Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dumpster Diving and Freeganism.

I've always been a big fan of dumpster diving/trash picking. This city in particular provides wonderful finds in furniture, clothes and collectibles. Half the furniture in my room has been dumpstered and I've found things like an 1891 copy of Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare and a first printing of To Catch a Thief.

So about a month ago I went on a Freegan tour in Murray Hill.

The Freegans state their mission best on their website, but to sum up they recover food and items that are wastefully thrown out by major chain stores and food distributors.

Grocery chains apparently receive set deliveries of inventory, regardless of their sales numbers each week, so they have to make room for the fresh foods by simply throwing out food which may still be good.

The Freegans lead these tours in various neighborhoods and recover tons of foodstuffs, then hold Freegan feasts made from the scavanged supplies.

On my first trip out I got eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, pasta sauce and lady fingers. I ended up making ratatouille and tiramisu!

Last night I went for my evening run and then embarked on my first solo mission in my neighborhood of Chelsea. Their website lists a bunch of stores in different neighborhoods with good finds. I had planned mainly on getting bagels from Murray's; bagels and breads are one of the food items you can pretty much count on being able to get daily. I ended up getting not only fresh and warm bagels, but from the Eckhard drugstore across the street I found 24 bottles of fruit punch Gatorade (expired), 3 boxes of Granola bars, Colgate toothpaste, a bag of Butterfinger miniature Crisps, a flashlight, a curling iron and a bar of Cadbury chocolate. I left an additional six pack of Gatorade and one of those huge cans of Maxwell House coffee, still vacuum-sealed.

So, what do you all think? Is this cheapness taken to an extreme, or a viable means of stocking one's pantry?


Prin said...

Cheapness to the extreme. :D One man's garbage is another man's food poisoning. :P

Shyaporn said...

Prin: Okay, so I'm a cheap bastard, true; that's one set of thumbs firmly down on Freeganism.

But we're still cool on Dumpster Diving for non-perishable items, right?

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