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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Friday evenings

I've found that Friday nights are usually pretty good. I guess stores clear out older inventory at the end of the week before the weekend starts. I went out diving last Friday with Laura and we got lots of good produce and some other really cool random stuff from the giant new dollar store. Since I had an accomplice this time I made her be the photographer. As you can see, the notion of dumpster diving meaning taking expired or half eaten food from filthy dumpsters with flies and muck is completely false. It just means taking the boxes of good stuff out of the dumpster..
 It had been about a week since I had gone diving so it was really fun and exciting.

3 bags romaine lettuce heads
5 bags organic baby carrots
5 squash
3 zucchini
4 carrots
1 cucumber
17 tomatoes
4 red onions
2 yellow onions
5 chiles
2 jalapanoes
6 naval oranges
4 bell peppers
3 kiwis
2 lemons
8oz pkg baby portabella mushrooms
7 assorted apples
honeydew melon
24oz cheddar cheese
pkg frozen cookie dough
2 loaves sourdough
2 baguettes
bag mini bagels
3 loaves sandwich bread
4 jello cups
6 yogurt cups
2 Corona Lights
2 tubes biscuit dough
6pk yobaby yogurt
5lb bag sugar
bag teddy grahams
6 cases Gerber baby food
can diced potatoes

3 air horns
3D glasses
gift wrapping paper
birthday gift bag
box 13gallon trash can liners
whoppie cushion
jumbo calculator
children's books
valentines day socks

I was surprised to find so much baby food thrown away at the new dollar store, just because a couple of the individual little jars broke and had gotten on the other jars. This will be one of my best new spots; there was tons of stuff in there!
I made some more tomato sauce with all the roma tomatoes and saved the rest for making tomat. I was glad to find so much yogurt and fruit to eat for lunch at school.. Im starting to get tired of all those uncrustable PB&J's...


  1. Hey Michael, I have seen you mention "tomat" a couple of times; what's that?

  2. I have not ever done DD yet. But your posts are amazing. Two Coronas? Are you kidding me? You put those in there......just kidding

  3. Michael, I'm new to your blog, so forgive me if you've answer this question before....have you ever been stopped by the authorities, i.e. caught 'redhanded'? That's my biggest fear, having the cops come by and arrest me for trespassing. And what's the best time of the night to go DDing? I'd really love to have the nerve to do this, especially since so many food pantries are in need of good food, and this could be an excellent source.

  4. I think of it as being found more than being caught - getting caught implies being found doing something wrong. I have been found about five times. People dont expect to see me when they come take out the trash or walk by and they are startled. I just tell them I'm looking for food and they usually leave me alone.. This is why I prefer to go after stores have closed, usually after 11pm. I always try to avoid making people uncomfortable, because when they get uncomfortable or scared they do stupid things like call the police on you.. I try to stay discreet but most people will not approach you if they see you anyway.
    Cops aren't out there looking for people in dumpsters, unless you are in a big shopping center with security guards that drive around at night. I used to worry a lot about getting arrested or harassed or something but now I feel quite alone and safe diving; no one wants to bother someone who is "digging through garbage"..

  5. God, thats an amazing haul! I cant wait to start DDing along my route. I'm a week away from starting a hitch hiking and camping trip through the united states, and dumpstering is how i plan to keep myself fed, and how I've fed myself multiple summers in the past. But I've never had a haul this good!

    In my experience, security guards are indeed your only worry, not because you are breaking the law (which you arent) but because its their job to make sure that the property is free of anyone not planning to spend money or who might make a mess. Most dumpsterdivers have respect for the dumpster and leave it very clean, but no divers is better than a respectful diver in the guard's book.

  6. This is SO amazing and inspiring! I have been reading your blog and I love seeing the photos taken in the dumpsters and the photos of all the amazing food you find! I just don't know HOW you do it! I really want to get started finding this stuff and I have gone out a couple times scouting out dumpsters at night. I've found nothing so far. Most of the dumpsters are locked up or seem totally inaccessible, attached to a big compacter, etc. And the ones I have been able to get into seem to be full of... you know, actual trash, nothing I could eat. Is it just really hit or miss and you have to keep checking them regularly to find anything? Or does it just take a while to figure out a system of which dumpsters are the best to check and what days to check them? Or does it sound like there's just no good dumpsters in my area? Anyway I would LOVE to be able to find this much awesome stuff in a dumpster. I guess I will have to keep looking! Any tips?



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