one man's trash...

...is another man's treasure.  Check out the sweet groceries we picked up last week:

5 apples
7 potatoes
2 lbs of green beans
2 Honeydew melons
1/2 lb of mushrooms
5 bunches of green onions
2 bunchs of bok choy
2 heads of broccoli
1 onion
1 large piece of ginger root
1 starfruit                           

PRICE= $0.00

How did we get all that food for free?  The restaurant that had originally bought it was just throwing it away.  Our good friends at the Bloomington Catholic Worker, discovered this restaurant and called to share the wealth!  The above produce was just a small fraction of the goods they had recovered from the discarded waste pile behind the restaurant.  The BCW regularly gathers food that has been thrown away by others, particularly grocery stores and restaurants.  These food vendors often throw out edible and usable food due to superficial imperfections, expiration dates, or overstocking.  Last week, they found 18 crates full of broccoli!

I was a freshman in college the first time anyone offered me something that had been literally pulled from a dumpster.  My friend, Alex Mysliwicz (aka "Alex the Kid") gave me several six packs of Pepsi Blue that he got from the dumpster behind the Pepsi-Cola bottling facility in Bloomington.  After inspection, I found that the seals around the lids were all still intact, and decided that the only thing wrong with them (aside from the obvious flaw of creating a blue Pepsi product) was that they had lost some fizz.  Alex also gave Tim and his housemates a huge garbage bag full of day old bagels from the Bakehouse.

This practice of salvaging the treasures that others trash is commonly referred to as "dumpster diving."  It is a bit of a misnomer considering that one can usually find usable goods without actually entering a dumpster.  Though I have been a beneficiary of other people's diving excursions, I have not personally taken the plunge.  Not that I would refuse, I have just never been motivated enough to pursue the practice.  Mostly because I wouldn't know where to look, but also because I am lazy.  If someone invited me, I think I would go along.

Our most recent house guest, David, is also quite resourceful.  In the last month that he has been living with us, he's brought home pizza from Papa John's, hot pockets, frozen popcorn shrimp, rotisserie chickens, onions, chocolate milk, oatmeal, spices, and much more.  Some of it he bought, but a lot of it he retrieved from grocery stores that had thrown it out.

With the groceries we got from the Catholic Workers we made a bok choy broccoli stir fry- delicious and free.  We sliced up the honeydew and served it at our friends' New Year's Eve party (a tasty and healthy addition to the spread).  Last night, I baked the apples with frozen blueberries and blackberries for a sweet treat. 

If the idea of eating something that others have thrown out doesn't appeal to you, at least let the spirit of dumpster diving encourage you to use everything that you buy. 

In an effort not to waste food (purchased or not), Tim and I spent all day on New Year's Eve making a Turkey Gumbo from the turkey carcass leftover from our Christmas potluck.  It doesn't look too appetizing in the picture, but it tastes pretty good.

And we still have plenty of turkey stock to make a soup!

Hopefully, this does not make you any less likely to come eat with us!

1 comment:

  1. {SMILES}
    What the huck were they thinking make a damn blue Pepsi? What they need to do is bring back crystal clear Pepsi and the world will ultimately be a better place.
    And those bagels were from... um.. BBC. Thanks for mentioning me. You are an excellent writer.
    -Alex The Kid