Last Friday night I thought I might put some extra effort into my dumpster diving.
I decided to feed everyone in the house I share. There are 6 of us, so once my two trusty reusable shopping bags filled up, I would empty the load at home and then go out a second time.
First I caught the tram to a shop that discards mountains of fresh bread. The plastic bakery trays are stacked 10 high in the loading dock every night. There is always maybe 100-200 loaves to choose from, any kind you like!
I picked out 11 packets of crumpets, 1 Turkish Pide, 1 packet of Turkish Rolls, 1 450gm Lawsons Multigrain Loaf, 1 Flinders Bread Sour Dough Rye Bread 680 gm and 1 Burgen Rye Bread 700 gms.
With my bags filled I walked to the tram stop, but not before having a quick peek at a big dumpster behind a discount store. This one is usually locked, but tonight it was overfull, so it was open season.
I picked out 2 lovely little discs of cheese (1 Camembert, 1 Brie) and 1 Brannen’s Style Chicken Parmigiana 420 gms. Yum yum, looks like I have dinner!
I returned home and cooked up the parmigiana with some potato mash and crushed tomatoes. The chicken was so delicious. After a hot coffee and some snapshots to record what I had found I went out on my second raid.
This time I returned to the large hopper where I found the cheese. This dumpster was a real mix of stuff, so I put on my thick rubber gloves and turned on my headlamp and went for a dive.
1 Packet of Jindurra Station Beef Rump Steak 1.3kg, 2 packets of River Country Veal (1 x .66 kg and 1 x .55 kg), 1 kg of Granny Smith Apples, 1 Atlantic Salmon Steak 280 gms, 1 kg of purple seedless grapes, 1 Jonathon Apple, 10 Bananas, 1 piece of Ginger, 1 Bakers Life Hot Dog 450 gms, 1 Power force Pro Floor Cleaner 750 mls.
Melbourne is in winter now, so food stays fresh for a long time outdoors.
All this discarded dumpster food has been chilling in between 5-10 degrees weather all day, so just like taking food from the fridge, the items were ready to eat.
Even so I decided to throw the Atlantic Salmon Steak out for the birds to scavenge. I cannot bring myself to eat any fish for a simple reason; the oceans are used as a giant toilet bowl and a massive garbage tip. So hey, call me crazy.
After taking more photos I decided I would go out on a third adventure. This time I went to a supermarket I hadn’t really explored before. I found endless amounts of bread; shame, I had gathered enough to feed a small village already.
Dismissing the bakery items, I continued my quest and eventually found a bin filled to the brim with fruit and vegetable.
Gloves on and in I went, sifting through the giant colorful pile of perfectly edible plant matter. I quickly filled my two reusable bags and turned for home. The bags were so heavy with food I had to get a shopping trolley to carry them to the tram stop!
17 Carrots, 2 Cauliflower Heads, 1 Pineapple, 2 Avocado, 8 Brushed Potatoes, 2 Pink Potatoes, 35 white Potatoes, 3 Zucchini, 1 Peach, 1 Mandarin, 12 Cherry Tomatoes, 3 Vine Tomatoes, 1 Jonathan Apple, 1 Red Delicious Apple, 1 Orange and 1 Brown Onion.
After sorting through the goods, I realised I had more food than even 6 people could eat. So I went next door and gave the Turkish bread to my neighbor, a shy Muslim lady that always waves in a friendly manner to my girlfriend and I as we walk to University.
I wrote a note and placed it next to the remaining culinary treasure. “Everyone eat, please share.”
As I am writing this blog I hear a knock at the front door. The Muslim lady is standing in the rain with a large plate of some sort of delicious exotic rice dish. She introduces herself and thanks me for being so generous, all smiles.
Her story is she is a single mother with two teenage sons, all three refugees from troubled Egypt. They are struggling to find their feet in Australia and welcome the gesture of goodwill in sharing food with them.
I thank her for the rice, quite touched, then I offer her a packet of crumpets and she leaves smiling.
My girlfriend and I had the Eyptian rice dish the next day. It was wonderfully delicious. 🙂
Please Note: If you are thinking of Dumpster Diving for the first time, it would be advisable to click on the following post on how to safely prepare the food you have recovered.
Loxley Smithett earthknight.org