Another good month!

7/8 – Found 2 11oz. containers of dips, hardly touched – spinach artichoke, and roasted red pepper hummus. ‘Best by’ dates? August 2014. It also suggests that they should be eaten within 5 days of opening. If you keep them refrigerated, why only 5 days? hello? *why only 5 days*?

These ‘use by/ sell by’ dates are *bullshit* to make it short and swift.

A complete head of cauliflower, in perfect shape!

I don’t usually buy large quantities of fresh veggies, being a one person household, i fear that they will ‘expire’ before i am thru with them.

But i took this as an experiment – i will use it as i will, make it last as long as possible, let’s see how long the cauliflower lasts.

It lasted for 10 days, no problem.

There have been lots of clothes tossed out, none of them my size, many were children’s size. At least someone had the brains to leave them beside the dumpster (not tossed among rotting food), in a shopping bag, as if to say ‘if it works for you, have it’.

Came across a big box of computer cables, enough to keep a reasonable sized start-up connected. This is e-waste, which is a whole ‘nother subject – e-waste. We’ll get to that later, sometime, a BIG topic for sure.

Next day, a whole roast chicken, only half eaten, I pick off the big chunks, use the carcass for a soup base, add some noodles, there’s lunch for a week.

A 2/3rds finished jar of salsa con queso, which shows how product packaging leads to waste – the last third? i can’t reach it w/ the biggest chip i have, the jar is too deep and mouth too narrow. That’s why someone tossed it out, they just couldn’t get to the last of it. But since I save many plastic containers for re-use, i spoon it into one of them, with flatter/easier access, and the rest of the bottle is mine. Yummy!

Especially since I also found a half finished bag of tortilla chips ‘with a hint of lime’.

Last but not least, several 23.7 fl oz bottles of “Glaceau Smart water’, you know ‘special’ stuff w/ extra electrolytes and such. I don’t know about the ‘smart(electrolyte) part of this, but i do know that wasting water in California, after 3 years of drought, is totally stupid. If you don’t like the way it tastes? water your houseplants with it, give it to your dog, dump it into the toilet bowl, wash dishes w/ it. Anything but toss it into a dumpster.

Oh, and also a small container of heirloom cherry tomatoes. A few are a bit wrinkled, wow, that will really slow me down.

7/17

I went to the Safeway (‘ingredients for life’) for 4 things:

Some Vodka, some veggies, bread and OJ. Total tab: 15$

What I found on the way back in the dumpster, in just one box was probably worth twice that.

Here’s what just one household sent to the trash:

A perfectly good saucepan (i don’t have one, so ‘thank you’).

A Pepper shaker, mostly full. I was running low, just in time, thank you.

A jar of 100 MG fish oil tabs.

2 six ounce boxes of ‘Annies Pasta – you can make it in 6 minutes’ pasta meals. with powdered sauce included.

A box w/ 12 teabags, ‘english breakfast’.

A 6 oz jar of taco seasoning mix.

3 small jars of seasonings – parsley, onion powder, & garlic powder.

Half a bag of triscuits (crackers).

A 15 oz can of black beans.

A half finished box of sandwich bags.

A Half finished roll of plastic wrap.

A mostly finished box of rigatoni pasta.

And! last but not least!, 2 1lb bags of ground coffee! barely touched!!

“gourmet” type stuff!

Someone has given me breakfast coffee for the next… ooo …six months?

Retail value of all this?

I didn’t figure it out, but it’s much more than i spent at the Safeway

Who the hell throws out this much good stuff?

7/18

The dumpsters have been emptied this AM, but already there is an accumulation, in particular, a big box of Jimmy Dean ‘Delights’ – english muffins w/ turkey sausage, egg white and cheese, 12 of them, total 3.8 lbs.

One is gone, 11 left. Guess someone didn’t like them, Boo-hoo, what an idiot.

InsideJDdelights5055

Yeah, i know what you’re thinking – ‘not very exciting, pretty pre-made and bland’.

Duh! wake up and don’t take these as the end product, but as a staring point. If for instance i wanted to have a couple of these for lunch, i would thaw them out the previous day, and add some of this: mayo, mustard, mo’ cheese, lettuce, onion, some parsley, oregano, pepper, maybe some ketchup.

What else in your fridge that’s lingering and forgotten?

Think about it, there are infinite variations, get creative. If it fits between two slices of bread, it’s fair game 🙂

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich

On a different note, let’s do a product comparison:

In particular let’s look at 2 different ‘taco seasonings’ i scavenged, one a 6.5 oz jar of Ortega’s taco seasoning mix, and a 1.3 oz bag of Trader Joe’s equivalent.

Remember that ingredients are listed by volume/weight/content from largest to smallest.

Ortega’s? – Yellow corn flour, salt, malto-dextrin, paprika, spices (unspecified), garlic powder, citric acid, yeast extract,  natural flavors ( like what, exactly?), & caramel color.

Trader Joe’s? – Sea salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, cane sugar, paprika, Onion, Garlic, black pepper, Oregano, chili pepper, smoked paprika – FWIW, a product of south africa, of all places.

I’m sure you’ve already made up your mind about which one you would reach for first. Me too.

7/24

I’ve been seeing furniture turn up in the dumpster for a few days now – that means someone is moving 🙂

The food will come soon. And sure enough it does, all Trader Joe’s, good stuff!

a 20 oz bag of Chicken fried rice

a 1 lb bag of soy-ginger marinated cod fillets

a 10 oz bag of spinach lasagna

and 1 lb. of salmon patties, 5 in all.

This stuff is all still partially frozen, cold to the touch.

My bleepin’ freezer is nearing full capacity!

My apartment complex is a big place, 120+ units, owned by a big corporation that has apt. buildings in many cities. One thing i am pretty sure they do is sell themselves to other big corporations as an outfit that can provide standard high quality apts for people that get transfered from city to city.

Soooo… maybe this person (or people as the case may be) is getting sent to… Chicago? NYC? Miami? They can pack up their furniture and clothes, etc, but they will fly, and you can’t carry much frozen food as luggage on a plane can you? So that’s why the last thing to go is the food, empty the fridge.

All I can say is ‘Thank you!’ to big corporations that bounce employees around willy-nilly.

I don’t usually thank big corporations for much of anything.

7/27 PM

All still cold to the touch:

Half a container of chinese carry-out chicken & peppers, in a good sauce, like single guys like me can’t make.

ChineseCarryOut5135

Two of a four pack of ‘gourmet’ sausage – who knows what ‘gourmet’ means anymore, but these look good.

A half finished 40 oz container of ‘classic’ potato salad – being from Maine, i never met a potato i didn’t like.

Last but not least 3 ears of corn that look like they might be bad.

But here’s where cosmetics kick in, and people toss out perfectly good stuff.

These don’t look too good:

Corn1_5128

…. but once you take off the husks?

Corn2_5129

DUH!!! They are perfectly good!

I could get some milk (and some onions?) and make corn chowder?

But it’s summertime, and hot, here – Maybe not.

Nonetheless, 3 good ears of corn. I’ll figure out something to do w/ them, no doubt about it. I cook them, and freeze them, one ear at a time.

You wouldn’t believe how full my freezer is, thanks to my neighbors!

Corn is a *really* good food, it goes way back since it has been domesticated, for many centuries….

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maize

8/2

I can understand people reading ‘best by’ or ‘sell by’ dates and tossing something out. What I don’t understand, or see any media discussion about is… why people toss out perfectly good food! I just do NOT get it! WHY? What goes thru their head??

I’ve been thru a dozen or more Google search page results for ‘american consumer food waste’, and can find nothing that really talks about this.

I DO find many, many pages that parrot the same statistics (“40% of food goes to the trash/ is wasted’) but none get to heart of what makes someone reach into the fridge, and toss to the trash, something perfectly good.

What i took in today? Many berries and some cherry tomatoes, all still AOK.

BerriesEtc_5139

And then again i went to the Safeway across the street for $5 worth of stuff ( some eggs, and chili beans), & checked the dumpster, and came away another $20 richer:

8/3 potpourri

Bread, sliced turkey, hot sauces, grated parmesan cheese, Schmucker’s jelly, honey mustard dressing, honey soy ginger marinade, curry spiced ketchup, a peach and a lemon.

The only thing i returned to the dumpster was the curry spiced ketchup. I like curry, i like ketchup, but mixing the two just don’t work.

A number of interesting new links worth checking out:

http://www.pbs.org/america-revealed/teachers/lesson-plan/8/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/techonomy/2014/07/24/a-food-waste-reduction-movement-gathers-steam/

http://www.wastedfood.com/

http://blog.zerohungerchallenge.org/eu-moves-away-from-best-by-labels-will-the-us-follow/

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/11/every-year-in-america-we/

10 Shocking Photos That Will Change How You See Consumption And Waste:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/29/chris-jordan_n_5035897.html

http://triplehelixblog.com/2014/07/e-waste-our-choice-between-polluting-and-creating-american-recycling-jobs/

http://www.causesinternational.com/ewaste/e-waste-facts

http://sitemaker.umich.edu/section002group3/e-waste

Very in depth and interesting:

http://www.globalissues.org/article/238/effects-of-consumerism

Back up to the home page, it speaks for itself:

http://www.globalissues.org/

globalissueshomepage

 

24 July 2014 Last updated at 13:05 ET – Call for end to ‘throwaway society’

By Claire Marshall BBC environment correspondent

“The report by the Environmental Audit Committee also called for lower VAT on recycled products and longer warranty periods on consumer goods.

It concluded that a “circular economy approach is needed to save resources as the world’s population rises.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28460705

Read this one – it is a good idea, starting to gain steam.

I’ve already seen some furniture show up by the dumpster… they’ll get to tossing out food soon.

I’ll be waiting, watching.

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