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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!


  1. WOW! Well, I must admit that I am new to the freegan scene. I stumbled upon and was shocked and really suprised that you could live off of food you dive for..

    So I told my boyfriend that I wanted to go diving with him one weekend, and he agreed (but he was drunk at the time) and when it came time... we never ended up going.. sort of chickening out...

    but well... the main thing I'm trying to get at here is, we probably wouldn't be so scared if we new what we were jumping into..(literally). How is the smell usually? Is the food usually covered in gunk/other spilled food? What foods should we never take from the dump? Do you think it would be a bad idea if we dived at a major store like, hannaford?
    (sorry for all the questions, I'm just very excited)

  2. The only thing I worry about is getting hassled by the cops or running in to a bum that wants the food more than I do.. In my experience, if you just tell people that your are hungry and are looking for food, the will most likely leave you alone.
    As for what to take- Anything that smells bad is a bad idea. Anything that has been opened or the package has been punctured, I am very cautious about. If you're lucky and get there right after they throw it out, meat and dairy can be salvaged if it is from that day. If a package is swollen I don't think twice about it. Sometimes you have to rip open bags to find stuff, other times its laying on top of of stuff and mostly clean. Everything I bring home is washed before I put it away, because even if it looks clean, the smell of the dumpster can linger! Although, the smell inside is never actually that awful.. Im not familiar with Hannaford, but many major stores have giant dumpsters with compactors that crush everything. It is unfortunate that the stores producing the most waste not only lock their dumpsters but crush it all to smithereens...

  3. Oh my golly gosh I nearly orgasmed over that list, that is such a good haul!! We would kill to find that much stuff dumpster diving. Although we have a junk food distribution centre nearby and once we found five boxes of in-date chips (crisps).
    Anyway, good job!

  4. that is so amazing
    i really would like to start diving but i have no clue where to start any tips?

  5. loves it! i just finished eating a dumpstered dinner. hubby and i found freshly thrown away organic, free-range whole chickens. I threw that in the crockpot with some dumpstered potatoes and some carrots and voila! A satisfying and FREE dinner.

  6. holy know how much thatd cost in a store?you really are very lucky i hope i can mostly live off the food i start finding when i move out. :)

  7. In some Asian countries being a freegan is not a choice but a must. Sad what capitalism has done to this world.

  8. You people are disgusting...

  9. A good thing is that lots of the food does not seem to be junk food - plenty of fruit and veg.

  10. Are there any individuals that consider themselves freegans in the Miami-Dade County area in Florida here? I am a college student and a group of classmates and myself would LOVE to interview you for a research project.

  11. We have to feel grateful about eating every day.
    And we have to think about people who can't eat every day.
    So we don't throw away food any more.

  12. I find that one great place to dive is restaurants and diners that bake their own breads. At the end of each day that days left over bread goes into the dumpster. Paneras doesn't serve day old bread! Every morning the baking starts again. I go to a bagel/coffee shop on Sunday night because they donate to some organization that picks up every night but Sunday. You can always call and ask them what they do with the day old bread. If they throw it away you can get it out of the dumpster. Or they might be willing to give it to you. When my freezers are full of bagels, I donate it to a church that has a lot of out of work people.

  13. I've been diving for 2 years now. Most of what we eat is reclaimed food. I have 3 dumpsters I check on a regular basis and a few others I hit 2 times a month. We rarely have to buy meat or vegatables or fruit (unless we want something specific as you never know what you'll find)I even get alot of our pe'ts food diving. Yesterday I got 3 rotiserie chickens, a pineapple, strawberries, chips, potatoes, tomatoes,and last week I rescued 50 bags of coffee (regular, decaf, flavored and whole bean) which I shared with friends and a local shelter. Since we live in the city I like to call it "Urban Gleanin."
    It is a sin how wastful our society is.

  14. So awesome you are in Greensboro!! I'm in High Point! I love when the world gets a little smaller.....

  15. Calling all freegans or those considering it! Can you please complete either a 20 minute survey OR 10 minute questionnaire The purpose of this survey is to educate Florida Atlantic University's graduate class Food: Environments and Culture class about freeganism. Your answers will remain anonymous and confidential. The results will be compiled into large statistically representations, unless otherwise noted by you in with written consent at the designated final box stating that you want to be used as a specific example. At the end of the survey there is also an optional elective to request a follow up interview which should last between 30 minutes to an hour depending on your availability. Feel free to skip any questions you feel uncomfortable answering, you can always save and continue later, and you can submit without finishing if need be. Thank you in advance for your participation in my project. I really appreciate it!

    1. Good info, many thank you to the author. It is incomprehensible to me now, but in general, the particular usefulness and importance is overpowering. Thanks again and good luck!

  16. Plus there are also the valuation fees of the Surveyor.
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  17. Hello All!!! :)
    Are there any individuals that consider themselves freegans in the Miami-Dade County area in Florida here? I am a college student in my sociology class, our professor assigned us a sub culture and was asked to get at least 2 interviews. If anyone would like to help, please feel free to contact me at:



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