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To dumpster dive for food?

(70 Posts)
Fatshionista Sun 11-Sep-11 01:35:23

DP went out tonight and got a bit drunk. He turned up (on time for those who read my other thread!) with a wheelie bin full of food. He said he was inspired by something I said earlier in the week and went to have a look. The bins for the Co-Op are in a side street and when he came in he brought in eight bags.

Some things were unusable such as mouldy bread, bad vegetables, yogurts past their expiry etc and anything with raw eggs but we have nine boxes of Mr Kipling cakes, six 6 pack cokes with minor dents, coffee, cake, Daz, meat, biscuits, crisps etc all individually packaged! There has to be at least £100 of stuff in my kitchen that I regularly buy and can freeze for next week.

I know it's illegal but, my God, the waste! AIBU to consider doing this more often? I'll put back what I don't need. We're not financially stable so saving £30 or £40 a week on shopping (a usual bill is £50-60) is a big win for us.

TipOfTheSlung Sun 11-Sep-11 01:44:10

Have a google of freeganism

doublestandard Sun 11-Sep-11 01:45:35

YANBU. Better to use it than have it go to landfill.

Although the only thing I'd take from your list is Daz... but only because the other stuff doesn't appeal to my taste except biscuits and crisps

Fatshionista Sun 11-Sep-11 01:48:52

DP brought me home two cans of perfect Becks too grin.

Honestly, I am perplexed and dazzled by this. Why have I not done this before? In my skint student years pre-DD1 when I was living on friends floors - I could have eaten grin.

AgentZigzag Sun 11-Sep-11 01:48:52

I suppose it'd be considered theft, but I'm not sure where I stand with regards to theft of something nobody else wants from a bin.

Some people pick up tab ends off the road, would that also be theft?

Would it be different if you hadn't eaten in three days?

Maybe I do know where I stand because I've never thought ill of the people I've seen rifling through supermarket bins on the telly, I've just thought they were resourceful and have balls of steel.

grumplestilskin Sun 11-Sep-11 01:52:03

good thing to do, food waste is bad (as in wasting eatable food is bad)

I won't cause I'ld be scared of confrontation from bin owner, but that is where my problem with it ends, go for it! good on you!

HansieMom Sun 11-Sep-11 02:27:58

It certainly makes sense to me. Good for you two!

If I were hungry, I'd take my chances with the cleanliness of the food and just use common sense.

I do see a problem as a lot of the food sounds like snacks (not quite sure as I'm in a different country), but who knows what will be there next time. Maybe some peanut butter, cheese, nuts, milk, who knows!

Happy hunting!

Fatshionista Sun 11-Sep-11 02:57:22

A lot of the food that is viable are snacks but there was meat that was good for freezing and vegetables that had gone off. This weeks shopping will just consist of essentials like fruit, vegetables, milk, butter, bread etc as we have a decent stash of tinned food, herbs, meat etc. It will lower our food bill exponentially as we won't be buying anything remotely snacky. Snacky's now a word.

Does anyone know if the food we have that we have too much of (ie. 10 malt loaves) could be donated to a homeless shelter if it's decent non perishable foid and I don't say where it's come from? I mean, there is far far too much for me and my family.

AgentZigzag Sun 11-Sep-11 03:05:14

I'm only taking a guess through limited knowledge of a homeless charity, but I wouldn't consider it ethical to pass on dodgy food to them.

I'm not saying they're not in need of help, but it kind of sounds like you chosing for it to be OK with them just because they're vulnerable people and should be grateful for what they get.

That's not having a go at you OP, but just because you're having a rough time it doesn't mean you leave your morals at the door.

Fatshionista Sun 11-Sep-11 03:18:13

No, I understand. I'm thinking of friends to pass the food on to, too. I know a few people who are going through a hard time and wouldn't mind where it came from as long as it was individually sealed (fresh) and the contents itself didn't touch rubbish.

DP just went back out to see what else was there and came home with an entire crate of Strongbow (x20 pint cans) and the only thing that seemed wrong was that the packaging was ripped and one of the cans had a dent hmm.

I was just mentioning homeless charities as I would rather the food go to help someone and the homeless were the first I thought. Sorry if it came across as offensive.

Goodynuff Sun 11-Sep-11 04:27:17

Good job on your DP for being so frugal smile
Food wastage is immoral.

ExpensivePants Sun 11-Sep-11 05:01:27

I think it is theft but that's ridiculous. I never thought one way or the other about it until I was in Sainsburys a few weeks back 10 mins before closing. They were piling the fresh bread/cakes from the shelves into bin bags. I was furious, such a waste.

Moodykat Sun 11-Sep-11 06:18:32

YANBU! If I had the guts to do it, I would!

RosemaryandThyme Sun 11-Sep-11 06:38:39

You have lots of support from us here !

Couple of things that you might consider :

Wear gloves - might be broken glass.
Could ask in co-op if they mind - probably they wouldn't and some supportive staff may keep nicer finds in a seperate bin for you.
Do return the wheelie bin if you've rolled it all the way home.
Consider carefully telling children - only because other children could be really horrid about it.
If you have excess it is fun to get children to write a little post-it "we had spare and would like to share" and pop onto the doorsteps of people you know and people you don't - really might make someones day.

BaldPlumber Sun 11-Sep-11 06:39:24

Yes, it's theft as far as I can remember, in the fairly recent past it was the norm for outdated and/or spoiled stock to be used as pig feed etc, then there was the salmonella, mad cow decease etc scares and the practise stopped.

PlentyOfPubgardens Sun 11-Sep-11 06:47:51

I used to skip-dive all the time! I'd be wary of raw meat as you don't know how long it's been out of the fridge for but apart from that I think it's fine.

Some supermarkets do donate OK but past its date food to homeless charities - I'm actually a bit surprised that the Coop are throwing away stuff on this scale as they are usually more socially responsible.

gardenpixies32 Sun 11-Sep-11 07:34:51

My only concern would be (like PP said) you don't know how long that meat has been out for. The co-op could have had problems with their fridges and the meat wasn't stored at the correct temperature therefore thrown out.

Coke can etc should be fine.

Papyrus Sun 11-Sep-11 08:28:47

I wouldn't ask for permission; someone in my local co-op was sacked for taking home waste food. But I agree the amount of food waste that goes on is terrible.

TeddyBare Sun 11-Sep-11 08:56:23

I work with students and many of them use this as a major source of their food. I think it's a great idea. I was under the impression that supermarkets could not put meat and raw eggs into bins but had to put them in a locked bin and have them incinerated instead. I'm in Wales though, so perhaps it's different here.

Misspixietrix Sun 11-Sep-11 09:37:37

YNBU our late stepmum used to take us on regular shopping trips to the back of kwik save smile would still do it now if I could with my DC's but the only thing putting me off is the mahoosive guard dogs the other local shops now have on patrol! lol. I think it's such a waste of good food which would happily be accepted by a local homeless shelter for example? x

curlytoes Sun 11-Sep-11 09:48:16

Your husband sounds v cool. Mine has never come back from a night out with anything remotely useful.

Fatshionista Sun 11-Sep-11 10:26:30

I'm in Wales too. I don't know anything about it :/

monoid Sun 11-Sep-11 11:10:02

I don't think you should mention it to the co-op. I know of someone who got arrested for bin diving a couple of years ago (I think they just got a caution at the time.) There is no way they would let people do it otherwise no one would buy food - they'd just wait for it to be thrown in the bin and then take it.
Good on you if you have the nerve to do it. I'm far too scared!

candr Sun 11-Sep-11 11:44:29

Look on iplayer for a program called Cherry and money (or something) she spends time with freecyclers who explain the best way to dumpster dive, where and when etc. It is crazy what we throw away. Lots of places including my friends bakery used to give produce at end of day to homeless shelter and are now not allowed so they bag it and put it next to the bin where the guy from the shelter collects it and that is ok!!! Go for it but check it carefully.

Fatshionista Sun 11-Sep-11 13:13:59

Does anyone know why they're not allowed? It's waste, surely and is just going in the bin. They won't reuse it so why not give it to someone who needs it as in a homeless shelter? I know the problem about people who won't buy but these people need the food and there is such a vast variety of perfectly good food being thrown away.

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