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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wrapping things up

Its been great the past few weeks, having loads of holiday treats and leftovers to eat without having to brave the cold nights in search of food; however, the cupboards started getting a little bare and I was getting tired of potatoes, pasta and bread.. Since I had hardly left the house in previous days I decided that it would be good to get out for a bit and pick up some food. I also wanted to test out the new loot bag I made for diving. I like to go really late at night so I dont have to worry about running in to anyone. That way, I can take my time sorting through stuff and I dont have to worry about being too loud. I found a bunch of good stuff but was disappointed that I didn't find any good veggies. Heres what I did find:


5 boxes mini croissants
3 boxes blueberry and banana nut muffins
3 boxes assorted doughnuts
5 bags assorted bagles
3 loaves bread
4 containers roasted red pepper hummus
64oz bottle cran-grape juice
fruitcake
2 boxes pop tarts
2 containers apple sauce
3 fruit cups
3 bags tortilla chips
box mac&cheese
3 boxes Little Debbie snacks
12 honey buns
3 boxes cereal
can of peas
mystery can.. maybe cream of something soup?
wooden serving spoons
tulip and anemone bulbs
portable CD player w/ headphones
bottle mouthwash
scented candle
5 fiesta themed small candles
Excedrin for tension headache
neck pillow
bottle CLR
small apron
electric toothbrush

I started this grand experiment in February of this year. Its been a full 10 months now and I have spent (a rough estimate of) $300 on food, health/hygiene products, clothes, cat supplies, and other random stuff. This excludes gas, vet bills, beer and all the other stuff I still have to purchase.
I was telling my grandmother about my blog the other day and how I've been dumpster diving. She told me that my uncle used to go to Hardee's to get hamburgers at the end of the day when he was in college. I think that is what she thinks I do. I don't think that she realizes that I can go out and get $100 dollars of groceries andother stuff any night I feel like going to the dumps. Today my aunt asked me "Are you going to spend you whole life like this?" To that I say, "Why the hell wouldn't I!?" I like to keep the money I earn, instead of wasting it on things I can have for free. I want to be able to give back the money Ive borrowed for student loans instead of giving it away in exchange for food when there is so much waste occurring. I can never again turn back to how I used to live. I have already seen what is happening behind the pretty store fronts and I can't un-learn what Ive discovered. It would be foolish to ignore it. It is wrong to ignore it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Xmas Gift Wrapping Extravaganza

Tonight I was supposed to host a holiday party but I think last nights out-of-the-blue 5 inches of snow scared everyone away.. So it will now be a Come-eat-the-food-i-cooked-and-lets-wrap-presents-while-boozin-it-up party. Ive got loads of stuff to wrap and Im going to enlist the help of my lady friends for it. Since I made something new tonight that I've been itching to try out, I guess Ill post it since it turned out so well.

Swedish Potatoes


Preheat your oven to 425F. Cut a potato almost all the way through in really thin slices, about 1/8 of an inch. I put the potato in a large serving spoon to help steady it and keep from chopping all the way through it. Fan it out a bit so that the slices have a little space in between and drizzle butter or olive oil, or whatever you prefer/ have available on top so it gets between the layers, then sprinkle some salt, pepper and any other spices or herbs you like on top and in between. Bake them for about 20 minutes or until they are mostly done. Sprinkle some grated parmesean cheese on top and put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the desired cheese meltyness has been achieved.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter Dorm Dumps

I went with a friend to the dorms this week to see what was getting thrown away at the end of this semester and was surprised with what I found. I had never been at the end of  a fall semester so I didnt really know what to expect, but I was surprised by the amount of food that I found. Won't the kids want this food when they get back from winter break? I dunno... In addition to the all the food, I found several great Christmas presents. It was interesting going before break when there are still people living in the dorms; at 2am there were still people out and about and walking around, some watching us digging through the bags of garbage. We must have surprised the guy who came out to throw some stuff away..
Tomorrow I am hosting a holiday party for my friends and co-workers. Its given me a good excuse to clean the house, re-arrange and organize the furniture and other stuff I've brought home. The home is looking pretty good, now that I've put my mark on it.  I'll also be cooking some stuff for the party so Ill post recipes, as it's been a while since I shared any with you.
From the dorms I was able to salvage:



13 freeze pops.. my favorite!
11 assorted packs of crackers, granola bars, etc.
box of pop tarts
4 mini boxes cereal
box Lucky Charms
large bag Frosted Flakes
pkg Oreos
12oz jar peanutbutter
bag of pastel mints
2 vanilla latte mix packs
2 easy squeeze icing bags
2 bags soup mix
4 bottles Ensure
3 bags microwave popcorn
3 bags baked ruffle chips
1 tube thin mint girl scout cookies
1 jar Prego pasta sauce
can Monster energy drink
bar Lever 200 soap
double sided magnifying mirror
large umbrella
dust buster
chain license plate frame
collapsible tote bag
music note tote bag
wristwatch
Brookestone travel blow dryer
Pampered Chef can opener
2 tupperware bins
3 ring binder
purse
halloween beach ball
several disposable coffee cups
book of Psalms
3 issues of the schools art and literature magazine
girls sweater
girls H&M shirt
mens jeans 28x30
sm. brown collared tee
white tank


Some of these things will be gifts, some I will keep and the rest will probably end up in care packages or donation boxes for local charities. I guess I could even send things to my readers if they wanted anything...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Changes

As I said a long time ago, I want to spruce things up a bit, so im making a few minor changes in the template and such. stay tuned for details and let me know what you think about it!

My Cup Flowith Over

Either I haven't been going out as often and forgot how much wealth is available to those who want to take it, or there is a significant increase in the availability of discarded wealth at the end of the year; I have been finding great stuff every day and wouldn't know what to do with it all if Christmas wasn't just around the bend.. I cant just keep hoarding all this stuff once the giving season has passed. I need a warehouse.. a place to keep all the salvaged stuff, or a venue to disperse it to those who need it...
So this is a short list from a stop on the way to a friend's last night, and a list of stuff from salvaged from the dorms today after exams. 

a pair of microterry slippers
tube of arthritis cream
bottle of extra strong hair spray
box of iron supplement
3 boxes healthy skin cream
1 box chocolate cereal straws
1 container french onion dip
1 reveal light bulb
100 xmas light strand

full length mirror
trash can
2 tote bags.. excellent for diving!
wallett
3 pairs fruit of the loom boxer briefs (brand new, never worn, in my size)
tumbler
Jazz history text book
compact florescent light bulb
set of colored permanent pens
3 outlet receptacle plug
1/2 bottle Biore face wash
some laundry detergent
bottle of French suncreen ($36 price tag)

Some may be repulsed by the fact that I am excited to have found used hygiene products and undergarments in the trash. I understand that it sounds nasty and how it could seem dirty and disgusting. They don't understand that it is clean, safe and perfectly good. Just because it was put inside a bag that spent a few hours inside a metal box with other discarded items that may not be clean, doesn't mean that it is automatically contaminated or unsafe to use as soon as it enters that metal box.


Consider this: If you have never been to Chicago or New York City, you can read books about it, look at pictures and hear what people who have visited have to say about it; but you can never, ever have a good understand of what it is like to visit that city until you have been there and seen it for yourself.

Monday, December 14, 2009

More veggies!

On my way home from the Christmas party that my mom hosted for her work friends last night, I stopped at the grocery next to her house, the same one got all the veggies from the other night, and found... more veggies! And whats more? 25 bottles of assorted salad dressing! It was another of those I-thought-it-so-I-found-it moments. Its so strange how that happens so often. Now Ill have a lovely variety of dressings for all the baby organic greens I found the other night and plenty to share with mom and friends. All of her work friends must have thought I'm the best son around when I showed up with a bag full of organic veggies and a dozen pink roses. I also gave her the Similac and some jars of Gerber baby food for one of her coworkers with a little baby.
Last nights dive yielded:

2 artichokes
2 pineapples
2 organic cabbages
10 sweet potatoes
3 3lb bags clementines
1lb box organic green beans
7 zucchini
1 jalapano
2 loaves neo-tuscan artisan bread
2 bleu cheese salad finishers
1 bag croutons
5 bottles asian toasted sesame dressing
11 bottles parmesean asiago balsamic vinegrette
9 bottles Sicilian roasted garlic balsamic vin.
1 bottle sun-dried tomato vin.
2 bottles Maries natural Italian vin.
2 organic basil plants
2 chrysanthemums
1 cycleman


As a plant freak, I always take home any plants I find. Im really excited about the cycleman because its in pretty good condition and will bloom again in a couple days; so beautiful!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Early Christmas

I love what I do. I felt like a child on Christmas morning when I got home last night and brought all my boxes of loot in to the kitchen for sorting and cleaning. I still had two unopened bags to root through, only able to guess what could be inside; they were like giant wrapped presents under the table.

After spending about an hour of sorting, unwrapping, washing, inventorying and arranging I was finally done. I had forgotten that the bulk of the work comes once you get your treasures home.


Once again, after displaying everything on the kitchen table for picture time, I was filled with a sense of immense satisfaction and triumpth mixed with a hint of nausea and guilt. I dont understand why this is happening, why I am able to do this every day. I went to theses same places two days ago and got everything of value. Last night I thought twice about finishing my loop because my car was almost full before I even got to the second and third spots.

I guess I can look at it as a lesson about the corporate machine; it never sleeps, never stops, never slows down. Tomorrow will bring another dump full of treasures.
I guess one positive thing is that with Christmas coming up, there will be plenty of wonderful gifts to bestow upon all of my family and friends; It's gonna be the best Christmas ever! I think back to years past and how around this time I am usually scrambling around, trying to pick up shifts so I can get a little more on that last paycheck before Christmas so I can give it all away to Wal-Mart, Target and the other places that embody the modern spirit of Christmas. Im saving my money this year, hopefully for my plans of going to school in Hawai'i next year.
 With Christmas coming up, abundance of everything in the cold weather, care packages and prepping for Hawai'i constantly on my mind, the gears in my brain have been turning again; How can I make the most out of my unique position, make things easier for myself, my family and my friends? I have only made about $4,000 working this year. Adding all financial aid and assistance from school and other sources brings my income this year to around $8,000, well below the poverty line. And I have lived like a king! Not once have I gone hungry, worried about paying rent, buying school supplies or any other nesscesity. In fact, I have had such an abundance of material wealth that I can afford share it with all of my poverty stricken friends, family and the occasional homeless person. I need somewhere to put all my excess until I can find places or people for it to go to..
So here's the list, divided by food and non-food items:

3 boxes Honey Nut Cheerio cereal & milk bars
9  bags assorted Dove chocolates
2 bags mini Snickers
1 bag assorted mini candy bars
6 bottles diet caffeine free Pepsi
1 bag organic red grapes
5 bartlett pears
bunch of red bananas
1lb box organic green beans
1 bag cut broccoli and baby carrots
3 pkgs portabella mushrooms
4 tomatoes
4 white onions
7 yellow, green and orange bell peppers
5 yellow squash
5 zucchini
1 cucumber
1 ear yellow corn
3 carrots
2 10lb bags white potatoes
10lb bag russet potatoes
4 bags baby carrots
5 boxes organic baby romaine and herb mix
7 assorted apples
1 bag Mott's Macintosh apples
2 16oz cartons strawberries
4lb bag Sunkist oranges
3lb bag clementines
carton fresh sage
1lb box Ritz crackers
6 bottles Similac baby formula
16 4pk boxes chocolate doughnuts
1 loaf roasted garlic artisan bread
4ct bag everything bagles
10ct box chicken wings
1 pan yeast rolls
1lb bag Maxwell House coffee
3.5oz pkg feta
8oz garlic herb cheese spread
Sergento ham salad finishers
2 32oz spaghetti dinners
2 12 oz. baked ziti dinners
7 boxes Totino's pepperoni pizza rolls
2lb bag tater tots



5 boxes Crest White Strips
2 toothbrushes
Neutrogena grapefruit face scrub
dry skin therapy lotion
ocean body spray
senior vitamins
2 bottles Pantene shampoo
colored xmas lights
4lb. bag Epsom salts
baby boots
box staples
can Alpo dog food
2 light bulbs
pair of jeans
2 boquets of flowers
3 herb plants; 2 basil and 1 cilantro
reusable tote bag



All this in one night. And again, everything is packaged, wrapped, in boxes and so on. Most stuff was tossed because it was getting close to the "expiration date." Some was tossed because the package was torn or punctured. Some people think that I am "disgusting" or that I am a "parasite." I understand that no one wants to buy it. I understand that the company can't use it any more because it has no potential to make them money. But I don't understand why all of this material wealth with minor defects, yet still usable and perfectly good, is thrown away when so many people around the world and here at home in America are struggling, toiling, suffering all day every day to acquire the perfect packages from inside the store. Not only are these items just casually thrown away, but most often they intentionally destroyed; cut open, poured out, ripped apart, crushed in to compacted blocks and guarded under lock and key behind huge walls and fences. I am fortunate to have several spots whose employees are either too careless to follow through with corporate policies of destroying merchandise bound for the trash or they leave it in hopes that someone will be able to get it. I like to think the latter; its less depressing and Ill take what little comfort I can find in the face of this seemingly hopeless problem. But I still have hope. I hope to change things. The gears are turning.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Weather

Since the last post I have been incredibly busy with school, work, birthdays(my own included)  and preparing for a new year.. I forgot how much time and effort it all requires! Often times I have an inner struggle with whether to go to the library and study, or go to the dumps.. their seductive call and promise of feasts and treasure is very tempting and difficult to drown out. In between studying for exams and ironing my work uniform I have found little time to go to the dumps and even less to post lists and pictures, but when the semester is over Ill be able to catch up.

In other exciting news, I got a camera!! No more of this frustrating borrowing-cameras-never-having-one-to-take-pictures-of-the-best-finds business.. Now I will be able to take pictures and videos and upload everything myself, whenever I want! Im obviously pretty excited about this major increase in efficiency and convenience. Im also very excited to be able to convey my experiences more vividly to all of you.

Since I am not buying any Christmas presents for anyone, I really need to start going out more so that I can find as much good gift material as I can. I've already been setting things aside that I have deemed appropriate for giving as Christmas presents; among these items are candy, perfumes, shower gels and lotions, dishes, cosmetics, furniture, candles and other miscellaneous beauty and hygiene products. I'll also post some ideas and pictures of gifts I'm making.

Now, on to last night's list:

17 6pack Snickers bars
6 bags Riesen candy
8pack mini Butterfinger
7 containers chicken noodle soup
1 container Easy Mac
2 Betty Crocker Bowl Appetite pasta bowls
1 can pineapple
1 can Spaghetti O's
1 box HoneyBunches of Oats with almonds

12 eggs
3 pears
3 boxes fried chicken
1 bag broccoli

package of recycled paper napkins
large roll of toilet paper
xmas tree base blanket
xmas lights
Paris Hilton shower gel and body lotion
Sparkling White Diamonds shower gel and body wash
Olay foundation
Almay clear complexion foundation
Revlon foundation and lipstick
Fingernail polish
3 bars Dial soap
jar of texturizing hair matte
moisturizing body lotion
mouthwash
vanilla and lavender scented candles
50ct box large envelopes






Friday, November 20, 2009

So busy!

Been a while, so there's lots to cover!

I presented a speech in one of my classes on how wasteful today's American society is. It was supposed to be a persuasive speech, which worked in my favor; It was easy for me to convincingly persuade my classmates about something that I am so passionate about. I was the first to present, so I brought several treats from my many recent dives for them to eat while I explained everything. I was expecting more surprise when they found out where the food and drinks came from, but everyone seemed fine with it. It went really well, except for my forgetting some of the most pertinent information relating to the audience.. I was going to explain what happens at the end of the semesters and talk about the Office of Recycling and Waste Reduction on campus, but ran out of time.
At the end of the year they put bins in all the dorms where the kids can put stuff that they don't want or need or cant take home with them. All the stuff gets collected, sorted and sold at the Cram n' Scram sale about a week after school ends. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is sold for 50 cents; shoes, clothes, pots and pans, TVs, computers, rugs, mirrors, bed sheets, fans, lamps, and everything else you could find in a dorm. The problem is that most of the stuff that they don't need still ends up in the dumpsters... Which is where I come in. I will be helping with sorting these items at the end of next semester and will also be making trips to the dumps to recover stuff. One of the perks of volunteering with the sale is that you get to keep anything you want that gets donated to the sale.
A few weeks ago there was another event called "Landfill on the Lawn" where the dumpsters from two dorms were emptied on the lawn in the middle of campus. Volunteers with the ORWR sorted through everything to separate the recyclables, and even though there is a recycling bin next to almost every trash can, dumpster and other waste receptacle on campus, I would say at least half of the piles of trash was replaceable. New laws in NC and city ordinances have made disposing of any aluminum, glass and pretty much any plastic bottle in to a trash bin illegal and the ORWR is working on a new program that will help educate and bring awareness of these new policies to people on campus and in the community.

So I mentioned that I have been diving a lot lately and you may wonder why I haven't been posting them.. I've just been really busy wrapping up the semester. Between work, school and diving, I don't have loads of extra free time these days and so I haven't been able to post much. I have also been organizing dives with the Meet up group that I started, but they don't seem to be working out; I'm just not that organized these days... It also hasn't helped that my computer is on the fritz again... so Ive been spending lots of down time in the library, which should be every freegans favorite place! I recently discovered how valuable a resource the library can be and am very excited about it! Anyway, I have stopped writing detailed inventories of individual dives, but have been taking more photos, but now I'm having trouble posting them.. Here are a couple and a list of random stuff I can think of that I found lately:

10 new bottles of cough syrup
bottles of Tylenol arthritis medicine
children's Tylenol
children's chewable vitamins
Rx medicines
returned- brand new electric toothbrush (found the same one in a store for $80!)
sooo many bottles of assorted beverages- juice, tea, beer, water, Gatorade, soda
jars of baby food
Epsom salts
several 5lb bags of sugar
lots of fresh fruit and veggies (lots of individually packaged Chiquita produce)
pop tarts
apple sauce
jello and pudding desserts
instant hot breakfast cereals
boxes of organic cereals
several boxes of rice krispy treats
cookies
muffins
loads of freeze pops!.. gotta love em'
cheeses
chocolate
preserves
deli meats, bacon, sausage - don't usually eat it, but brother and Basil cat like it!
noodles
nuts
beans
canned veggies
breads
Halloween candy
shampoo
body wash
hair curlers
cosmetics
toys







Each of these loads came from one night out. There are many more pictures, but I cant seem to post them. I loooove the cold weather because there is almost no danger of getting spoiled food, though I always err on the side of caution.

Speaking of safety, there are two issues I wanted to post about a while ago, but haven't gotten around to yet. One is rat poison. I noticed one night that my arm was resting on a pile that had been sprinkled on the rim of the dumpster. I wasn't too concerned about it because I take many precautions, but it got me thinking. I want people to be aware of the danger it presents for inexperienced divers. It is very common to find poisons in dumpsters and if you don't know what to look for, you could end up eating something that has been contaminated. This is why I never ever ever take anything that has been opened exposing the food unless I am absolutely sure it is safe, and you must ALWAYS wash everything ESPECIALLY produce, unless its inside of lots of wrappers.

Another point to consider is the danger of climbing inside a dumpster. A few weeks ago I was inside digging out some food and my feet had sunk down under boxes and bags. It was slightly uncomfortable, but I didn't think much of it, but something happened to it.. It was sore and hurt to put all my weight on it for a couple days. Aside from the danger of sprains or breaks, cuts are very possible. This is why I always wear gloves, though the thin vinyl doesn't offer much protection. Its best not to handle any broken glass. If you find a case of expensive olives or baby food or something that you really want to take, its best to take the whole thing to a safe place where you can carefully clean the jars off, or just take the clean jars without shards all over them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lately..

Okay, so its been a while. Ive been diving more often and have found loads of great stuff, but ive been so busy that I havent had time to post the lists.. I havent been keeping up with the Meetup.com group that I started either.. I feel sort of bad about being so negligent, but I haven't abandoned everything!
So I have a confession.. a couple weeks ago I broke down and went grocery shopping! At a big corporate 24-hour chain.. I know, I know. Im such a hypocrite. But considering I can count on one hand the number of times I've purchased groceries since I started this grand experiment last February, I'm not losing any sleep over it... I spent 13 dollars on one bunch of celery, eeggs, cabbage, carrots, onions and a couple other things. It had been a while since I found any good fresh food and my body craved veggies! Of course, the next night when I was diving I found celery, eggs, carrots and an onion... It was just a little lesson in patience and diligence, I suppose. Anyway, more to come later. Im trying to renovate things so look a little fancier, so don't be surprised if things change a bit.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Taking a break...

Tonight I was working on a Japanese paper thats due in the morning.. I felt like I needed a break and decided to take a drive down to my dumps to see what I could find. When I got to the first place I was excited because the gate was still open and I took this to mean that some good stuff had recently been thrown out; however, when I made my way over to it, I discovered nothing of value.. disappointment... So next, I went to the grocery next door, hoping for some fresh food. But again, I was disappointed to find absolutely nothing! This is unusual for me and I was not in the mood to go home empty handed after all my studying and hard work! I decided to take a detour home and check one more place on the way home.. and its where I found my loot. Not a great bunch of stuff, bu there were 3 cases of potato chips, totaling 35 unopened bags of assorted flavors!!! It goes to show that even if you are not finding anything, there is a treasure trove in another dumpster somewhere... You just have to LOOK FOR IT!!! Ill keep several bags in my car to give out in care packages to the homeless. Speaking of which, I never posted the other day about the two packages I gave away. There were two individuals that got my packages last week; lots of pastries, raisins, cookies and such... the feeling I got from these simple deeds is paralleled only by the one I had when I broke down thinking about refugees accompanying me on dives; a mix of extreme grief and elation.. Its like a drug now, something that I feel almost guilty and a little selfish for feeling to such an extreme extent, almost like an orgasm. Is it right to take so much pleasure in the feelings I get from giving these things away..? Somehow, it feeling so good feels wrong........

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mmmm.. so meaty

I stopped at one grocery on my way home tonight and found a bunch of meat and potatoes.. Ill give the meat to my brother.. I also went to the pharmacy the other day on my way home and found some stuff; ill throw it all in to one list:

2 gallons milk
2 1/2gal. chocolate milk
2 gallons grape drink
2lbs baby white potatoes
1lb hot pork sausage
8oz cooked bacon
1lbpkg oscar mayer hot dogs
1lbpkg Nathans hot dogs
8oz button mushrooms
8oz oscar mayer salami

Not really what I was looking for, but someone can appreciate it.. I always seem to forget about posting recipes so I feel like I should include one in here:


Curry Cashews

cashews
curry powder
olive, chili, or sesame oil
pepper
cumin

Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in a wok and add cashews when hot, sauteeing for about thirty seconds. Add spices and continue, but be careful not to burn. spread nuts on baking sheet and roast for about 5 minutes, taking care not to over cook.

Remember all those cashews I found the other week? This is a tasty snack for any occasion. I burned them every time, but they were still good... haha

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Good Night

Last night the weather was perfect for the first match of the kickball league that my friends job is in. They lost, but it was fun none the less. On the way home I decided to stop by a couple places near by and was quite pleased with the results:

5 bags of assorted bagels
2 bags hamburger buns
3 bags pita
1 bag hot dog buns
4 boxes cream cheese cherry pastry bites
5 boxes apple pastry bites
4 9" pie crusts
2 loaves sweet Hawaiian bread
2 loaves wheat bread
7 boxes cherry and apple turnovers
18ct box powdered doughnuts
1 cinna pull apart cake
2 heads iceberg lettuce
1 mango
1 green bell pepper
1 mini chocolate eclair pie
8 2qt bottle cranberry juice, exp Oct. 2009
12oz bottle grapefruit juice
16.9oz bottle san pellegreno
3 bottles water
1 bottle pedialyte
2 bottles gatorade
8 blade energy drinks
5 Bud Lights yaaaay beer!
5 Icehouses
2 boxes mango-mandarin instant green tea
2 3.56oz hersheys dark chocolate bars
100 grand bar

extension cord
small fan
4pack mini sharpies
buckin bronco belt buckle
bottle facial cleanser
crayola color wonder kit
3packs 2009 graduation/party invitations
2 picture frames
3 rolls book cover contact paper
2 shower sponges
3 boxes skinzium ointment
tube chapstick
Miley Cyrus keychain flashlight
pair of Love Cuffs "Dont let your valentine get away this year!"







Harvest time is definitely here. Im soo glad!

In other news, I have started a new group on Meetup.com called Triad Freegans. I just started it about a week ago and have five members now. Our first meet up is tomorrow night, 8pm at New York Pizza on Tate Street. I figure it will be a good opportunity to meet each other and exchange some stories and get to know each other a little bit before we go out on our first dive together. If you want to find out more about our group, you can go to meetup.com/triadfreegans. Once we get the group established and have regular activities scheduled, I want to get back to weekly feasting! For those who have had the pleasure of attending, you know how much I love them! Im still looking for a good venue for us to meet at but am having a hard time thinking of good places.. I love you all, but I don't want to have tons of people over all the time.. any ideas on where to find info about community facilities or something like that where we could meet?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Milk and honey.. er.. juice

On a whim, I decided to stop at one of my pharmacies on the way home and was delighted with the results. I dont often go in the middle of the day, but this particular dump set back on the side of the building and not in plain view, and on a Sunday afternoon I felt safe enough to take a peek. In it was:

5 gallons of milk
3 2qt cartons of orange juice
2 16oz bottles of chocolate milk

Now I can eat some of the cereal iv'e been holding on to.. Fortunately, it was a mild day and it seemed to have just been tossed since everything was still cold. Since I dont really drink milk I need to find friends and neighbors that would like some! The juice is perfect for all of my friends who seem to be getting sick this week.. hopefully I will avoid any illness!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Full Moon

I was on the way home after a few drinks at the bar with a friend when I found myself crouched over a pile of fruit inside one of my dumpsters, laughing to myself at the great pleasure I was taking in the whole experience. I love diving. It has become much more that something I do when Im hungry; its become a hobby, much like my playing the cello. I do it when I need a morale boost or when Im bored or angry.. Being a solitary experience, it helps me to step back from my self and regroup my thoughts. The whole process has become routine and the bins all start smelling the same, unless there's something really gross in there. Most often the smell is not a big issue and it has even gotten to the point where it is somewhat comforting; an indicator of the treasures Ill soon be finding..
I recently found out about Meetup.com, a venue for people with like interests to communicate and get together to share their interests with. This seemed like a great way to get a group together for Triad freegans and I began creating a page, but soon realized that you must pay for the services.. So maybe not. Im trying to find a similar place that is free.. anyone know where I could look?
Anyway, here is the list form the other night's dive:

bunch celery
9 bananas
large butternut squash mmmmmm!
apple
4 8oz boxes salted cashews
7oz box chopped pecans
2 4pk.boxes glazed honey buns, individually wrapped
bag hot dog buns
bag hamburger buns
9 containers plain and red pepper hummus!
8oz tub light cream cheese
tube of biscuits

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Care Packages

I love my pharmacy. When they stock new inventory, they take out the old stuff, put it in a box all together and toss it in the dump. All I have to do is stop by to pick up my "care packages" as I have come to call them. They almost always have food in them and more often than not contain medicine, books, electronics and all kinds of other great stuff! The latest care packages that I picked up had:

portable cd/radio boombox
4lb box epsom salt
Pez dispenser keychain with pez
12 5.5oz boxes Oreos
3 scented candles
10 CD-R with jewel case
stuffed quail squeaky toy
16 travel tubes Aleve
2 packets Alka Seltzer
3 2qt. bottles grapefruit juice
2 16.9oz bottles water
travel packet antibacterial hand wipes
tube anti-wrinkle hand cream

I don't have a use for lots of the thing that I bring home from the pharmacy, so Ive been working on a plan to put together care packages for people in the community who need it. So far craigslist has been a good venue to make my packages available, but whoever is coming obviously has access to a computer and I want it to go to people who don't have anything. I have also begun keeping extra food stuffs in the car to give to the many homeless people who often stand at what seems like every intersection. If anyone else has experience with anything like this, Id like to hear your ideas on how to get things to those who need it and other related topics.

Cool Weather!

The last few days have been rainy and cool, so I decided last night was a good night to check out the usual spots. I stopped at each of the three grocery stores that I frequent and one of the pharmacies. I immediately spotted loads of stuff and was thrilled to find that everything was still cold to the touch! I'm glad I went because each spot had either something on my wish list or a random gem. Here's the list:

2 cucumbers
4 zucchini
3 squash
4 potatoes
1 sweet potato
1 onion
5lb bag naval oranges
5lb bag red grapefruit
1 qt. Simply Lemonade
20 cans diet Dr. Pepper
8 pack Yoplait pomegranate-blackberry and blueberry yogurt
4 pack store brand vanilla yogurt
2 10oz. pkgs Sara Lee roast beef
3 tubes sticky buns
24 oz. block medium cheddar cheese
8oz block Kraft Monterray Jack
10pk Sargento Vermont sharp white cheddar cheese sticks
8oz pkg shredded sharp cheddar
18oz jar apricot preserves
16oz jar maraschino cherries
12oz jar Marie's chunky bleu cheese dressing
pkg honey wheat rolls
pkg Hawaiian sweet bread
1lb box macaroni noodles
1lb Blue Bonnet margarine

Medium women's Columbia coat... wtf?

Most of the stuff was especially dirty with lots of other food residue on it; garbage trucks had been the day before and the bins were empty when they took out trash that day, so everything was just getting thrown in together and lots of their containers broke. One bin had tons of yogurt, juice, milk, soymilk and such, but the individual yogurt cups had broken all over everything. Fortunately, the large packs were in tact, kept cold and protected from the yucky by the cartons they were in. The salsa and cherries were part of cases that had been dropped and the other jars were smashed and all over everything. I would have gotten a few more jars, but one poke through my gloves from the tiny shards of glass was enough to convince me that one good jar is enough for now; after all, there will ALWAYS be more tomorrow....

One thing I noticed that concerned me were several bottles of salad dressing, oils, packages of deli foods and other items had obviously been opened and poured out, a practice that my stores don't typically employ.. I'm not sure if the manager that night was just being extra thorough in policy practice, if they are starting a new policy of opening packages before throwing out (like many corporate stores do) or if an employee was just screwing around on the clock... I definitely hope that they are not enforcing this practice because not only does it ruin that particular item, it spills out all over everything and ruins whatever else may be salvageable, resulting in a nasty, mucky mess that even I am reluctant to dig through.

The notion of dumpster diving immediately turns off most people because it conjures images of landfills and domestic household waste when the truth is that most of the time, food is put in boxes and bags separate from other waste before making it to the dumpster. All I(you) have to do is open it up and take it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ignorance is Bliss

Here is an article from Time magazine that talks about the path of food from farm to fork. Its something that I think everyone should read because it brings some light to the mysteries of where our food comes from and what we are really having to pay for the convenience of it all. Well, some of us are paying for it.. I just wish people could take it upon themselves to explore and educate themselves about issues like these. It seems a hell of a lot more important than who got voted off the latest flavor of love or what the fuck ever people watch these days..

enjoy

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1917458-1,00.html

Monday, August 17, 2009

Crumble Recipe

In reviewing my blog I realized that I have neglected one of the main functions of this project, which is to share recipes I come up with for dumpstered food. I feel like this recipe for fruit crumble is appropriate because it is fast, easy, and interchangable depending on what is available. I developed this recipe for blueberries since they dont behave in the same way as other fruits in pies. This crumble recipe much simpler than a pie and great for anything you want to put in it.

Crumble Topping

I get one small measuring cup for everything and add

one scoop( I use 1/4c. scoop size for 2 cups of fruit filling)
brown sugar
flour
butter

two scoops (=1/2c.)
oats

half scoop(=1/8c.)
sugar, whatever kind you like

dash of salt

Mix it all up till its crumbly and easily sprinkled. The size of the scoop doesnt really matter as long as you have the ratio right. Make a bigger batch if you have more fruit.

Fruit Mix

(I use 2cups fruit for the 1/4c crubble topping scoop size)

2c. fruit
1/2 c sugar

Mix it up til the juices liquify the sugar. Pour in greased baking dish and sprinkle crumble topping over fruit mix. Bake at 425 for about 20-30 minutes or until desired brown color is reached on crumble topping.

Cool and enjoy with ice cream or something else yummy

I realize that I am not great at dictating recipes, so Im working on getting a step by step video for posted recipes. More about that later..

New Begining

I recently moved out of my wonderful little downtown apartment and in to my brother's house. I have mixed feelings about it for many reasons, but I am glad to have some change in my life. Despite my not going diving much lately, I have managed to sustain myself on what I have stockpiled and the findings of my few and far between dives. Ive been learning in more than one way that it doesnt take much to live. Before settling in to my new home I had to purge all the things I dont need. It was sort of another half attempt at the whole fifty things idea, but I certainly got rid of at least fifty things, of which most were dumpstered items that earned me a small wad of cash and a free small wad of cash is nice to have in lean times. Someone contacted me about collecting the yard sale leftover and I was happy to pass on the rest to someone in need for free. I'd rather give it to a real person that to Goodwill..

So all this change has promped me to bring everyone up to date on some of my findings over the summer. With autumn approaching I feel busy, like a little animal preparing for winter, though winter is the best time for diving. Here are some of the manuscripts ive kept of diving bounty:

7/8/09
60 Huggies diapers
digital TV converter box
bottle nail polish remover
small duffle bag
box small envelopes
2 boxes freeze pops!!!!
digital sports watch
air pump
pair of earrings
bag of assorted mini Snickers bars

7/13/09
2 cases snack buckets (cheese balls and snack mix)
1 loaf bread
2 sweet potatoes
1lb margerine
large garlic bulb
cantiloupe
box baby organic spinach
2 boxes sliced baby portabellas
1 tube crecent rolls..mmmmmm

7/21/09
shit ton of assorted sized bottles and flavors of Propel fitness water
~ 4 cases
1 bottle gatorade

7/19 31/09
assorted apples
4 pears
box granola bars
6oz package shredded swiss cheese
3oz bottle grated parmesean
box Natural granola bars
1lb bag key limes

8/4/09
pineapple
box baby organic spinach
3 1/2gal. bottles lemonade
10lb sack white potatoes
2 boxes croissants
12" sour cream pound cake
1 loaf sourdough bread
5ct pkg lemon cream canolli
10ct bag yeast rolls
2 loaves Natural artisan bread
1gal bottle vegetable oil.. need a veg. oil car now
1qt bottle vegetable oil
2 bunches bananas
3lb sack seedless clementines
1 green bell pepper
3 red bell peppers
2 orange bell peppers
3 zucchini
5 yellow squash
bunch celery
4 boxes oreo cookies
1 package double stuff oreos
12 4oz boxes Nabisco saltines
3 1lb boxes saltines
1 box Quaker assorted instant oatmeal
12oz box okra
1 tube spearmint Chapstick

last dive was a much needed morale boost. It reminded me that persistence and patience are important in diving because everything we need is already out there somewhere and you dont need everything you (have been brainwashed to believe)think you need; you just have to look for it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lately..

My computer has been in repair and I havent had many successful dives lately, but that doesnt mean I havent been doing lots of stuff. I have been picking blueberries at a friends and scavenging a lot around town to make money and find food. Times are definately tough, but once the weather cools down we will once again find ourselves in our hour of effortles plenty.  I have been keeping manuscripts of my findings that I may or may not get around to posting..  we'll see how thing turn out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Farewell..

On Sunday afternoon I went on a bike ride with a couple friends who left this morning to start a new life on the road. They will be camping, squatting, and couch surfing their way across the country over the next year or so and will have many adventures to share! Ill post a link to their blog when I get it..
Anyway, We ended up going quite a bit farther than I thought I could ride, about 40 miles.. But it was great! On the way back we stopped at two of my regular grocery stores and a few pharmacies, where we found loads of food to bring back! It was pretty exciting for everyone, since it had been a while since I've found a good haul and it was their first good dive. Since we didn't bring any food on our ride, we stopped behind the store for a little while for a snack before continuing on to the next store. When we reached the pharmacy we were already carrying so much food that we had to take our new loot to a near by friend's house to drop off so that we could retrieve it later with a car. We ended up finding a bunch of good traveling stuff that I was happy to donate to their cause.
We ended up bringing home:

5lb block swiss cheese
2 packages croissants
several bags of sub rolls and loaves of bread
9 4-packs of sugar free Red Bull
bottle of cranberry juice
lots of cinnamon buns
bag of mini bagles
12in cookie "cake"
half a deli ham
bunchs of individual boxes of raisins and crasins
some office supplies-stapler, scissors, etc..
several VHS tapes
The Jacksons and Elvis records

On a side note, I had another "Find whatever you want" experience the other night. I was biking around Saturday night looking for money and jewelry after bars and clubs closed. For whatever reason I kept thinking about finding a bluetooth headset. Not twenty minutes in to my search, I found one in "the good parking lot" which I have come to call it.. the one I usually find something interesting in.. I helped a neighbor move in a bed from the side of the road, which she was absolutely convinced had been sent to her by god. I find what I need almost on a daily basis and I take all the credit for being open for going out and getting it, though some of the coincidences are baffling...

Im think Im ready to start a new journey myself... im just not sure when Ill go or which direction will call me. Im supposed to be keeping an eye out for a "rare fossil." Maybe Ill know where to go after I find it..




Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Scavenging

I went to a few places last night and was fortunate enough to find a few things worth bringing home. I went to a grocery and two pharmacies. Im still trying to figure out why no one throws as much stuff out as they do in the winter... I still have not found a a good load in quite a while. I was excited last night to find three boxes of assorted bags of chips(crisps) and snacks, but extremely disappointed when i found that each and every bag had a hole cut in it. I took them home and put them in zip-lock bags to keep them fresh. Fortunately I have a friend who left for Ohio this morning, so she and her friends took most of them for snacks on the road. I guess opening packages is an attempt to keep people from going back after their shift and taking stuff, but it makes me fucking sick. Every day there are two homeless people that panhandle on the corner of the adjacent intersections. why shouldn't they be able to take something they need to survive from what a store throws away...????? Everything is so fucked up and backwards that I feel hopeless a lot of the time.. people starve to death every day while some soulless shell instructs its employees to destroy perfectly good food.....for what? to keep costs down? to discourage stealing? I dont fucking get it. I used to think that people could rise up and be good to each other; take care of each other and what not... Im not so hopeful any more. People are only interested in how much money they have and what they can get for themselves with it. It makes me wonder what a persons life is worth. It makes me wonder what the point of living at all is.

I found a block of provolone cheese
a cantiloupe
a banana
two boxes of hot wings (times are tough and I haveto eat whatever is available..)
3 packs of trail mix
bag of beef jerkey
about 30 bags of assorted chips

Ive also been taking anything I can find that will sell in hopes of having another yard sale soon. The high income neighborhoods around me throw out nice stuff on sunday night before trash day. Damn, this depression really sucks... God damn you to hell, George Bush.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Summertime! and the livin is tough..

I havent had a good score in weeks now. I jumped in the smelliest dumpster I have ever encountered and it turned out to be for naught; the watermelon i was after was rotten on the inside. Summer sucks for diving. Ill have to start going much earlier in the day to find anything still good..

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Booored

This summer has been so lame thus far. I havent found a whole lot in the hot smelly dumpsters of summer lately and I have not been working much either, so sleep has been a big part of my days.. Im getting tired of it, though. I had a shift at one of my jobs near a shopping center the other night, so when I left I decided to check the pharmacy and bookstore dumps. I couldnt find much without a flashlight but I did find an entire case, 32 boxes, of cordial cherries. Im not a huge fan so ive been looking for people to give them away to.

I went tubing down the Dan river yesterday, which was awesome! It is so much fun to go with a big group of friends. It was the first official summer activity I have participated in this year. We took a few cases of beer and tons of granola and nutra-grain bars and dried fruit and stuff that Ive stockpiled and made a day out of it. It was relaxing but etremely exhausting at the same time.

In other news, I may be getting and AWESOME summer job! I have been speaking with a woman who owns a farm where she grows bluberries mostly, but also grows muscadines, peaches and other yummy treats. Since her husbands sudden death last year shes been looking for someone to manage the operations and get the food harvested and sold at farmers markets and stuff. Hopefully I will be the one overseeing all of those activities. I'm going out to the farm tomorrow to check things out and talk about what she wants to do. This would be the perfect job for me since I already do it with my blackberry patch. Speaking of my blackberries, its about that time of the year.. I should go out to check on how they have been growing this year.
Well hopefully some more interesting things will be going on this week for me to post about. Ill probably go diving tonight or this weekend since Im still pretty low on fresh food.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Back in Action

I went out last night for the first time in a while. I ended up going alone again, but i guess its okay since I didnt really find a whole lot that I needed help with.. but I did find some interesting stuff. It had been raining almost non stop for the two days before and many of the bins had several inches of yucky soup in the bottom, so I didnt bother diggin very deep, just picking through the top stuff. At the two grocery stores it was evident that I had been beaten there by other people. I guess its the homeless people cause they only ever take the cooked food and leave fresh produce and canned stuff behind. After not having been for a couple weeks, i feel like I have lost my edge.. a diving run was something that I yearned weeks ago, but it seemed a bit daunting last night. I understand a little better how difficult it would be for someone to just jump into the lifestyle without anyone around to back them up..

3 pears
3 apricots
2 boxes strawberries
bag of grapes
bag of broccoli
baby carrots
case of 24 20oz. bottles of gatorade
celery
an umbrella
leopard print scarf
several 5mg muscle relaxer tablets (flexeril)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

As of late..

Let me apologize for not keeping up with posts lately; i was sick most of last week and didnt feel like digging in dumpsters or writing, though I was glad to give a could live vicariously by giving a couple friends my best locations and advice for their first dive. They didnt have a huge success, but did find lots of bags of doritos in a dump that I had never checked before. Now that Im feeling well, its time to go for a grocery run. Since word of my escapades has gotten around my ring of friends and beyond, I have met and heard about more and more people who do similar stuff around here, so Im gonna try to get a group of interested people together some time later this week to go with me.
I had a yard sale last weekend that was mostly stuff that Ive accumulated over the last few months. I made enough to pay rent :)
My friend Erin, who is visiting family in Philadelphia, went out last night with her freegan cousin to go diving. She and her friends go regularly and feed homeless in a park. Im very excited and eager to hear Erin's stories when she gets back..
Well, more to share later.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Randomness

After my friends and I got back home last night I was feeling like a bike ride, so I went around downtown with a friend for a little while. I wasn't really expecting to find anything, but there is almost always something good to find... We stopped by one place that I often check, where I found a sweet box cutter that opens like a pocket knife. I was gonna look around some more, but there was a security guard coming our way so we decided to keep moving. Most of the time security guards can't really do anything, especially touch you, except tell you to leave or call the heat. My good friend is a security guard at the airport and she has taught me a couple standards of their trade.. Anyway, we went by the train station but didnt find anything of interest. We were on our way back through the middle of downtown when we passes a parking lot in which I noticed something that looked like a trombone case... guess its the first thing on a musicians mind.. Upon closer inspection I found that it was most of a set of golf clubs. I cant think of too many reasons they were lying there.. I strapped em on my back and took em home. I took the long way home so as to avoid any unwanted attention from the many officers policing the streets after the clubs and bars closed. If they're decent clubs, maybe I can make the rest of my rent this month..

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grocery Run

Save the select items I brought home from the dorms last week, I haven't been to the grocery dump in several days and tonight seemed like a good night to go. We have had unusually cool weather the last couple days and I figured I'd take advantage of it by seeing what food had been spared from the summer heat. I ended up going to six dumpsters - two grocery stores and four pharmacies. Considering the number of bins I visited, I wasn't able to recover much. Still, I got what I went for and was satisfied with the night's findings. I got my friend to join me and capture some video of our run, so hopefully there will be some clips to share soon. Here is tonight's list:

8 bottles water
2 packages Ritz crackers
2 boxes trash bags
10 rolls cough drops
package of napkins
box cotton swabs
box freezer bags
20 Nutrigrain bars -
3 bags Kashi -
2 bags corn flakes - store must have a "take it out of the box before throwing away" policy, as I have noticed many pharmicies do
5 boxes Sun Maid raisins
1 can tuna
1 box elbow macaroni
1 box vanilla wafers
2 veggie and dip snack trays
4 tomatoes
8 apples
3 potatoes
2 boxes baby organic spinach ~my favorite!
3 boxes baby organic herb and romaine mix
4 zucchini
1 cucumber
1 green pepper
bunch fresh basil
1 can cream of celery soup
1 bottle chocolate syrup
jar dried bay leaves
whole deli turkey breast
rolling suitcase
Neutrogena face lotion

Monday, May 18, 2009

Second Round

I went back to school on Friday night after leaving a friends graduation party. While at the party I asked my friend to name three things that she needed to which she replied "shoes(size 8), shampoo(head and shoulders) and.. well i dont remember what else she said. I said I wanted shoes, an ipod, a lamp and a computer. When I arrived at school I made my circle around the first set of dorms but I never made it around to the rest. It was a very warm outside and it was getting very late, or early, and I had begun dripping sweat while looking through the last bin I visited. In the humid wee hours, I was not too fond of the idea of taking the time to fill a third bag and biking home, especially with all the stuff I had already found.. So I collected my booty and took off. When I got gome I spread out my findings and took inventory of everything. I was pleased to have gotten most things on my wish list:

* indicates a wish list item

~ bottle laundry detergent (cant ever have too much, can you?)
bottle dish detergent
*bottle shampoo(head and shoulders!)
box of Swiffer wet pads
roll of toilet paper (a rare and valuable find)
box of microwave popcorn bags
box of Crest Whitestrips
bottle face wash
bottle cologne
bottle perfume
TI-93 graphing calculator
stopwatch
*webcam and mic (for a friend who has been needing one)
2 sets of headphones
USB cable for blackberry/razor
PS2 boxing game
*Dell Inspiron 5000 laptop
Integrated chinese workbook
missclaneous jewelry(no gold this time..)
The Science of Self Realization
pair of tweezers
bottle opener
cotton bath towel
*faux leather cowboy boots (size 7)
*30-gig Zen MP3 player
glass box
*small dry erase board (a request Ive been looking for)
an umbrella

All the electronics need to be charged but appear to work. guess most stuff is going to the yard sale pile in my apartmet unless anyone wants it..







Friday, May 15, 2009

Dorm Dumps

I feel like I should have taken better advantage of the waste going on at school this past week. I went back to the dorms last night on my bike to see what I could find and when I actually got in the bins and started looking through everything I realized just how much useful stuff was in there. I filled my bag in the first two dumpsters I stopped at, but found a messenger bag in the third and a fabric shopping bad in another. I had to pick and choose what items to take back since my three bags were getting prety full and I had a decent bike ride back home. I decided I would have to make a trip home to unload and come back after visiting only a few of the dumpsters. On my second trip I brought the larger backpack that I found the other day, but forgot to bring the other bags.. It was okay because I found another backpack at another dorm soon after I arrived. In addidion to the general shock and bewilderment, I was really surprised by the amount of food that I found. I had to opt to pack non food items to make the most out of the situation because I can find loads of food any night at any grocery, though I did bring home some food stuffs. And as always, I found several things that I have needed. It seems that if you say and think about what you need and want to find, it reveals itself more easily..
Here is the list. Im excited about what might turn up tomorrow night!

~ means most of

size 11 nike basketball shoes
new large house slippers
3 pieces tupperware
3 beers
1 mini wine bottle
~ botle of febreeze
1 box drier sheets
~ 100oz. laundry detergent
1 bottle spray sun screen
~ garnier fructice shampoo and conditioner
~ can Axe
~ box tylenol severe cold pills
bottle hand sanitizer
bottle body wash
fresh 12oz. pack Dunkin Donuts coffee
7 packs ramen noodles
13 Larabars
1 package of 18 mini boxes of raisins
1 pack microwave popcorn
1 can chicken and rice soup
1 cordless house phone
1 waterproof flashlight
1 Tracfone with 18 minutes
Kodak Easyshare V1003 camera - screen is cracked but it may have a warranty..?
stapler
hair iron
combonation lock (with the code)
2 spanish dictionaries and phrasebooks
frizbee
assorted color sharpie pens
several sized paint brushes
Norton internet security 2009 software
MS Office 2007 home and student
a drinking glass
dinner plate
area rug
more monopoly game pieces
L.L Bean backpack
black messenger bag
a few miscellaneous articles of clothing
pair of 14k gold earrings
set of earbuds for ipod
pink garbage can
several dollars in change
8x13 baking pan


Thursday, May 14, 2009

School's Out!

This week is the last week of exams for the semester. I was on campus the other day and decided to ride through the dorm areas where all the parents were picking up the kids for the summer. I was dismayed by the amount and quality of stuff that was being stuffed in the fifteen or so dumpsters around campus. There was everything from vacuum cleaners, lamps, storage bins, clothes and rugs to garbage cans, memory foam mattress pads, tables, chairs and mirrors. I was only able to take a few small things that fit in my bag, but was pleased to find a larger, nicer backpack in another dumpster. It never really occurred to me how much stuff really gets thrown out at the end of each semester by the people living in the dorms. It sucks that their parents have worked so hard for so many years to be able to buy things like that for when they send the kids off to college, only to get tossed in the dumpster at the end of the semester... Which has given me a new idea. I want to start something on a small level that can benefit as many people as possible with the minimal amount of time and money going in to it; I want to start some kind of club or group at school that organizes the collection of useful items that get tossed at the end of the year. Everything that is collected would be redistributed to whoever needs it the next term either for a low cost or donation or something. I just need to figure out who I need to start talking to and what I can do to get the ball rolling for next year. In the mean time, Im going to go back to get as much stuff as I can while its still available.. Here are a couple things I found the other day:

2 rolls of paper towels (couldnt fit any more..)
a big pair of scissors
most of a bottle of dish detergent
an albuterol inhaler (for sis, who is asthmatic and uninsured)
most of a box of tall garbage bags
monopoly game pieces (couldnt fit the whole game)
a sweet backpack containing:
a pair of sunglasses
a 3gig flash drive
several pens, pencils and hi-lighters

I also found loads of stuff that I wanted to come back for with my car, but I didnt get around to it; Im going tomorrow with a friend to load up her car with furniture and stuff.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fifty Things

This experiment in freeganism over the past few months has opened my eyes to things I could never have imagined. It's like seeing the ocean for the first time, trying to imagine what is beyond the horizon; I have seen what goes on behind the pretty store front with organized shelves of neat packages. I cant ignore what I have learned about the incredibly inefficient and wateful system that I am supposed to be a productive member of. I wont participate in or support a culutre of consumption based on working for money to constantly replace what you have whether you need to or not. Since I am constantly bringing home new stuff, my apartment has become like a storage unit with tons of stuff that I dont really have much use for. I have so much stuff in my little apartment that I cant really fit any more, and so I have decided to try a new experiment: I am going to try to select fifty items in my home that I need/want to keep and try to sell/give away/recycle everything else that I have. I know that fifty things means getting rid of a lot of stuff.. so I think i'll start with fifty thing that I want to get rid of and go from there. It is something that will certainly take a while to narrow down to, but I am sure that its something I can work up to. When I think about actually doing it, its kind of scary, but I think gettig rid of everything that I dont absolutely need would be renewing, like shedding old skin or something. I also want to get rid of stuff that just takes up room, like my tv, which hasnt been plugged in for at least the last six months and furniture that I've been meaning to get rid of. So if I theres anything I have that you want, it can be yours! I reckon Ill begin the great purge this weekend..
People have been expressing interest in going diving but I alway end up going alone.. so If you ever want to go, let me know! Its always more fun when you have someone else to share your bounty with! Let me again encourage you all to leave comments, ask questions, or give suggestions.. I am always interested to hear what other people think!

Vegan Baking

I tried my hand at vegan baking for the first time over the weekend and I was pleased with the results. The two cakes I made were not very good, but each time you do it you learn how to do it better the next time. I have been adjusting a recipe that a friend gave me to work with what I have and I found that vegan baking seems pretty easy. Since its difficult to find good dairy in the dumps, I don't bake much, but now I feel like Ive discovered a new world of possibilities!
I first made a lemon cake with peanut butter frosting, which was an interesting flavor combination... I baked it in a loaf pan and was disappointed to see that the center was uncooked when I thought it was done.. I scooped it out and ate it anyway; it was still tasty! The second one was a strawberry cake I made using the same recipe for the lemon cake, but with some variations. I added diced strawberries to the batter before baking and made chocolate frosting with some lindor truffles I found last week to ice it with. I have tasted thousands of cakes in my time, and those are like none I've sampled before. The texture and flavor is so good! Im interested to see what other goodies I can whip up next!


Friday, May 8, 2009

First Movie Night

Despite a few set backs, movie night turned out well. I cooked tons of food and fortunately most of it was eaten. I made a huge pot of saffron rice with three dishes to serve over it; stirfry(with sugar snap peas from the garden!), sweet and spicy vegetable curry and garam masala. I also made salad, twice baked potatoes, roasted red pepper hommus, an apple crumble and I cooked two more of the meatloaves. I was worried about it all coming together, but in the end everything was fine.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More than I bargained for..


Last night I went out to get a some tomatoes and a couple other things I can usually count on finding for the the feast tonight. Again, I almost always find something I need, but it wasn't tomatoes.. I went to the grocery store and decided to stop at the pharmacies on the way home too, and I found some good stuff:

1 box multigrain cheerios
5 bags pita chips
2 cabbages
4 bunches celery
1 iceberg lettuce
1 package strawberries
12 bottles of water
6 6packs chocolate Ensure
1 potato
2 boxes fried chicken (cooked earlier in the day)
6pack jello cups
1 bag salad mix
1 caesar salad bowl
around 50 assorted lindor truffles
4 disposable underwater cameras
4 bars olay body soap
alarm clock
radio/cassette player
bilfold/watch set
cordless shaver
infant tylenol drops
kentucky derby glass
hair cutting kit
Stag topped candy jar
"green" shopping bag



































Its sort of weird that I needed an alarm clock, shaver, and clippers to cut my hair.. and voila! there the are.. Well, I have lots of cooking to do in preparation for tonight! Ill post about how everything goes and any recipes I try out. Im also trying to get some video clips together so everyone can see just what goes on at Paisley St.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

lately...

I have been a mess. I've been trying to keep up with the last week of classes but I have felt like I'm in some kind of dream.. probably because I have not been sleeping normally for the last couple weeks. I had not gone on a food run(until last night) since I went with Alicia to stock up for the cookout last week, but I've been going around places in the city. Late at night/early in the morning on the weekends, after the bars have closed and people are going home, I have found is a wonderful time to scan the streets and check the cans in and around downtown for some interesting things.. I also went back to the train station (first time since the incident) and found that there are many good things there as well. I may not have been taking the time to log my findings lately, but I am constantly on the lookout and have found several interesting things over the last couple of weeks.To name just a few items:
1 leather bound bible
1 pair size 11 nikes in relatively new condition
2 cell phones (which I could use if i ever decide to get a phone again...)
1 bottle black beeswax shoe polish - had nice shiny shoes for my last orchestra concert monday night :D
$10
2 porn DVDs.. havent checked them out yet; thought it was amusing
tons of assorted easter candy and paraphernalia
1 bottle hand sanitizer ..to stay in the car for when I go diving

Im glad that Movie Night is starting up tomorrow night; it's given me a project to work on that makes me feel like I have a purpose in life.. If you want to know more about it, I have a facebook group with all the info about it here:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=67596363883&ref=share
Ive been cooking today in preparation for the pre-movie feast. I want to be sure there is tons of food; I felt like last thursday's cookout didnt have enough after I hyped it up to everyone... I will probably go back to the dump tonight just to see what else I can find, so maybe Ill be able to thorw something together tomorrow with whatever I find. I have been making apple crumbles a lot lately. I never realized how much easier and less consuming they are to make than a pie is. I love to make pies, but only for special occasions and for people who really deserve one :) Most of the recipes I use are based on ones I look up online to use as a guide, then I change them according to what I want or whatever I have available. The crumble recipe I am using is really easy, so Ive been trying different renditions each time.

Apple Crumble

6 apples
1/3c butter
1/2c brown sugar
c oats
whatever else you want in it.. I chopped up toasted almonds and added them to the crumble mix and added nutmeg, ground cloves and added the juice of 2 oranges to the diced apples.

Peel, core and dice apples. Stir in spices and juice. Mix sugar, soft butter, oats, and chopped nuts together to make the crumble topping. Pour apples in a baking dish, cover with topping, and bake at 375˚ for about 30 minutes or until top is gold and crisp and apples are bubbling. Cool on the sill of an open window for 15 minutes before serving.

Last night I was feeling kind of down and even though it was raining I really, really wanted to go to the dumpsters. Whenever you go find something good, it makes you feel like you won the lottery or something, so I got my friend to come along and film some of it. We stopped at three places but didnt get a whole lot, partly due to the rain and my unwillingness to climb in to some of the really soggy bins. But what we found was good and helped to lift my spirits. It seems that every time I go, I find what I need:

6pk Mott's applesauce
1 bag sesame bagles mmmm.. pizza bagles
1 pack okra (which I needed for a movie night dish)
3 bags salad lettuce
8 cans Dr. Pepper
4 packs butterscotch pudding
1 bottle ranch dressing
1 apple
48piece box of plasticware yay! I won't have to wash all my silverware after the feast!
1 bottle pine sol cleaner


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Same Place, New Loot

Well Im glad I decided to go again tonight because I found lots of good stuff. I tried a couple new places and it paid off. Im still learning where to you can go and what kind of stuff you can find at each place. I recovered a variety of items from several places tonight, including:

1 case Dr. Pepper
1 snack tray(cheese,sausage,crackers)
1 bottle ketchup
2 bags hamburger buns
1 tub spinach artichoke dip
8oz block pepper jack cheese
16oz package delux american cheese slices
1 pizza lunchable
.5lb bag spaghetti noodles
1 bag apples and oranges
2lb bag self rising flour
9 jars maxwell house instant coffee
1 family size box frozen waffles
1 potato
1 coconut
1 red onion
1 yellow squash
1 package apple sauce
1 package pomegranate apple sauce

5 nut job candy bars
1 bag pistachios
2 chocolate cookie tins
18 6pack candy eggs
2 hannah montana candy eggs
1 sponge bob easter basket
1 box benadryl
1 bottle mucinex
1 box alka seltzer liquid gels
1 box durex condoms
4 tubes super glue
1 pencil case
1 pack hair clips

1 Microsoft wireless keyboard

Going to the same places two nights in a row again reminds me that things will be thrown out every single day. No matter what, there will always be stuff in dumpsters wherever you go... There is an endless supply of everythig for those willing to take it. I want to find a way to make these items available to people who need them. I hate leaving stuff behind that someone could use, just because I dont have room in the car; I need to find a way to make things more accessible...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

So. Much. Food.

I took my friend Alicia with me on her first big dive, and it was a good first night indeed. We went because we need food for the feast on Thursday night. We went to the three stores that I frequent, but were a little disappointed with the first two. When we got to the third one, we had to throw out some stuff in my car to make room in the trunk and back seat because there was so much stuff!









Once again, I was baffled by the amount of food that we recovered last night, once we got back and sort ed everything out. It only took us about two hours to go to all three stores, get back home, take inventory, clean and put away everything.


















Last night we managed to recover:

1 bag Cape Cod chips
1 bag Ruffles
2 6pack Nutra Fit drinks
5 1/2 gal. bottles green tea
1qt. bottle Minute Maid pomegranate blueberry juice
1qt. bottle Simply Lemonade
4 packages Crackling cornbread mix
3 boxes chicken flavor gravy&dumpling mix
1 box pilsbury toaster strudles
1lb box Country Crock sticks
1 box TGIFriday's potato skins
1 box Stauffers spinach souffle
1 pizza lunchables
4 boxes Lean Cuisine vegetable eggroll frozen meal
1 case(8 cups) yoplait yogurt
1 box croissants
1 apple danish
1 deli ham for slicing (for Basil cat)
1 deli turkey for slicing ("")
4 bags yogurt covered raisins
4 bags dried tropical fruit medley
6 bags dried mango
6 bags slivered toasted almonds
2 tubes Pilsbury grands cinnamon rolls
4 cans Dr Pepper
1 can mixed nuts
1 package Kraft singles
1 17.5lb bag dog food (for Basil)
1 50lb. bag cat litter
2 bags caesar salad mix
2 heads iceberg lettuce
1 bag naval oranges
6 conventional oranges
2 bags broccoli carrot mix
1 bag chopped broccoli
1 bag cut romaine lettuce
6 packages cut dates
1 package button mushroos
11 potatoes
3 2lb bags carrots
1 bag italian mix lettuce
2 4oz. packages blueberries
3 bunches (~20) bananas
7 bartlett pears
7 avocados
19 lemons
1 lime
5 red peppers
4 tomatoes
1 sweet onion
5 grapefruit
7 cucumbers
1 green pepper
3 yellow peppers
3 pouches shallots
6 sweet potatoes
6 yellow squash
19 assorted apples
1 tangelo
1 bunch celery

Remember that there was, and most often is, still more that we could have taken home; there was just no more room in the car. There was also a lot of stuff from the day before that would have been great to get if we had gone that night, so I may go out again tonight to see what more I can find. Im looking forward to cooking some delicious new recipes for Thursday's feast!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Warm weather's here!

I went a few nights ago and forgot write a post... I found:

12 assorted apples
3 tomatoes
5 tangelos
2 oranges
2 grapefruits
3 lemons
3 green peppers
4 yellow squash
2 potatoes
1 sweet potato
3 bags baby carrots
2 pears
1 container chopped chives
1 package plain hummus
2 boxes croissants
1 8x10 chocolate cake
1 baguette
1 bottle organic mustard
1 package chocolate chip muffins
1 package chocolate cake shells

I had another feast on Thursday night. I cooked a tons of food and it seemed to be just the right amount. I made citrus-ade with all the citrus fruits, which was really tasty. I also made a delicious apple crumble with all the apples we found. There is always a lot of squash, peppers, tomatoes and citrus in the dump, now that spring has arrived. I worry about the scorching days pf summer when the bins become ovens that the garbage bakes in... I dont really wanna try to pull out food from that smelly mess.. guess we'll see when summer rolls around.









Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New dives

Yesterday I decided to continue cleaning out my fridge and cabinets by making more food. surprise, surprise! I have been trying to clear out the fridge because things keep getting pushed to the back or stuck in the freezer. I have been wanting to clean out my kitchen and start over again with fresh stuff from the dumpsters, so Ive been getting creative and making new foods again. So.. here are a few recipes I made up over the last couple days:

Pizza Pitas

Pita pockets
spaghetti sauce
cheese

I used some mini pockets I have had in the freezer for these. I mixed together some grated mild cheddar and parmesean, and pulled apart some whole milk mozzarella that had started to grow some mold. (BTW cheese keeps forever.. almost. If there is mold on it you can simply wash it off! or cut it off if you're really sketched out by mold..) To this cheese blend, i mixed in some italian herbs and chili powder. I stuffed the pockets with cheese, spooned some sauce in, and stuck em in the oven at 400 for about 10 minutes. Very simple.. guess i didnt really "make up" the recipe, but ive never made them and they turned out well. Great snack for entertaining...

Ginger-Mango-Pear-Pineapple Pie

I LOVE to make pies. Over the winter I discovered an incredibly easy and versatile recipe for fruit pies and I have made some really great ones since then. This one will go in my recipe box because it turned out delicious!

Pie Crust Dough
2 cups flour
6 oz butter(cold)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup water(ice cold)

Sift flour, salt and baking powder. Cut butter in cubes and add to flour mix. add water slowly as you blend ingredients. Its very important to not add too much water or to over work the dough. As you mix them, fold the dough over and spread it out, fold it over and spread it out, so it creates many layers. When it looks like pie crust dough, youre done. wrap it up and keep it cold at all times. You can keep it in the freezer until you need to use it another time. ( It took me many, many tries to get this right, so dont get discouraged if it doesnt turn out perfect the first time.)

Pie filling
3 mangoes
1 asian pear
1 can crushed pineapple
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground ginger
tiny sprinkle of cinnoman and nutmeg

Roll out part of the dough, form it in to a buttered pie dish, and pour in the mix. Roll out a pie top, crimp the overlaying edges together, and cut slits in the top for hot air to escape. I like to put an egg wash or something on the top so it gets golden and shiny, but its not necessary. Put it an a preheated 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes til crust and top have browned and filling is bubbling. Let cool for 20 minutes befor cutting. Mmmmmm...



I have gone to many dumpsters in my day, but for some reason I always stick to the grocery stores for getting what I need. I guess that since Ive been running out of things like soap and shampoo, Ive been realizing the need to expand my diving territory. I have been checking pharmacies lately and have found that they have almost as much valuable stuff in their trash as any grocery store. It makes me wonder what other kinds of stores have great dumps that I have not considered yet.. Im gonna have to start thinking bigger, checking more places out to see what they have. I learned last night that there is nearly nothing that cant be found in dumpsters.. you just have to be patient and look hard.

Last night's findings include:

12 pouches honey roasted cashews
1 can dark chocolate covered jumbo cashews
2 packages cappuccino almond cookies
1 bottle moisturizing lotion
1 compact eye shadow
1 pack elastic headbands
1 5x7 picture frame
1 package woman's underwear(adult diapers)
1 box keytone care test strips
left handed titanium driver
giant wooden porch umbrella

I also stumbled across the pharmacy's trash bag containing all the discarded pill bottles and such, where I was able to recover a few items.. but i wont get in to too much detail about it, as it is probably highly illegal!
Since I have been finding far more stuff lately than I or my friends could ever use, it has been suggested that I bring my left overs to organizations like Food Not Bombs or a food bank. I think its a great idea and will have to talk to some people in the community to find out more about where I can help the most by donating my findings. Anyone have ideas? Let me know!!
Everything that I cant donate will end up on craigslist for free or at my yard sale whenever it happens. If ever you want something on the list, let me know! Ill probably give it to you.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More than just food..

So tonight I hosted another feast. It had a small turnout since its a Thursday night... I decided to do it tonight because I have so much food from last week, and last night we found a bunch of food as well. Tonight I made a new recipe(or so I thought) for cheese and squash casserole. Here is the recipe:

yellow squash
and onion
butter
cheese( I used mild cheddar)
butter
bread crumbs
flour

I diced an onion and sauteed it while I chopped the squash and grated the cheese. When the onion was done I put it with the squash in to a buttered casserole dish. I then sprinkled some flour and spices on it and mixed in the cheese with it all. Once it was blended well, I mixed some parmesean cheese with the bread crumbs and sprinkled it on top of it all. Bake at around 400 for 15 or so minutes til its bubbly on the sides and crisp on top. Yummy!


This is a list of our findings. Even though we didn't get much food, we found other stuff to make up for it...

3 bags hamburger buns
3 loaves multigrain bread
10 bananas
3 tomatoes
7 yellow squash
1 8" supreme pizza
1 package Oscar Meyer balogna
2 bags chipped carrots
1 case (10)frozen meatloaves
2 limes
2 artichokes
1 package diced green onions
1 carton cut pineapple
2 bags lettuce mix

5 hyacynth bulbs
3 tulip bulbs
1 gazebo tent
1 rabbit stuffed animal

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