I am asking myself ‘WHY?’ – why does so much good stuff end up in a dumpster?


It’s the ‘all in one bag’ phenomenon again:

• 8 oz chicken breast w/ a curious LCD-ish printout on the package:
“use or freeze **within 5 days of receipt**”
WTF?? never seen one like that before.
• whole loaf of wheat bread, unopened – dated 12/5
• Crustini sandwich rolls pack of 8, 5 left. best by Nov 25
• sour cream – 8 oz, about 1/2 left
• 12 oz pack of cherry vanilla pecan ‘meusli’ ( granola type stuff), unopened
• 1/2 bag of pita chips, 1/2 a box of Wheat Thins.

At this point i have more stuff than i know what to do with. My freezer is full, my frig is full, i am actually tossing out old stuff when i get something fresher/newer to replace it with. For instance the two bread items above make me toss out some much older bread.

12/19 Monday
It’s the ‘all in one bag’ thing again.

• 1 *lonely* Thomas’s english muffin, dated 11/22 – if the first 5 were good…
WHY is this going out??
• 9 oz box of Triscuits, rosemary and olive oil. Hhhmmm that’s new, I’ll give ’em a try.
• Cherry tomatoes, yellow, small container. Still perfectly good!
WHY is it trash??
• ‘Wacky Mac’ pasta veggie spirals (tomato beet and spinach), 12 oz, UNOPENED.
• a half dozen perfectly good oranges – WHY are these trashed??
• 8 oz ‘Cape Cod’ potato chips, sweet and spicy, somehow i don’t think of Cape Cod as being much associated w/ jalapenos, but hey, why not?
WHY is this trash??

As for the question i asked a few times above “WHY?” … i have no answer. I recently was sifting thru bags and a young woman came to the dumpsters, tossed a big bag. When i investigated, it had 4 Whole foods cardboard take out boxes – macaroni and cheese, kale salad, and a couple of others i don’t remember, all still perfectly good. Who buys good food and then throws it out? If i were to rip their wallet out of their pocket or purse, pull out a five or ten dollar bill, and torch it w/ a Bic, i would get punched. But no, the same person would throw out that much value in food without missing a beat.

12/20 Tuesday
Did i say my neighbors know how to take care of me? yes, indeed!
Today i found a 15 oz jar of Lay’s ranch dip, which will compliment the Cape Cod Jalapeno potato chips mentioned above quite nicely. Thank you, whoever you are.

An excellent potpourri!

And happy new year!

Somewhere along the line I found ( or should i say ‘rescued’?)….
Seaweed salad: http://www.azumafoods.com/products/Goma_Wakame_Sesame_18_25.html



A Rosemary/olive oil bread round loaf.

Both unopened, untouched… just tossed out.

There’s something nice about a round loaf – it feels ‘not factory made, slapped in a loaf pan’, perhaps shaped by hand.

Many items in recent days!

• 2 lb bag of mozarella cheese, some black mold on a small part of it, but 90% of it is fine.
• a couple of 1 lb bags of meatballs, precooked, i freeze one, will start working on the other – they’ll go good w/ the mozarella, won’t they? 😉
• a bag with a few bunches of Bok Choy, an asian…cabbage of sorts, never tried it. It’s good!
• a 24 oz bag of ‘sunrise medley’ mini-potatoes, a bit bigger than golf balls, the perfect size to microwave/bake ’til soft, and then flatten, & pan fry in butter hash brown style w/ some bacon and an egg.
• Quite a medley of Chinese carryout in one bag – orange glazed chicken of several varieties, pot stickers, and some nicely saucy pork chunks.
• a tub of soy sauce, not basic sauce, but thicker & spiced up a good bit, not nearly as salty as off the shelf soy sauce.
• a 14 oz pack of ‘Johnsonville’ breakfast sausage, w/ maple syrup, still pink & fresh.

After all this time ‘diving’ (=collecting whatever others toss out) i have noticed a few more things than how wasteful americans are.
We are also narrow minded about what we eat – there are some really good foods that are not on american shelves or in american refrigerators – seaweed for example. Or a variety of middle eastern staples made from chickpeas of various sorts. Other cultures have a lot to teach cheeseburger eating americans. Some people derisively call mexicans ‘beaners’. Hey WTF is wrong w/ beans? Lots of protein and fiber, they can be prepared a countless ways, seasoned to anyone’s taste. A silly poem i picked up at boarding school goes like this:
“Beans, beans, good for your heart.
The more you eat the more you fart,
the more you fart, the better you feel,
so eat beans with every meal”

Another thing i have noticed – how many various containers of food get tossed that once were half finished and lost in the back of the ‘frig. Left to rot. What’s wrong with making last night’s dinner left overs into todays lunch? Nothing, it’s all in your head.


• Why do people throw out the heels of bread loaves?? They are perfectly good. Today’s take – heel and 1 slice of Alvarado St. Sprouted Flax Seed bread… and both heels + 1 slice of “Eureka” organic sweet wheat bread. Both have loads of seeds on the crust, a nice ‘crunch’ to be sure, and very healthy. And way more interesting than plain wheat bread.
• 6 oz pack of blueberries grown in Chile – besides being still perfectly good, that’s a lot of ‘travel’ to waste.
• Bag of mung bean sprouts, still perfectly good.
• A container of shredded chicken. I always open containers like this with my nose close by, to pick up any bad smell – ain’t none here. I already have a new lunch menu item in mind – chicken salad sandwich, mung bean sprouts w/ the chicken instead of the usual celery, all on the aforementioned breads.

A few good links to end the post:

And one last word: Lest you think all my harvesting is self serving/short term, consider this: there is something waiting to be learned from the chaff people throw out.
Six months ago, i adopted 2 orchid plants, flowers wilted but still intact in their containers. I did some online research, followed the advice, and the gnarly roots grew long, & now, six months later, both plants have sprouted long shoots that will bear flowers soon. These plants are not your vegetable garden fare, they have twisting tough roots that crawl slowly out of the planter, to find nutrition and water from the air. They take many months to regenerate, for a while they seem dead on the windowsill. But no more!


Soon these will bloom…

Did i mention that patience is a virtue?

Well now i have 🙂



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