My first two-part series. Thanks, Netflix

This has been a weekend full of eating. It’s a good thing I didn’t make any resolutions to eat less or lose weight, because I would pretty much have already sabotaged myself.
We’ve been doing a good bit of Netflix-watching over the past couple of weeks. Saturday night we went to see our friends Marty and Erin in Tennessee, because Josh has this kickass beef that he’s started making and they had yet to eat any. So we went.

Whenever we go to Adamsville for dinner, Josh and Marty wait until we arrive to buy any of the preparations. We get there, we unload into the house, and the boys immediately leave to go get groceries for the meal.

And go to GameStop. And Taco Bell. And buy pies at the nearby gas station.

So Saturday night while the guys were gone, Erin and I decided to watch a movie (much to Lucy’s chagrin – she would be happy to watch the Birthday episode of Yo Gabba Gabba for the rest of her life).

Erin chose a documentary called Dive! which, in a nutshell, is about a bunch of people (and their families) in California who live primarily off the food they retrieve from dumpsters behind grocery stores.

I know, right? I think Erin chose it because she thought they were going to talk about dumpster diving for furniture or clothes or whatever – I know that’s what I thought.

But yea and verily, I was wrong. It was TOTALLY about food.

Initially I was grossed out. But then they showed the food they were retrieving…bread, meat, produce. All tossed out because of a cracked egg or a looming sell-by date. Stuff that was top-of-the-line shit…and perfectly fine. It just happened to have come out of the store by the back door, instead of a reusable shopping bag.

My snobbery started to wane when I realized that these people were eating organic, free-range, antibiotic free meats and veggies and most of the time I don’t even look at that stuff because it’s so expensive.

Then they started talking about the amount of waste the US produces and I felt like a greedy asshole.

Did you know that the US wastes 96 billion pounds of food a year? One year of our waste could feed the entire population of Haiti for like five years.

Yet, because we don’t share, and because everyone is so focused on profit, we still have hungry people in our country. That’s so bizarrely wrong on so many levels.

It’s sobering to be told things like that. Stuff we all know in the back of our mind and don’t really think about.

So while I won’t be scaling the dumpsters behind Kroger anytime soon (I totally would, by the way – but Josh said it was too close to the sheriff’s department and so he refuses to drive the getaway car), I am now actively searching for ways I can help do my part and reduce this terrible deficit between what we have and what we use – and what we need.

You can sign the online petition to Trader Joe’s here. It’s a start.

Tomorrow, I’m talking about catfish…kind of.

5 thoughts on “My first two-part series. Thanks, Netflix

  1. The sheriff’s dept is in the new prison so thieve to your heart’s content.

    During the depression California farmers would pile their excess crops/fruit and pour lye on it in full sight of the shanty towns. Just because they couldn’t make money off of it.

  2. There was a show on FoodNetwork last night called The Big Waste. It was talking about exactly the same thing you are referencing. The 4 chefs made dinner for 100 off of items that were going to be thrown away. A food inspector checked them out and said they were perfectly fine for human consumption. There were huge piles of “imperfect” tomatoes, peaches, peppers, corn, and cabbage. So shameful.

  3. Emily – move to Columbus so I have someone to go dumpster diving with…. please.

    And look into the Society of St. Andrew – they harvest all the leftover fruits and veggies that are left in the trees/field – or the ugly food that they dont feel can be sold, and use it to feed the poort.

  4. I was proud to see that Food Network was stepping up to the plate and bringing light to this subject…At one time on the WE channel, they had a series called Extreme Women. One episode was about extreme diets, one girl only did the raw diet, a couple did a very restrictive diet that is supposed to keep you young, and the most interesting was a teacher (in NY, I think) who only got her food from dumpster diving..She called her diet something that I can’t remember..Initially I was grossed out, but, she showed how she was getting fabulous food that was just going to be wasted. So, I guess if any of us are ever unable to buy food to feed our families, that will be the answer..probably in MS we will be arrested, but I do remember dumpster divers when I was growing up..the big, green dumpster on Wenasoga road was popular..I think for now I will just stick to Manager Specials at Kroger..

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