For those of you who are not familiar with the term, dumpster diving means that you collect food or other waste from dumpsters and bins for your own personal use. I suppose most would think of poor people when you talk about dumpster diving, but it seems like it has become a thing for those interested in zero-waste. Dumpster diving can be a great way of preventing waste, predominately from big companies within the commercial industry, and it is also a really clever way of saving money.
Whenever I am back in Norway I work at a supermarket myself. To see the amounts of fresh produce that goes in the bin every single day is heartbreaking. When you know there are people starving AND that global warming is becoming a bigger and bigger problem it is such a shame to see us waste our own resources like this..
Since I came to Norway I have barely bought any fruit or vegetables. Every day before the store throw away the food that they can not sell anymore I go through it and pick out what I would like to take home with me. The thing is that I am not picky at all, especially not after I went vegan. I am so used to trying new things now, so an apple with a bit of wrinkly skin is not a problem. If it still tastes good I will probably eat it. I literally save hundreds of pounds doing this, and it could not be simpler than cutting of the bad part of the fruit or vegetable. For instance, a couple of days ago I was cooking with a sweet red pepper that I had gotten, and it was soft and bad down by the tip. I simply just cut it off and used the rest of the vegetable. If you are one of those who “eat with your eyes” I recommend changing the texture of the item. Carrots? Make soup? Brown bananas? Peel and freeze. Leafy greens? Pop it in your curry. The options are endless. When you mix it with other stuff you will not be able to taste any difference, and you can still make something that looks appetising.
In a way I guess I could say I do dumpster dive a bit. I do not actually go and get the food from the bin myself, but I am taking bad food that is going into the bin straight after I have picked out what I want. Just to let you know, my smoothies have been on point lately as I have access to a ton of bananas every single day now. Not only is this relevant for those interested in zero-waste and people with little money, but I would say it affects everyone. Do not throw away your food until it is bad! Milk (dairy or plantbased) is still drinkable after the expiry date, and just cut off the bad part of your fruit or vegetables. If you know you will not be able to finish something before it goes bad, then freeze it. I always do that, and it is always nice not having to throw away food. I mean, it is literally like throwing money in the bin.
Do any of you dumpster dive? Are you interested in zero waste, or maybe just do use produce that is commercially “bad”? I want to hear your thoughts.