Tonight, I clicked on my Netflix and dug through the assortment of documentaries that I had added to my queue. One that came up was Dive. At first, I brushed it off because there was no way I would find a documentary about dumpster divers interesting. If anything it would cement my beliefs that some people be cray!
After seeing it received 4 stars, I went for it.
It follows primarily one guy named Jeremy. He dumpster dives for food with his friends typically at Trader Joe’s. When you think of dd (dumpster diving) for food, you think of waste and bugs crawling on the skin of produce. You may think of raw meat with maggots on it or flies nibbling on bread. That’s actually not the case! Because MOST food at grocery stores is packaged, sealed, and then discarded only with similar items in a plastic bag, the food is usually untouched by those “gross” things.
It opened my eyes that grocery stores will discard an entire bag of potatoes if 1 is moldy. They’ll throw away meat days before the “enjoy by” date. They also trash an entire dozen of eggs if 1 is broken. Sometimes, they heave out food, for no reason at all. They claim that they donate food to local shelters and food banks if they feel it is “safe to do so.” This is primarily limited to bread.
Jeremy was able to fill a large horizontal freezer with meat from only a few trips. Good enough to feed a family of 4 for a month. One thing that I found especially interesting was how no one would consider giving them the food that they were going to discard, and actually told them to leave because they were asking questions. This is crazy because it goes against the Good Samaritan Act which was signed by President Clinton in the 90s. On New Years Eve, one store agreed to give them the trash if they came by the store at closing. Because the store would be closed the next day, they discarded food that would reach it’s best by date 2 days later. The store donated 6 carts full of groceries which were given to a shelter and either frozen or cooked the next day. This shelter feeds about 600 people a day. The donated food would only feed them for about a week. Imagine if every store donated their waste. The centers could feed America!
My biggest takeaway for me personally was my responsibility to not waste food. Buy only what you KNOW you’re going to consume, donate what you’re not, and get involved with local food banks and shelters. If you only buy what you need, you’ll buy less, less often. If everyone did this, the stores would order less food from the manufacturers because demand would be down. This means that less would get thrown out because there wouldn’t be an excess on the shelves. It would then mean that less food is produced. It takes 240 gallons of water to produce 1lb of produce. This 1lb, combined with millions of its friends, then ends up in the garbage.
I’m not going dd anytime soon, but I am going to be more conscience of what I purchase and waste.
If you want more info, visit http://www.divethefilm.com