The Perennial Plate Episode 84: Dumpster Diver from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

If you look at the opening still of this video you would never guess that the decadent breakfast was created from items that one man collected while dumpster diving in his VA neighborhood.

That’s right… all of the items were gathered from a Trader Joe’s dumpster and were perfectly safe (even tasty) to eat.

I admit it is a little bit strange for me to imagine going through trash to find a meal, but there is something noble about this guy taking advantage of other people’s unwanted food items (otherwise destined for a landfill) and repurposing them for his family.  It seems ‘gross’ at first if you think of it as him gathering dirty scraps from the dumpster, but if you look closely at the items in the dumpster, they are in almost perfect condition and thrown out for what seems like no reason at all.

I like to think of this more as ‘urban foraging’ than dumpster diving, and this story touches the hunter-gatherer buried deep within my modern food-snob psyche.

It also reminded me of a few weeks ago when me and Hucklecat pillaged the first-floor common room of our dorm the morning after a large holiday gathering that no one bothered to clean up.  We were having a shindig of our own that night, so we had to clean up their mess, but in the process we came across some great stuff that was left behind and took the liberty of ‘recycling’ it.  Items acquired included but were not limited to: vodka, candy, milk, some bowls from target, and a shit ton of solo cups.  We had  all the makings of a good time from what some people who didn’t bother to clean up simply left to be tossed.

At first I was mad (as hell) that these fine gentlemen neglected to clean up and disrespected the common space and us (their fellow residents) in the process but then I figured it was really their loss.  Frustration subsided when I realized I had gotten a bunch of free shit on account of these people’s negligence.

“If you’re gonna get disrespected, you might as well get some free shit out of it”

I think it was Gandhi that said that…..

Happy Holidays,