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Dumpster Diving

While it’s probably not as chaotic as it appears in this picture, one solution to food waste and hunger in America is a practice known as “dumpster diving. While most hungry people do not literally dumpster dive for food, there is a selective group of individual who practice this unusual form of eliminating food waste and hunger.

According to a youtube video “Dumpster Diving Across America,” “165 million pounds of food is wasted every year in America – which means more than 30 percent of food in the U.S. ends up in the trash.”

Dumpster diver Rob Greenfield from the ‘youtube video says “the dates on food products are determined by the manufacturers and not a government agency.” Therefore the dating of food is not required by federal law according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website on Food Product Dating.

Since there is no federal law requiring dates on food products – if the manufactures uses a date, it simply has to explain the meaning of it – which is usually a sell by or use before date according to the  USDA website.

Most people think of dumpster diving for food as a bad thing and would not do it under ordinary circumstances.

Take Naom Alemseghed for instance, Biology Major, Clarkston Campus, who said “I would not dumpster dive for food unless I had no other choice.”

While dumpster diving is not for the faint of heart, it is a step in the right direction to ending food waste and hunger in America.

One reason a ton of food is wasted annually in America is because an item like a banana or an apple  may not be perfect, it may be bruised  Another reason is due to the expiry date that is on most food items.

In reality there is nothing wrong with most foods once it has reached or gone past its expiry date.   Also included on the USDA site are the lengths of time some food items are still good for past their expiry dates.

Some food outlets do make a point of reducing the prices of foods that are approaching their expiry date. They may also donate to food banks which is a step in the right direction towards ending food waste and hunger in America.

To dumpster dive for food is a personal choice and a person may or may not do such a thing for any number of reasons.

Khadija Osman, Business Major, Clarkston Campus said “I would not dumpster dive for food unless life became so difficult and I’d lost everything.”

While Thomas Philpot, a Business Administration Major, Clarkston Campus said “I would dumpster dive for food because so much food is thrown away. I would do it out of curiosity to see what I might find.”

Rob Greenfield of the youtube video, dumpster dives for food because he is passionate about his mission to end food waste and hunger in America.

In the final analysis, retrieving perfectly fine food from dumpsters that is edible, is a way to cut back on the tremendous waste surrounding food and could be part of the solution to ending hunger in America.

About Ruth Green

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