Another month, the pickings are good :-)

The blog continues, a case study in how much 100+ apts. toss out, and i don’t even look that hard, i just skim the surface. Just that is a damning enough comment on our ‘toss it out’ culture.

10/21 – Not a monster haul, but every little bit counts.

As usual, all in one bag:

Small carry out portions of ketchup, 4 of ’em.

Pellegrino Mineral water, 2 bottles each a quarter full

( I’m in California, we are having a drought of sorts, who throws out water, and on top of that, who doesn’t recycle glass bottles??)

A carry out container with what looks like peanut sauce – and sure enuf it is! Thai style! I luv it!

A small container of what looks to be asian style chicken nuggets. Goes purrfect with the peanut sauce.

Yet another bag of carrots – goes straight to the freezer.

Veggies with a high water content when frozen and then defrosted will be mushy – but that’s what’s gonna happen when you cook them anyway, sooo… *no problemo* if they are mushy. Let it be. I’ll probably make a soup, so mushy will happen anyway.


When it rains, it pours, once again

( though that is not happening in Northern California, i only wish it did!)

A BIG bag of discarded Tshirts – I collect interesting T shirts, I have lots of them – though many of these were plain colors, there was one that caught my eye:


…and then there was a pair of jeans – the label said: W 34 L 32.

Just my size, sort of – I am a 34w, 30 length, i’ll roll up the the cuffs abit. I had to trim a few frayed things at the cuff, but other than that? I can wear these to work.

2 carry out containers of pico de gallo. this is yummy stuff, you can add it to almost anything – beans, eggs, sandwiches. It’s just diced tomatoes, onion, a bit of cilantro and lime juice, maybe a bit of hot sauce (jalapeno).

Chinese carry out! a container w/ a saucy curry, a few veggies and shrimp morsels. Add this to rice? you got dinner for a few days. Add a few veggies if you wish.

And then…!

Sunflowers seeds!

And a bag of Brazil nuts… and the last of a big jar of mixed nuts.

Anyone who doesn’t like nuts? is NUTS!


Once again, all in just 1 or 2 bags:

Take out food is one thing that generates alotta trash, on top of packaging, there’s the perfectly good condiments someone scoops up, and is then thrown away.

Individual packets of ketchup and hot sauce, almost a dozen.

But wait! there’s more! 😉

A 5 oz container of spinach – dated 10/31.

Several half finished things of french fries.

A bottle of sweet onion w/ dijon salad dressing/ marinade.

A zip-loc bag of celery and carrot slices. will go well w/ the spinach.

a half finished bag of almonds.

a half finished bag of quinoa/black bean chips.

also, a 5 oz packet of ‘tofurkey’ – which is pseudo turkey make w/ tofu(bean curd).

(I have tried tofu stuff before, and i think at this point it is so bland it’s like eating wall paste. But this stuff is ‘peppered’ so i will give it a try…and i will add a good bit of mayo and horse-radish mustard to any sandwich made w/ this. I suspect it will be needed/ appreciated/will make things taste good, not like tofu.

Sorry (but not much) i grew up in New England/Maine – where meat was really MEAT. nothing fake about it.)

plus 2 slices of pizza – pepperoni and black olives.

Looks a bit old, but w/ some oil, steamed in the microwave, it will be OK.


I hope this cache means someone is moving – i sincerely hope no one throws all this out without a good reason, and that’s the only reason i can think of.

All in one bag:

3 red bell peppers

3 carrots

a bundle of baby asparagus

2 big broccoli crowns

a whole onion

a few mushrooms

and a sweet potato

I think i have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating – finding all this stuff kicks me into dealing with it, as in freezing it, and cooking w/ it. I’m have always been a ‘i can boil rice, pasta, fry eggs and bacon/sausage’ kinda guy, born and raised back east in meat and potatoes land. Whatever i find can be very different from my usual.

Kale? Gotta tell ya, these new ‘it’s so healthy for you’ things leave me a bit cynically doubting… but when i found a big bunch of (the price is right) kale, it’s rather nice. I NEVER would have bought it.

Same goes for something else i found:

“CaCoCo’s Essence”

A brown paper bag ( like the kind you get raw coffee beans in) of ‘Ca-co-co’.

‘Creamy blissful super food drinking chocolate’.

“Global warrior”, flavor melody: Dark semi sweet, medicinal energizing raw chocolate. raw, gluten free vegan’

Some copy writer has been working overtime, don’t you think? “global warrior”?? what a bunch of BS.

Ingredients? Cacao beans, Cacao butter, maca, Carob, coconut crystal sugar mesquite, wild crafted shilajit, vanilla bean, tumeric, cardomom,  orange peel, himalayan salt… (*himalayan* salt? WTF is that about? in cocoa?)

The same copywriter is now slumped over the keyboard, passed out, at 2 AM.)

“Nothing matches the exquisite taste and full bodied jubilation people experience when sipping CaCoCo.  This is because CaCoCo includes the most masterfully grown cacao on the planet, sourced directly from Ecuadorian farmers using beyond organic practices.  CaCoCo has also combined an excellent alchemy of ingredients to create a balanced symphony of taste greater than the sum of its parts.

Finally, CaCoCo emphasizes the perfect process to enjoy the perfect product.  We have seen over and over that when the CaCoCo powder is shaken or blended with hot water in the proper proportion, the mind-blowing result is guaranteed: Creamy, Delicious Bliss.  If CaCoCo is stirred, the result is quite good, yet doesn’t yield the same mesmerizing quality that leads to transcendent experiences.”

“transcendent experiences”?? that’s a bit much for a drink, but i will let it be, put it in the ‘decide for yourself’ file.

It was initially a powder i think, but this has turned into a brick.

No problemo, i have this triangular thing called a cheese grater. Which will grate anything, 3 different ways, and it ain’t limited to cheese. If you get stupid, it will grate your fingertips too.

“We believe joy is a natural state linked to living food, and because eating whole food is key to our vital future, we provide healthy nutrient-rich drinking chocolate in order to build heaven on earth.”

Oh, please, enough already. Please someone, put that copywriter to bed.

11/1 My cup runneth over.

Please! to all my neighbors! Stop throwing stuff out! My cupboards are full! I am maxed out.

Today, a big bunch of munchies – crackers,  of various sorts, too much for me.

What do you think of all this ‘super food’ stuff?

I found a bag of ‘Mila’ – the ‘miracle seed’. I don’t think there are any miracles on this earth, more good copy writing, but i’ll go along for the ride, WT hell.


I’ve been smoking for 45 years, ain’t much gonna save me now.

Did the aztecs know they were ‘super food’? We can’t ask them, but i think the answer may well be ‘no’.

But this brings up an interesting topic and question: how did humans come to recognize the value of ……. myriad fruits veggies and natural things? Aspirin comes from the bark of a tree……..

I keep seeing a whole lot of things in the trash that really should be in recycling.

For one thing, a whole of of beer/wine bottles.

…and a whole lot of eWaste – ethernet cables, digital equipment, etc – anyone who uses these knows the score, should recycle them smartly – there is just NO excuse for this. None.

We should be *very* aware that all our digital stuff comes w/ a very high price tag. The metals and plastics are highly toxic, the solvents used to clean chips are total poison, but since it all gets done in Asia, we blithely carry on, thinking nothing of it.

Where are the worst super fund toxic waste sites in the USA?

Silicon Valley.


Someone else is moving, dumpsters are overflowing w/ clothes, totally.

Just a few edible goodies:

1/4 loaf of whole wheat bread.

A container of pineapple slices.

A small container of 3 bean salad.

A half finished head of butter lettuce.

A half empty 2 lb. bag of brussels sprouts, alotta people don’t care for these. Not moi. Nope!

W/ butter and pepper, maybe some onions? Deee-lish. I’ll eat some now, freeze the rest for later, maybe in a soup. I’ve also got frozen carrots, kale, and some turkey patties. I can see a soup recipe in the making…

(Just add onions, and you got it.)

Nope, i am not writing a cookbook anytime soon, but ya never know – the thought keeps occurring to me.

What would people think of ‘A Dumpster Divers Cookbook’?

Would they imagine someone cooking over an open fire on a 55 gallon drum??

Well that’s about how our prehistoric ancestors did it,


More overflow in the dumpsters! They usually get emptied on Thursday AM, here it is Friday PM, 3;30 i am just getting home, and two of them are already 3/4 full.

My take?

• a veggie tray, 4 compartments, only 1 is any good – cherry tomatoes.

• half finished pack of turkey slices.

• 2/3  bag (1 lb) of hillshire farms smoked mini sausages

• half bottle of Sriracha sauce. Hot! HOT!! and mo HOT!

(at this point i have so many hot sauces, and they keep for sooo long, i won’t have to buy any for years, at the rate i use them.)

• 2/3 of 16 oz  bag of mini peeled carrots

• Gulden’s Spicy brown mustard, half full.

• A 3 oz pack of goat milk cheese, some is ‘spoiled’ but a majority not. scoop out what’s good, save in a small KFC container i also found when it had some mashed potatoes in it, i repurposed it after the spuds were gone.

• and a big bottle of ranch dressing.

And last of all, 3 big brown eggs –  ‘cage free, 100% natural, certified humane, no hormones or antibiotics’.

It kinda makes you feel green and humane and enlightened.. sort of. Eventually these chickens will end up in the meat shelves, won’t they? And i will be makin’ a ‘cage free, 100% natural, certified humane, no hormones or antibiotics’ soup.

5:15 PM

I go down to the street for a smoke…

• a 16 oz bag of frozen ‘ultimate peteite mixed veggies’. It’s thawed out a bit, but it wasn’t there a couple of hours ago.

• some kind of cumcumber – i have seen them in Safeway, gotta check out what it is, and what can be done with it.

PS – It turns out to be an english cucumber, it’ll go good w/ the ranch dressing i found.

• Of all the household things, dishes plates etc, i want little. But there is one nice coffee cup, black, in a mug kinda shape, it would make whatever you drink out of it feel warm safe and secure on a winter’s day. I’ll take it.

• Last of all, there’s a ‘what’s left of a roast chicken after someone picks off all the big chunks of meat’.

This is not garbage, this is chicken stock/boullion in the making.

I’ll do that tomorrow. saturday is soup making day in my oh-so-humble apt.

And the broth a i get out of this is totally excellent, much thicker and meatier than anything i could buy.


3 PM – step out for a smoke, check the trash on the way back in:

• Cherry tomatoes, a mostly full 10.5 oz package.

• Pico de Gallo salsa, 14 oz, not even opened, dated 5/26/14. Still perfectly good.

(I think ‘sell by/use by’ dates should be banished, they give people the wrong idea – the use by/sell by date becomes the date this gets tossed into trash. And the product is NOT trash, not by a long shot.)

•1/4 bag of white corn tortilla chips, still crunchy. Goes good w/ the pico de gallo, doesn’t it?

• A half finished 9 oz jar of aioli garlic mustard sauce. Use by date: 5/17/15. Who the hell doesn’t like mustard (and garlic)??

• last but not least, a little momento basket of shells, put together in the Phillipines, w/ a brilliant orange starfish in the center.

The thing that strikes me most about this is that there is almost endless fascination to be found in this basket. The shells have an infinite variety of colors shapes, permutations of growth – you could spend hours just sifting thru all these, and marveling at the variety. But NO! – some one tossed it out.




Can you compare the striations on this shell to be much like rings on a tree, that record growth spurts/drought, etc? I’m no scientist, but i’ll hazard a guess – Yes!

Sat 11/22 – i found lots of stuff, the image speaks for itself.


And now for some good news:

This is about the old phrase “Pass it on”.

“…narrative-based second-hand shopping. Pass the Baton! is a chain of Japanese stores….”

Here come the holidays, Thanksgiving & Xmas. I wasn’t writing this (or doing this) last year at this time, so let’s see what happens 🙂 Baking a turkey is too much for a one person household (I will get a dungeoness crab, that’s a San Francisco tradition) and leave the turkey part to someone else’s left-overs. I’m taking bets on how much of a whole roast turkey I will find.

I figure wings and legs, for sure.


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