This past week I had my very first meal that featured food from none other than my local grocery store dumpster. Mangos, raspberries, apples… and even a bouquet of roses all from the trash.
My family has been talking as of late about the documentary Dive! Which is available on instant Netflix or you can download it for free off the website.
The film is about dumpster divers and the amount of food waste in America. Did you know that we waste HALF of all the food we produce. Talk about inefficiency. 96 billion pounds of food in the trash.
Just think about what you are actually throwing away when you toss out a tomato or piece of fruit… you throw away the energy of the farmer who spent the time to plant it, water and care for it for months. You throw away the energy from the sun that helped it to grow. You throw away the labor of the (most likely underpaid) workers who picked it, packed it, and put it on trucks. You throw away the gasoline and fuel it took to ship it, the labor of the truck driver who transported it. You throw away the efforts of the grocery store workers who unpackaged and neatly stacked it on the shelf. Among, I’m sure, other steps in it’s journey.
My soon to be brother in law has taken the movie to heart and has been diving for a few weeks now. Him and his roommates have been eating quite well off the local Sam’s Club dumpster. I was a little apprehensive at first until I watched the documentary and ate my first dumpster piece of fruit. It was a delicious, perfectly ripe, mango.
I have always had this thing about not wasting food… it is really hard for me to throw things away. That doesn’t mean that my fridge is full of rotten junk, it just means that I eat what I buy and I buy only what I eat. I love being creative in the kitchen and finding new ways to use up little bits of this and that.
This film put new meaning to the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” I think people in third world countries would probably feel like they were at a five star restaurant to be in one in our dumpsters.
I think about hunger A LOT. It just seems so unnecessary and preventable. I have always thought that. There is MORE THAN ENOUGH food in this world to go around, we just have to start approaching it different and thinking of new ways to feed the masses and to stop wasting so much food!
One of my favorite lines from the movie was about how our ability to easily discard food says a lot about us as a society. We throw away, in essence, LIFE when we throw away perfectly edible food. I want to give all the facts and figures from the film because they are pretty powerful… but you should just watch it and then find a way that you can make a change and reduce food waste in your home and your community. My brain is swimming with ideas. I feel inspired to make a change.