Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dumpster Diving: Economy or Nuisance?

A friend asked me the other day what he could do with lots of eggs, other than quiche, omelette, lemon curd and pavlova.
Me: How many eggs are we talking about?
Friend: Uh... about 400!

It turns out a friend's flatmate's friend (or something) had investigated one of those skips behind a supermarket, and brought back more than enough food.  Not just eggs (which by the way weren't expiring for another week), but also such perfectly edible items as sponge cakes and fruit (which was turned into kiwifruit jam in addition to lemon curd)

Now, I can see why a supermarket might struggle to sell eggs which are going to expire in a week, or fruits which are past their prime.  I can also see why they might not want to just give that food away to their hard-working employees and their friends.  Or why they might keep their skips locked and chase out those annoying types who want to poke around in them.  But it just seems plain wrong to throw out such quantities of perfectly acceptable items, when there are plenty of hungry people in our midst.  Surely it would make more sense to give the groceries away to one of those kitchens for the homeless?

Looks like the idea was being investigated last year.  But obviously there is still a mountain of comestibles being discarded for no good reason, and that makes me a sad panda.


  1. Food waste breaks my heart. Sadly, companies will continue to do it until the laws change. So many people go hungry that it is hard to imagine exactly how high the fat cats at the top must fall before they could understand how bad daily food waste is. If you are interested in this topic, take a look at this great Ted Talk by Tristram Stuart.

    1. Wow, excellent talk, thanks for sharing! I can't believe farms throw away produce because they don't fit supermarket size or appearance specifications. I would have thought they could distribute second rate items at markets and the like. Even if they can't be bothered, there must be people who would be willing to take them.


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