our own checks.

      An important part of any dive is processing food afterwards. Bringing it home and checking, rising/washing, and checking.

      Our tools for the job?

      Hands- Give it a feel, dairy and meats will often still be cold, if they are warm then I usually don’t test fate although yogurt and cheese can tempt me at times. (yogurt is kind of like spoiled milk anyway)

      Eyes- Give it a look, I dive with a flashlight too

      Nose- give it a whiff

      Mouth- if the previous tests are a go then give it a little taste to check it out.


  4. It is an impressive list of wasted food that you have accumulated.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hahaha! Why did you not think I was a chick? Look at what you are doing, not something lots of chicks would do either!


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