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For anyone who is hungry or eating poorly, I have a secret to share.

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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:04 AM
Original message
For anyone who is hungry or eating poorly, I have a secret to share.
Here is some advice for those who are hungry:

My partner and I don't have enough money to eat well and neither do our friends. But we have a little secret I'd like to share with you--on one condition--you have to share the food you find with others and also use good judgment. This works best if you live in a suburb or a small city. (Those in NYC and LA might want to ignore this advice.) I live in a city of about a million people.

Find the area-wide warehouse distribution center for any of the national upscale grocery stores in your region. (I'd rather not name names, but I think you can figure out which ones I'm talking about). There will be an area where trucks are loading massive amounts of new food into the warehouse. Because these stores cater to upscale clientele, they will throw out pallets of food if some items have superficial packaging imperfections (i.e. dented but intact hard plastic, etc.) Because sales are low, they are also throwing out food that is 'less new' but perfectly edible. For example: if new produce arrives, unsold produce will be discarded en masse, even if it will stay good for another 10 days.)

Over the past few months, we have found boxes of whole wheat pizzas, boxes filled with organic frozen dinners (we took about 6 boxes containing 200+ dinners, left the rest), bananas, about 300 pounds of soy nuts, enough baby organic spinach to feed hundreds of people, cookie dough, dips and sauces of all sorts (hundreds of containers), hundreds of boxes filled with organic yogurt, expensive sparking water, pounds of nuts, organic baby mixed greens, etc. We feed many families with what we find.

Here are some tips:

1) Go after 10pm and before 3am.
2) Don't go to STORES themselves, they tend to throw garbage on top of their dumpsters and may even throw poisons on top to keep animals away. You're only likely to find a few busted yogurts with paper and coffee grinds thrown on top of them. Only hit the distribution centers.
3) You will be more successful at high-end stores with a picky clientele. At the regular store they can sell foods in dented packages at a discount. They won't do that at stores that have the aura of health and purity.
4) Use good judgment when dealing with unpackaged and unboxed food. Most of what I find is double and triple boxed food (food in plastic, in a box, in a larger box, inside a huge box all still sealed).
5) Use good judgment in dealing with expired foods. If it is straight out of deep freeze, we've found the "best if used by" dates to be pretty irrelevant. My entire community of friends has eaten on frozen food even 2 months past the "best if used by" date. If the crates of food are still hard-frozen, you're very likely to be AOK. Open one item and do a smell test. Throw away anything that doesn't pass your muster. Use common sense.
6) Always read up on massive recalls of a type of food. If the gov't is saying some tomatoes have salmonella, you might want to think twice about tomatoes.
7) Be careful with children, the elderly, and the immuno-compromised. Have the healthy people eat first as a precaution.
8) Wear comfortable shoes, protective clothing and bring a flashlight.
9) Be aware that your attempt to feed yourself may be trespassing or even illegal. Or it may not be a big deal. Our theory is that upscale 'holistic' stores are less likely to be brutal to foragers because it wouldn't be good advertising to refuse poor people your garbage (or advertise how much they waste.)
10) I'm personally most suspicious of dairy items. Toss anything that doesn't taste PERFECT. But don't worry, you'll find a hell of a lot of perfect tasting food.
11. Share.

If you're germ-o-phobic think of it this way: people touch your prepared foods at restaurants all the time.

Good luck. Please kick this if you think it will help someone.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. K&N n't
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
154. I remember these tips
They sound a lot like what was in The Steal Yourself Rich Book by Abbie Hoffman. I have a copy.
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
2. Safeway have a lot of good food in the dumpsters behind their stores
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 12:12 AM by Rosa Luxemburg
they throw away mounds of food and you can get it from the dumpster fresh. Also other spermarkets have plenty of overstocks or damaged in their dumpsters. Also colleges, hospital cafeterias throw out a lot of good food at receptions. Get to know the catering staff! Get friendly with the man in the meat section at local supermarkets or the vegetable person. They are always throwing out food that is a little damaged or is about to expire. Ring the bell by the door of the meat secton and speak to them. They will have meat that they are about to get rid off, if not go back the next day.

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wake.up.america Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:12 AM
Response to Original message
3. Avoid restaurants, especially fast food restaurants.
Try to eat "good" food. That is, food that is nutritional.

Grow you own food, if possible.

Food producers will sometimes give away soon to "expire" dated food - they find it cheaper than throwing it away.
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barbiegeek Donating Member (844 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #3
89. Cheap grow your own food
When you do get fruits and vegetables, remove and wash the seed--no soap. Lay them flat on a towel and pat dry. Let them air dry for a while if so they don't get moldy if your not going to plant them right away.

Pick a window that has good light, get brackets and some boards, put the brackets on each side of the window and make shelves for rows of plants.

When your plants flower since most of us don't have a bee hive in our home and it's winter, gentlely shake the plant and it's branches with the flowers to help pollinate.

Learn to can food too.

If you scavenge for dandelion leaves for salad, know your area so it's not filled with lawn chemicals.
I don't think you can eat the flowers. You can eat rose petals, they are full of vitamin c. It's how the prairie Native Americans got vitamin c.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #89
117. It's easy to grow a LOT of nutritious calories from Irish potatoes or
sweet potatoes if you have even a tiny patch of sunny ground. All it takes is a single potato to start.

http://www.thegardenhelper.com/potato.html

http://gardening.about.com/b/2008/11/19/its-sweet-potat...

I have grown both with success in the San Fernando Valley. Irish potatoes are a cooler weather/climate crop. Sweet potatoes love heat. And because they grow underground, they are not very prone to theft because most people won't recognize the plants or know how to harvest.
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rucognizant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #117
130. Here in Maine...........
It has scarcely been above freezing all last month.......... today it is trying to break 32o at 2 pm.!
The red potatoes I grew last summer sprouted in the dark cabinet. ( red potatoes don't keep as long.)
On the waxing full moon in taurus, I cut them into pieces ( one for each sprouted spot) and planted them in a giant flower pot. A month later they have put up lovely green shoots with leaves. I dodn't think potatoes need pollination because the edible part is the root..............but some tomato plants are self pollinating, ( sorry don't remember the varieties,) and all are perennial. I have had fresh tomatoes in June by growing them in the house through the winter. I don't use a grow light just several southern & western windows!
Parsley is a better source of vitamin C than oranges...........and my stevia is booming along. I hear it is hard to grow from seed, but I bought a plant several years ago, it has almost died off twice, ( when I had to go away ) ANd both times it puts up new shoots.
Basically...food is FREE! Monsanto is trying to change that.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #130
165. I can't grow ANYTHING in my apartment in CA.......sigh.
By the time there's a little light on my north-facing balcony, temps can get up to 119 and anything you put there dies. Right now temps are great but it's getting ZERO sun. I guess I could try spinach......
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #89
124. I wouldn't try to salvage the seeds.....
...from ANY produce you find in a supermarket.
They are generally from hybrid stocks that won't produce a good 2ng generation crop...
OR
they have been irradiated to increase the shelf life.

If you are going to grow your own, look for heirloom seeds from a local heirloom vendor. Your seeds will be localized to you soil and climate, and will have been bred for taste and nutrition, NOT thick skins and long shelf life
If you have a neighbor who grows organic produce, you may get free seeds for the asking.
It is worth the effort and the few extra pennies.

The produce you find in a supermarket is inferior, and so are the seeds.


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blossomstar Donating Member (772 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #124
163. So glad you brought this to light...
I've tried to buy only heirlooms for years now. They want to make us all dependent on others for every thing... even seeds.
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #163
173. many good modern fruit varieties
There are many good newer fruit varieties, bred the traditional way.

In apples, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Macoun, Swiss Gourmet, are some examples of excellent modern varieties.
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #124
170. right
Deciduous fruit seeds will not produce true to type, either.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #124
180. I collect seeds and save seeds from everything and everywhere,
including bell peppers and tomatoes and winter squash from the supermarket. I'm aware that many of these are hybrids that may not come true from seed, but OTOH many are not hybrids. My tomato seeds for example are Romas, from a box of dead-ripe supermarket Romas I bought on sale a couple of years ago. That's an old open-pollinated variety.
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HillWilliam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #89
188. Now is the time to find wild cresses or "creecy greens"
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 10:20 PM by HillWilliam
as well. They're wonderfully delicious, but you have to have a rather good eye to find them. I'm in the country and they're much more available here. Prepare them the way you would cooked spinach or mustard greens.

Dandelion flowers are the parts you use for making dandelion wine, btw. I've not done it myself, but I can come up with the recipe if anyone cares.

I make a huge garden and my partner and I have started a community of produce-sharing and bartering. The economy in our very-rural county went in the toilet several years back. Rural people know how to pull together, though. We hunt, grow a lot of our own food, share, and pull together.

I feel for the city folks, though. Y'all are the ones who will have it the roughest. If you have patios, back yards, or even sunny windows, it's amazing what you can grow inside. My partner and I keep a greenhouse going inside all winter and keep a small amount of produce and tropical plants going all the time. We have neem, chaya, sage and herbs, and other edibles in a small space. You CAN subsist if you're smart and efficient.

On Edit: ALSO: keep a packet of small paint brushes for pollenating plants that have heavy pollen and shaking alone won't do. You can get them from the Dollar Store, or even Pearls or Michaels.
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texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. The spring greens will be popping up soon
There are many, many, ahem, "weeds" that are very good for you and just there for the taking. Don't harvest from highly trafficked roadsides or yards heavily fertilized with chemicals.

Learn to weed walk and harvest what nature gives us, but no more than a third of any patch you find. Sorrels, dandelelions, clovers, chickweed, ferns, purslane, nettle, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, just to name a few. Know your plants, eat, be healthy and thrifty.
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vadawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #4
13. word of warning about going native
Unless you can 100% positively identify what you are picking, DONT. especially with the old mushrooms, it isnt worth dieing or poisoning your family. Also dont rely apon pictures of plants from books to identify 100%, just because it looks like the picture dosent mean that its not another plant that may do you harm. A Public Service Message from Les Stroud :)
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:18 AM
Response to Reply #13
38. And JUST STAY AWAY from plants with carrot-like foliage
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 05:19 AM by XemaSab
(unless it's fennel).

Do YOU know how to identify water hemlock?

Don't go out like a chump. If you're not 110% certain, just leave it alone.
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #38
176. thank you. and people still die mixing up comfrey and foxglove.
and medicinal plants really should leave one cautious -- even comfrey packets might contain a foxglove seed w/o awareness. better to grow it yourself from already purchased produce. they often have seeds, or eyes, or leavings that can be grown into another plant.
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moriah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-09 06:52 AM
Response to Reply #38
201. Yeah, these pictures look awful similar....
-- hemlock

-- Queen Anne's Lace, or Wild Carrot

Be careful out there.
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D-Lee Donating Member (457 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
51. Picking wild mushrooms? Keep milk thistle extract around for your own safety
I'd echo the safety warnings -- even experienced mushroom hunters have been known to die from mushroom poisoning.

However, any mushroom hunter should keep some milk thistle on hand. It is a specific first aid for mushroom poisoning (at least giving a chance to get to a hospital alive).

Run this phrase through your search engine: milk thistle mushroom poisoning

It works by protecting the liver.

Really.

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BuddhaGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #51
177. and to that, also add n-acytel cysteine
you can buy it at Whole Foods or a vitamin store...that is what hospitals use for mushroom poisoning also, if I'm not mistaken.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
5. This shouldn't be neccessary in America dammit. But thanks.
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MzShellG Donating Member (835 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #5
54. Exactly what I was thinking...
This is SUPPOSED to be the "super" power. And yet this country owes money to China, Japan, U.K., and........Brazil! I wonder if the whole super power claim just nationalism propaganda?
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
6. Are you serious?
:shrug:
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. with the economy the way it is and food banks running low
I am sure it is quite serious
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Being hungry sounds like serious business to me. Throwing out food
when people are hungry is an abomination but it happens.

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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Wouldn't it be a lot easier to just take over the stores?
I mean, we wouldn't need comfortable shoes or flashlights, or have to worry about expiration dates.
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Not enough people are hungry enough
to do that yet. Maybe someday..
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Actually no.
It wouldn't.

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jhrobbins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:02 AM
Response to Reply #9
24. Good for you-the bad economy must have passed you by. However, a lot of us
are struggling daily (I know this sounds disingenuous if I am online on my computer - the computer came a long time before the disability. We have been living on disability for almost two years now, savings long ago spent to make up shortfalls - going from almost 100K a year to about 18K (try that and see how you feel) and I can tell you that you don't know what you would do in this situation. I will tell you what I won't do (I never did though) is to be flip about the struggles of others.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:06 AM
Response to Reply #24
35. no need to feel guilty in anyway for being online
I think the more poorer and dire a person's situation, the more important it is to be connected online
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BuelahWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #35
48. I've seen people on DU mock others who are poor and post online
It's unfortunate, but probably the reason why this poster felt the need to say what he did.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #48
160. that's disgraceful
I think there's simply some folk who have no idea what it really means to be poor
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:51 AM
Response to Reply #24
43. Your Internet is the LAST thing you want to give up.
It's way too important to consider a luxury. We are disconnected enough as it is.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #24
118. I'd frankly PREFER the poor be online learning and communicating
rather than watching the boob tube.
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #118
162. yes - plus it's pretty much required for job hunting, school applications, homework, govmt forms...
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #24
126. This thread glorifies the Capitalist Spirit
If you WORK HARD, you can get more food from the dumpster than your neighbor.

Bootstrap Dumpster Diving!
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #126
142. How does this "glorify the capitalist spirit"? I'm just suggesting ways that some folks can survive.
It's not like you turn up with 6 apples at a dumpster dive. There are times when we help feed our neighbors and times when our neighbors help feed us. The proletariat can overthrow capital better when they have food in their bellies. This is a good way to get large amounts of food for whatever purpose--including feeding picket lines and non-food related takeovers.

I hardly think any leftist movement would shy away from taking cast off food from the capitalists to feed their forces while they're organizing. It's a little ridiculous for socialists to fight about what tactics are more "socialist" on a board intended to promote the Democratic party (and hence capitalism).
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #142
159. Your OP advocates theft
If you really know anything about 'distribution centers' and commercial dumpsters, you know you're suggesting people put themselves at risk with law enforcement. I'm assuming that's why you share your little secret about flashlights and stealthiness.

I was being snarky :sarcasm: when I suggested it might be easier to just take over the whole store.


Unless you prefer law enforcement slowly pick people off.
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fudge stripe cookays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #159
171. What the fuck is wrong with you?
The OP is offering advice to people on how to eat, and you're denigrating that? You're on the wrong board pal.

Bush's economy obviously hasn't hit you square between the eyes yet. Just wait.
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #171
172. whatever
:eyes:

It's shocking how many people will pile-on a DU thread when they don't have the slightest idea what they're cheering about.

Guess the Super Bowl must be boring today.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #172
186. Oh, I get it. You're so far right that you think eating garbage is 'theft'.
Yeah. I also advocate that gay and lesbian couples don't break up in countries where their relationships are 'illegal'. If you think someone is going to starve to death as opposed to not eat some corporate 'property' in a garbage heap, you're a right wing disrupter. Period.
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #186
194. POOR PEOPLE vs RULING CLASS LAW ENFORCEMENT
Hello!!

Not as exciting as the Super Bowl, but I think you can predict who will win.

More than just generalized theft or trespassing, local city ordinances are specifically designed to target the homeless and indigent: malicious mischief, vandalism, disorderly conduct, public endangerment, on and on and on.

Suggesting an at risk population put itself further at risk is WRONG.
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fudge stripe cookays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-09 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #172
203. I don't watch football, sparky.
But yeah...keep playing the law enforcement card. It's already making you incredibly popular around here.

Because after all, when you're starving and there are no jobs, eating out of dumpsters equates to robbing Fort Knox.

Enjoy your stay. It'll be short if any of us have anything to say about it.




Shithead.
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vadawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #159
174. This is why i chirp when i start to come round the back of stores
Its to give the dumpster divers a chance to know that daddy is home and this is my sleeping spot, and if i dont see them in the dumpsters then i cant do anything about it.
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Yes We Did Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #159
185. It's not theft.
Once something is thrown out, it's no longer considered theft; which is why the government can legally go through your garbage and take anything they want.

It "CAN" be considered trespassing however, and that is why the OP made those suggestions. Instead of bashing someone for trying to solve a problem, perhaps you could try to help yourself.
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LibraLiz1973 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #126
157. Oh yay! A ray of sunshine in the day
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #24
144. So many people have no idea how quickly "normal" can
Go bad. Often there is an attitude of "If you had planned your life the way my spouse and I planned our lives, you'd be okay now."

And for many of us who have had lives turned upside down, Universal Single Payer Health Care would have made all the difference between keeping the savings intact for retirement, and spending it all long before retirement in order to secure the health needs required to stay alive.

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Phentex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #144
167. I despise that attitude!
It's often said by people who have never experienced ANY kind of setback. They cannot realize they are not immune to it either no matter how well they've planned. I don't wish it on anyone!
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #24
153. Please don't feel that way - I see very poor people online at the library -
Why shouldn't poor people be online? They should. They need to! Nowadays, it's vital to be online.
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:42 AM
Response to Reply #9
41. That would put more people out of work. nt
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ImOnlySleeping Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #9
69. well
you can have a continuous source of discards or a one time only siege.
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Daemonaquila Donating Member (413 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #9
131. Alas, that's when bullets come into the picture...
... which may someday be a viable/necessary option, but I don't think people will start the revolution without much harder times.
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Duppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
138. your sense of reality and compassion are non-existent.
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 02:11 PM by Duppers
and I'm wondering why the fuck you're on DU!

There are good, hard-working people in big financial trouble in this country and you're making fun of them! Shame on you!


And I suspect that you're one of those people who leaves loads of food when eating out, too 'prosperous' and vane to ask for a take-home box.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
143. I'm all for it. When you get that started PM me. Until then, I'll post information to help other
poor and working class folks.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
156. You get right on that then (nt)
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #8
96. These wasters of food should be told about Second Harvest.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 04:42 AM
Response to Reply #6
31. There is nothing wrong with dumpster diving
Especially when the alternative is starvation, but even if not, it's an abomination that food is being thrown out. We are just being good eco elves (smart eco elves too)
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
40. It's a by product after a gang of thugs come in and steal your national treasury. nt
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
10. Yep..have done it.
It is a way to survive.

Also at upscale apartment complexes sometimes you can find nice furniture being thrown out stacked around the dumpsters, usually it is one or two things. Stay away from things with foam and fabric unless it is spotlessly clean. I found a nice hardwood dining table and it's antique a few years ago. Last week a friend of mine found stereo equipment that WORKS and it sounds fine,it even had a 5 disc CD changer,he found it while tossing out his trash!!So he climbed in the dumpster and took it all home. I once got a kick ass tiled coffee table with beautiful glass tile inlay work on it that was tossed out behind an antique store with a bunch of cardboard boxes tied up to get tossed out along with it.I only found it because I flipped it over to sit on it for a second,when I saw how nice it was I took it home dusted it off and I took that puppy to a friend's apartment warming as a gift.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:40 AM
Response to Reply #10
26. Not just survive, but thrive
There is a lot of unjustified stigma attached to dumpster diving. I learned to do it when I was a student living on a budget, and even though I can well afford things now, I still enjoy a good dive in a big metal bin. Only the foolish go into the front of a thrift store and pay retail (although a discounted, second-hand retail price) when they can shop in the fresh air without having to walk down miles of display aisles. With a dumpster, it's all in the same convenient place!

I don't limit myself to just food, either. Clothing, furniture, household goods, many items are available if you just take a look. In all my years, I have never been confronted or refused items that I find. Just given a weird look by people who look down their nose and would rather pay retail for something with 'undamaged' packaging.

Oh, and you CAN do it in Los Angeles, as that is where I learned the fine art while a student.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #26
52. When I Lived in Downtown Albany
People would put things out in front of their apartment (lot of rowhouses in Center Square) all the time, knowing someone might very well beat the garbagemen to it. We practically had it down to a barter system.

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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #52
53. On bulky trash day in my neighborhood
Everyone checks out - and reuses - what everyone else puts out by the curb, haha.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #53
55. I live in nice north Dallas..
... neighborhood, and we do the same thing. We've picked up all kinds of stuff over the years, mostly building materials but other discards as well.

America throws away way too much stuff as it is.
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #53
76. We have one of those here.
Once a year the City allows us to throw out everything from old appliances to scrap wood -- all to keep things from piling up in people's houses and yards as many people don't have the resources to take things to the City Dump themselves. I swear ALL cities should have this. What the scavengers don't get (count me as one of those scavengers), the City picks up and sends to the appropriate recycling center. I've found some UNBELIEVABLE things in the piles. Everything from firewood to a whole box of silk flower arranging material to perfectly good furniture and so much more. It's like having Christmas in June.
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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #76
110. Dang. We have bulky trash day once a month.
I can't imagine waiting a YEAR for bulky trash day!
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #110
115. Does that include large appliances, etc.?
I thought we were doing a good thing here, particularly since we've had a City recycle program since 1994. Oh, well. So much for good intentions. :shrug:
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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #115
151. I really don't know. I've never seen large appliances...
mostly rugs, piles of wood, boxes, and various household stuff. Hey, even once a year is better than none at all, yes? :)
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rucognizant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #76
132. I found a picture frame in Philly
set out on the curb for trash collection. Bed fore i had a chance to fill it with one of my own paintings..I sold my house and moved. I had a sidewalk sale and someone bought that painting & frame for $%250.00.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #53
119. We don't have a "bulky trash day" here in Los Angeles, though you can call the
city and arrange for bulky item pickup. If we are discarding anything even remotely useable, longstanding tradition is to put it out at the curb with a sign on it saying FREE and it will be gone by morning. There are folks who cruise around just looking for discarded good stuff. It's easier and more socially responsible than taking to a recycler or dumping.
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #119
149. as i recall from my 52 years in los angeles,
you would put it out with a sign saying $25 and it would be gone in an hour - put "Free" on the sign and it would sit there a week.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #149
182. Hah, yeah, it's still like that.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #52
103. That is a habit every one should get into. Our community had a
special day for people to put their things out so others could find them. Saves the cost of disposal.
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Daemonaquila Donating Member (413 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #26
134. Totally.
Dumpster diving has remained a fine sport/shopping trip long after I no longer worried about putting mac and cheese on the table. Other than one disastrous waffle iron that should've stayed in the dumpster, there is not a damned thing wrong with recycling great stuff this way. We once snagged a very high end laser printer this way (the full-office, high speed, duplexing, does everything but brush your teeth for you kind) and a magnificent pedestal sink for the rebuilt downstairs bathroom.

I don't get people who are all grossed out about dumpster goodies.
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:19 AM
Response to Reply #10
39. in my complex
people move in and out all the time. i've dubbed my interior decoration "early 21st century dumpster dive." more than half of all the furniture in this place came from the dumpster, including a couch in virtually perfect condition.
here in raleigh before i found work we did go to the food bank. now i give back at the supermarket. we also checked out craigslist free list and my son's computer desk came from there for the price of the gas to go pick it up.
most people know about shopping for clothes at the salvation army. thumbs up. i work in a very professional environment and one of my favorite blouses came from there for $3.50. my sister, who can shop anywhere she wants, still buys much of her clothes there.

someone upthread mentioned that being poor might imply that one couldn't afford a computer. the computer and the internet is the best resource today for finding what you need - including a job (each of my last 4 jobs came from craigslist) - and is in my opinion the last thing to go (not counting rent, food, utilities). but when we moved to NC i gave up cable tv and i will not go back. better off without it by far.

sorry if i went off topic. sorrier still that the bush administration was allowed to steal two elections and put us all on this terrible slippery slope. not one of us is immune. peace.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #39
104. In the complex I used to live in we had a give away table.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #39
120. My favorite cardigan sweater (brown 100% merino wool, Italian made,
super roomy and comfy) I found a few years ago at Goodwill. It was marked $2 but they were having a sale so I got it for $1. The steal of the century!!!! I wear it every single day in cooler weather, around the house, to and from work unless it's bitter cold or rainy. It's several sizes too big but that doesn't matter to me.
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:47 AM
Response to Reply #10
42. Go to flower shop dumpsters ..
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 05:48 AM by Why Syzygy
on Monday nights. Most get new shipments Monday AM. Some shops rotate stock better than others. If it's a cheapish store, they will sell almost dead flowers. So, find a good one. Busy shops will rotate faster, PLUS get a second shipment later in the week, like Thursday.
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #10
99. We put things by the road for people to take
instead of taking them to the dump. Most people are nice enough to come to the door and ask first.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-09 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
204. I found a little shelf with a cupboard in my apt. complex's dumpster
It's perfect for storing my cookbooks. I also found a telephone table on the curb once.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
14. Good advice.
It's a crime that so much food gets thrown away instead of getting donated to Second Harvest. :(

A lot of that food could do much good for so many people. Instead, it just goes to waste.
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. I know at least where I live there are a LOT of laws dictating what can and cannot be donated
so stores often have to throw out perfectly good food because laws prevent them from donating it. It's a shame.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #17
71. Hunters here are frustrated about not being able to donate the meat
from their kills. Sometimes they have too much to keep, and they want to help the hungry, but charities can't accept the meat.
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #71
81. Where?
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 10:25 AM by Why Syzygy
My BIL donated two deer to a food pantry here. Not sure how it was managed. But, I can find out!

edit: Just saw a post upthread. I think it was Second Harvest.

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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #81
189. I'm in south Texas. nt
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #71
183. Many states have a venison donation program
And many food pantries will accept them otherwise. Through Wisconsin's program hunters donated over 400,000 pounds of venison to food pantries last year, 2.8 million pounds since 2000, and that's the weight of the processed meat. All they have to do is drop the deer off at a participating processor.
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #17
168. Thanks for this information.
I'm reading through this thread and keep on thinking that I thought stores had started donating lightly damaged packages of food and so on to Second Harvest and the like.

Where I used to live in Kansas, at the end of the day, as they were getting to close, my local Panera (a bakery, soup, and sandwich chain) would bundle up all of the unsold baked goods and give them to the local food bank people that showed up right at closing time. I was always so pleased to see that.

And, quite frankly, it hardly matters that times are tougher now than before. There are always hungry people out there, for whatever reason. Perfectly good food should not be thrown away.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-09 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #168
205. My church's meal programs regularly get donations of bread and desserts
from a local upscale bakery. Sometimes we receive more bread than we can serve, and then we set it out in plastic bags and invite people to take it with them.
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
15. Another idea involving household items:
Check around the dumpsters near college dorms in the Spring. Many students choose to dump belongings rather than rent a U-haul to take them back home.

My son had an off campus apartment, and didn't have to buy a single piece of furniture. He was even able to "trade up" once...returning one couch to the dumpster, and picking up another he liked better.

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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 02:46 AM
Response to Reply #15
23. Check out Freecycle.org n/t
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:52 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. I belong to the local Freecycle group.
Mostly, I unload stuff I don't want. I am amazed at the folks who can use my "junk".

For example, I am pulling up the ceramic tiles in my entryway. They are small, less than 2 inches in diameter each. By the time I am done (if I ever get done), there will be about 1,700 of them.

They are coming up one at a time. :(, but the good news is that I have five different people who want them. :)
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #23
65. We've given away a couple of things on Freecycle
and there's a lady nearby who collects stuff people give her and then she recycles it to supplement her income.

We cleaned out half a shed one time, gave this person a lot of really good stuff there was no room for and a lot of it hadn't seen the light of day in ten years or more.

I'd rather donate to someone than throw out...


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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 01:03 AM
Response to Original message
16. Brilliant point of resource.
Been down and out before, but this is very good.
Great stuff.

:kick:
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Thank you. nt
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
18. K&R
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 02:18 AM
Response to Original message
20. K&R
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 02:27 AM
Response to Original message
21. YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT WHOLE FOODS MARKET LOL
I can tell because almost everything is organic.

My advice is bring your video camera phone: they are less likely to rough you up if THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:11 AM
Response to Reply #21
25. You know what?
Start making a stink and they will lock down the food and a lot of people will lose access.

Sometimes it is best when one or both parties look the other way.
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 06:00 AM
Response to Reply #25
44. This might be a good place to remind everyone
Local laws vary. Know them. No one here is suggesting that we break the law.
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ImOnlySleeping Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #44
72. don't speak for me
I break stupid laws all the time. Nothing that puts me or anyone else in danger, but some laws....
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #72
75. US Laws, I guess.
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 09:27 AM by Why Syzygy
Point being, recommending law breaking is against DU rules.

MAYBE. Not a good policy in any case. Yet, I know people talk about civil disobedience. Just trying to preserve our discourse.
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #75
77. Let's see,
on the one hand, you may be breaking some local city ORDINANCE, on the other hand, you and your family go hungry. Hmmmm . . . what should I choose? :eyes:
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #77
82. I saw people in Las Vegas go to jail
for eating out of the dumpster. Just be prepared. That's all I'm saying.

eyeroll is really unnecessary.
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #82
87. And what are you doing about it?
Personally, I'd be at every City Hall meeting challenging this AND organizing formal protests. You? (Yes, eyeroll was extremely necessary for all too obvious reasons.)
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #87
88. If you lived in San Francisco,
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 10:02 AM by Why Syzygy
you'd have to go to DC, then. When protesters were outside her home, Madam Speaker remarked it was too bad they weren't homeless. If that were the case she could call the cops and have them arrested. But, the city manager will take care of it right away, pronto.
Yes, Ms. Speaker!

My Inbox is full of messages from people who posted hateful stuff in haste and now regret it.
I'm not the enemy here. Catch up!
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #88
94. Hey, you guys keep voting her in.
No one says you're the enemy, that was your deduction. All I'm saying is that people need to do what they need to do to keep eating and keep their family eating. To suggest that people should go hungry because they fear the big bad police is just not the message we should be sending. If anything we should be getting these ordinances off the books. Capiche?
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #94
100. Guess I'm just from the school of CYA.
I personally recommend eating. If you do get arrested, at least they'll give you an orange or something at the jailhouse.

If Bush were still in office, we could expect Marines surrounding the distribution center dumpsters.
Believe it?
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-09 02:27 AM
Response to Reply #87
199. Wouldn't do any good
All the Las Vegas city council is worried about is how to extort "donations" from developers. There's a reason it ranks in the top 5 of meanest cities to live in the U.S., besides thinking of new ways to give the homeless the bums' rush.

If you want to dumpster dive in Las Vegas, you HAVE to stay away from downtown and the ghetto parts of North Las Vegas. Too many Metro units on patrol for homeless people to victimize. Now if you go to one of the big strip malls, say the Wal-Mart at Rainbow and Cheyenne, you can collect enough out of the dumpsters there to open your own second-hand store.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 02:28 AM
Response to Original message
22. Holy shit! Great advice! Thank you for posting! k+r, n/t
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:55 AM
Response to Original message
28. gleaning
Wrong time of year, but I wanted to mention this.

There is always a certain amount of produce left in the field. You don't have to sneak, just ask. Most farmers will let you glean. I got about 50 bushels of perfectly good fruit (often better because it has been hanging longer) to help myself and other struggling folks here last fall.

"Gleaning" is leaving some crop behind and allowing poor people access, and even the Bible mentions gleaning several times and says that farmers should always leave some for the poor and give them access to it, so there is a long tradition.
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Joe the Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. k&r n/t
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 04:11 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. oh, and "seconds"
Forgot to mention seconds. I have worked in orchards for years, and I never ate a good looking piece of fruit in my life - none of the help does. The fruit gets sorted for appearance, and there is nothing wrong with the ugly fruit except that people won't buy it. There are often a lot of "sort outs" - actually "sort outs" is the better terminology to use with farmers than "seconds." I have known many farmers who will not let anyone in the county go hungry. They don't advertise that, because then people who are not really needy will show up in fancy cars all bejeweled and perfumed and bargain hunt, and then complain because the sort outs don't look good - I kid you not.

What you need to remember is that sort outs are not kept around, so they aren't available on demand or out of season. Keep aware of the season and harvest schedule, and watch for when sorting operations are going on. Or a polite call "are there any sorts out right now?" Remember that harvest time is hectic, and the work is hard and no one makes much money there and fruit is available in season, nit like in the grocery store, Don't demand cherries in November, for example.

Also, pick your own berries is happening more and more. Fruit and berries are a really good thing to seek out and work into your diet and need not cost a fortune. Wild fruit is out there, too. Blackberries and wild strawberries are safe. wild apples can be a flavor adventure, but are certainly safe and edible. Primitive man lived on this.

I have some photos I will post of some of the fruit I found left behind this past season.
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vadawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 04:46 AM
Response to Reply #30
33. See post 13 for public safety message.
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:14 AM
Response to Reply #33
36. yes
But fruits are easy to identify and are safe.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 04:49 AM
Response to Reply #30
34. Oh, my god yes!
I live in an area where blackberry bushes are considered invasive weeds but come the end of August I'm out there gathering, gathering, gathering. We eat blackberries throughout the winter. Weird thing is, I get funny looks while I'm picking, like that's not what one should do with pickable fruit. I give them odd looks back because why aren't they standing right beside me harvesting the sweetest fruit ever?
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:15 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. you bet
Nothing better, and they are everywhere.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #30
140. Great advice for more rural people, TA!
:hi:
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #140
169. urban people
There is a growing urban farming movement, and almost every urban area has orchards fairly close in - even LA, an hour or so out.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #169
195. Good to know.
:hi:
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wildeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #30
150. I buy bushels of ugly fruit at the farmers market and then dehydrate it.
I made amazing peach fruit roll-ups for next to nothing last year. The sellers were thrilled to give the fruit to me. They got a few extra bucks and didn't have to see it go to waste. There were a ton of dehydrator threads in the gardening forum last summer if anyone is interested.
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maryf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #28
121. great idea! nt
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 12:25 PM by maryf
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #28
147. Gleaning...thus this famous picture
The Gleaners.
My g'ma had a copy in her home, which is how I know it.

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Irreverend IX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 04:43 AM
Response to Original message
32. Try finding or growing nettles.
Stinging nettles grow almost anywhere, and once cooked they no longer sting and are as healthy as spinach or more. They're basically weeds, so growing them is very easy. A field of nettles outside your windows can also serve as a security measure against break-ins.
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 06:07 AM
Response to Reply #32
45. Nettles are loaded with calcium
and are an excellent tonic for stress!
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #45
122. I've found and eaten wild lambs quarters right here in Los Angeles.
Steamed, they are BETTER than spinach.

http://www.veggiegardeningtips.com/surprising-lambs-qua... /

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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #32
46. they're also great
for tea and soap. Nettle tea is one of my faves, and a Brit tradition for centuries. When i was travelling there (hitching and field camping) we even used it for shampoo. We would pluck a bunch of leaves, carefully of course, and wrap them in a washcloth with one drop of Dr Bronners on it. Squish abit in the cold stream nearby, it actually lathers a little. Of course, bathing in streams for months at a time can be tiresome. My head grew dreads as a reaction.

Lotsa good "weeds" out there...


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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #32
78. Damn!
I never knew that! And here I've been avoiding them all my life because they, well, sting! So when you say cooked, do you mean steamed (what I usually do with my greens) or boiled? Thanks SO MUCH for this information. Stinging nettles are everywhere in the foothills around here.
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Fedja Donating Member (544 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-09 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #78
198. Similar to spinach
Some people use a glove to chop up the nettle before cooking and others blend them afterwards.

Throw the nettle (sans roots :D) into a pot and poor over just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Now, we do like to use butter, flour, and garlic for texture and taste where I live, so you would actually chop up a few cloves of garlic and quickly roast it on butter, then add 2 tbsp of flower and mix for a few seconds before throwing over the nettle and water.


Also, stinging nettle makes for solid tea which is rich in potassium and iron, ironically both direly needed by people on budget diets. Just sundry them and make as any other tea.
*disclaimer: don't get too hooked on the taste, it's a light diuretic.
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #32
92. to say nothing of the exquisite flower it produces.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #32
108. My problem is getting 'em to stop.
"Grow almost anywhere"? Yup, pretty much.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #32
145. They are nutritious and the cheapest thing in the world
Don't be put off by the price if you have to buy them - they might be $ 15.95 a pound at the health store, but a pound of nettles would fill up a pillow case or so!
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 06:38 AM
Response to Original message
47. I used to do volunteer work for local food pantries...
in this area every winter. I still would if I was younger, stronger and as able bodied as I was back then.

I had a 3/4 ton cargo van and I'd often get calls to go to this area's large grocery distribution warehouses and pick up loads of food that the dates were about to expire on and deliver them to the food drive's distribution centers to be given out to the needy.

When Reagan was in office lots of people around here were jobless and going hungry, myself and my family included sometimes. This time things are worse, from what I've been hearing from some of the folks who still run the food pantries. If you're hungry and you're able to do a little work and help out, contact these organizations that are trying to help feed people and volunteer to help do whatever work they need done. It will give you something to do to keep your mind off your own troubles, as you help out others who are in trouble, like yourself. Most of the time these organizations will see to it that you and your family don't go hungry, especially if you are willing to do a little work for them and help them to help others. Never be ashamed to ask for help if you need it. To offer help, in return for asking for help, makes that bitter pill far easier to swallow I have found.

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RedCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 06:59 AM
Response to Original message
49. I "stole" bags of dry leaves!
They were out on the streets awaiting pickup. I planned my pre-dawn raids. I filled up the Rodeo to capacity several times over.

I hauled these leaves into the back yard. I "buried" them. I mixed left over extra leaves with fresh cut lawn clippings. The buried leaves in a matter of weeks disintegrated. The ones with a white mold helped fend off soil problems. Then both the soil area and the grass leave area became compost. This happened in a very high clay area. Now the garden is organic and produces far more food than it should have. By putting out garlic plants you can get rid of most garden pests naturally.

Sometimes you gotta give nature a speedy hand to achieve your objective.

Too bad those bailout banks are tossing out their unwanted money, huh!
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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #49
59. How did you bury them?
I usually toss all the leaves in my compost bins and on the side garden (where perennials are --soon to change that). In the spring I take a pitchfork and shovel out the leaves and put them down around my conifers (I have a big row of them lining my back yard. But I too, have a very high clay content soil, it is crazy difficult to work with which is why I have a separate raised bed area to grow vegetables in. So, I'm wondering exactly how you bury the leaves and get the soil broken up. I'd cultivate more of my yard if I could figure out a way to do it that doesn't involve me purchasing more and more soil amendments. It adds up very fast.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
50. Please be careful around trash compacters.
That is all.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
56. Thanks for sharing..
... practical information like this is really valuable.
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Veritas_et_Aequitas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
57. Ah, dumpster diving. Helped me and many of my friends in college/grad school. nt
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
58. The bible calls this gleaning.
Back in those days they were talking about the poor picking through the fields after the harvest. But this advice sounds to me like the 21st century version of finding food that left behind when the more affluent are done. It's sound advice. Thanks for posting.
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MrMickeysMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #58
67. Ah, the Gleaners... depicting this is a wonderful painting!
I don't have it hear to paste, but my mother had a reproduction of that painting. It depicted the gleaners, 3 generations who were bending down to gather what they could into their aprons.

This phenomena has gone on through the ages, and the art world captured it.
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #67
97. You can have this one.
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MrMickeysMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #97
106. Thank you!
Now I know why my mother had that painting those many years ago. Bless you.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #97
135. I had never seriously considered the name of that painting until now.
It was always just "the gleaners". They were picking over the field after the harvest, to take home what bits were left. I got to see Millet's home last yr, was quite exciting.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
60. FREEGANS
I know, they often do it because they want to whereas others have to do it. But maybe people will find this helpful.

http://freegan.info /

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/03/27/free.com...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB56aGTgfVE
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wildeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
61. Why don't these stores donate some of this extra to the food pantries?
the waste you are describing is horrific, especially when you consider how many go to bed hungry each night. Also, there is the land fill issue.

For expired items, there is probably some liability issues, but they could donate the 'scratch and dent' packaged food. As you point out, at stores with less picky clientele, that food is sold at a discount, but it is perfectly safe.
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #61
86. Tax laws.
Our perfect form of taxation while starving US citizens. Ain't it grand?
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #61
178. I think many of them do donate to food pantries.
There's one food pantry I've been to a couple of times that has dairy products close to or past the expiration date. They have ALWAYS been good regardless of the expiration date, and I haven't become sick from any of it.

They also have produce (sometimes donated by my organic co-op, based in the same neighborhood) and also conventional produce, which I assume is from supermarkets. The last time I was there, they gave me nine yellow straightneck squash that were somewhat bruised and clearly headed for the dumpster because a new shipment had arrived at the store. I cut off the bruised parts and blanched it and froze it. Had some last night, in fact. What I actually ate was as good as any other squash.

For all I know, the squash had already been in the dumpster and had been retrieved by the volunteers. I wouldn't care if it had! I've done dumpster diving myself and know from experience the food is perfectly good. Of course I'm pretty selective about what I take.

I've never done any dumpster diving at a distribution center, though. That opens up all kinds of possibilities...

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Daemonaquila Donating Member (413 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #61
179. Some do, but I think the policies vary widely store to store.
In my old home town, the chain-that-won't-be-mentioned-by-the-OP was very good about donating, at least when asked. We fed a load of people with the out-of-date bakery, produce, and other goods. When arranging an activism conference, one of our challenges wasn't getting good stuff from them... but having enough people's freezers to store it between the days they were giving us stuff and the conference. Not only did everyone get fed over 1 1/2 days of conference, but a lot of folks who really needed it took plenty home.

I know in other cities, it's just the opposite. I wish I knew why. All it takes is for one store manager to give a rip, and the problem is solved.
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Faith No More Donating Member (230 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
62. Whoever thought that in the land of the free and the home of the brave
we'd be getting advice on how to get food out of dumpsters. This country is truly in a fucked up mess. Goddamn Bush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #62
79. As a country we have been guilty of
horrific waste and it's long past time we quit those ways. The earth can no longer sustain our massive wasteful ways. No other country wastes as much stuff as the U.S. and it's time we reverse that decadent trend.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #79
113. My family consider me to be fanatic but my father who lived during
the depression (the first one) taught us never to waste anything. I am thankful to him for his wisdom. By the way if you are a farmer and you have more eggs than you need the food shelf will take them.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
63. You know what else gets discarded that is shameful?
Various drugs/medications.

Hospitals and nursing homes regularly discard tons of drugs and medications just because the box was opened, even if the blister packs themselves were untouched.

There are people out there who can't afford prescription meds, and here we are, literally flushing perfectly good drugs down the toilet.

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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #63
114. Also supplies like unopened diapers, hospital beds and other furniture.
This is an area where there will have to be some changes in the laws because saving these medications and supplies is often illegal. I always think about the waste even when we through away the bottles that these drugs are dispensed in. I used to pass on the supplies if there were any left by contacting home health services but they often had to say no. I did find that the Salvation Army will take medical supplies.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
64. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
66. My mom used to work in the dining hall of a college, they had to throw it away...
for legal reasons. The company didn't want the liability of the food on their books!
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dakota_democrat Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #66
158. I used to work in a college dining center as well.
The amount of perfectly fine food that was thrown away was really sad.
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
68. You have got to do what you have got to do to survive in these dark times
There is no shame in that. This is good advice for those many becoming desperate and those already there. It is this kind of ingenuity, call it survivor instinct, that has made this country once great and may once again do the same. Goodonya for posting this.
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MajPayne2 Donating Member (165 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
70. I am willing to help anyone that needs it
I am not feeling the crunch as much as everyone else so my wife and I are willing to donate items to anyone who may be in need. PM me and we can work something out.
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #70
84. May the goddess bless you.
A big :hug: to you and your wife from LTH. And people say there are no more heroes.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #70
98. You are one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life to do that
I feel honored to know you.

Don
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
73. K&R Brilliant post. Very helpful. nt
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
74. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
80. K&R People have been doing this for years.
I think it was 60 Minutes that had a spot on about this, years ago. They do throw a lot of perfectly good food away.
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Christa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
83. K & R nt
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
85. 501c3
Form or get involved with a 501c3 organization.501c3's can buy food and other products from wholesale distributors.Still costs money but is much cheaper and it can be split with others.
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
90. Rather than pick it out of the garbage...
Rather than pick it out of the garbage, you should go talk to the manager of the store.

My grandmother used to do this back in the 50's raising a family of 9. She would go to the grocer and ask for all the broken bags of flour and sugar, and all the bad fruits and vegetables. Sometimes she had to pay for them but at greatly reduced prices.

If these folks are throwing these foods away anyway, if you speak nicely with the manager they may give you the food for free.

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MUAD_DIB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
91. I'd have to ay that this is the most agreeable DU post + follow ups

that I have read in some time.



If any of you live near Harvard U just know this: the students at the end of the year leave heaps of furniture that they won't take with them.

Is addition Harvard also has a reclamation project at their recycling center every Thursday.

Get there by 11AM and you'll most likely find something that you could use.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #91
95. That's one of the best thing about living near a college town
We have Smith college, Amherst college, Mount Holyoke college, etc. out this way.

At the end of the Spring semester, all kinds of clothing goes to the secondhand shops. Most of it is top quality stuff. You can get some really good deals shopping the secondhand stores at the right time.

:)
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
93. I am starting up a company ... "Dumpster Divers Inc" ...with workers from China, India and Mexico.
:evilfrown:
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.... callchet .... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
101. Demand dginity, have a demonstration.
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 10:35 AM by .... callchet ....
I would do it but people love to hate me :fistbump:
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Berry Cool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
102. Another hint for those with limited income who need electronics and furniture.
If you live in a college town, at the end of every semester or quarter (especially at the end of an academic year), take a truck if you can past the student apartments. You will find all kinds of good stuff abandoned on the curbs and by the dumpsters by graduating students for whom taking/shipping the stuff home would be more expensive than buying it new when they get home--especially students from other countries. They leave couches, chairs, tables, TVs, DVD players behind. All perfectly good, but too bulky to take with them when they go.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #102
116. They also often have a free press newsletter for students only offering
items for sale at very reasonable prices.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
105. Recommended. I can think of few more ecologically positive activities than dumpster diving.
A low consumption lifestyle is almost guaranteed to be an environmentally friendly one.

Here's a good link for those who wish to get started.
http://www.allthingsfrugal.com/dumpster.htm
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
107. K,R,&bookmarked nt
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azmouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
109. Great ideas! My uncle worked at a landfill a few years ago and
was appalled at how much good quality stuff was being thrown away. Most of the items he noticed were not food but clothing and beauty aids... things that were perfectly fine but maybe the packaging had been changed and the mfg didn't want the old packaging on the shelfs any more. He wanted to take some of the stuff but was told that he couldn't because of potential lawsuits. Pissed him off big time to think of all the stuff being tossed when so many were in need.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
111. the thing i miss most about moving out of chicago are the alleys...
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 11:18 AM by dysfunctional press
i used to get some FANTASTIC treasures that other people threw away. not so much food, though. one time a couple on our block threw out 3 pianos that had been in the attic of the house they had just purchased...here's what i did with one of them:
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Bigmack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
112. Dont forget your animals....
For years, I raised some fine pork and beef and chicken and goose and whatever on the "trim" from a local grocery store produce dept. The guy in the dairy would give me his pull-dated stuff that had been credited from the distributor.

I got "used bread" from a bakery distributor for $5 a pickup load. Some was "overbake", which means the bread was fresh, but the stores hadn't ordered it, so....

I remember the time I gave my pigs croissants soaked in eggnog.

My kids would often be told to "go out to the barrels and get an apple".
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maryf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
123. K & R nt.
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trickyguy Donating Member (461 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
125. I volunteer at a Food Pantry. We get a lot of stuff from a food distributer.
But what you say here is totally good advice as long as you don't let

your ego get in the way of going for this free food. It's out there.

Let's eat. :toast:
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1Hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
127. This is wonderful to pass along. For those who read this, turn up their noses and sniff that this
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 12:44 PM by 1Hippiechick
is "beneath" them, GET OVER YOURSELF.

None of us knows what we may be faced with in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
May you be blessed for posting this.

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TacticalPeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
128. Diggers.
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varelse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
129. K&R
11. Share.


:kick:
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
133. They should be donating this to the Food Shelves.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #133
146. A lot of it does get to places like this
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
136. Coffee places (esp private ones) usually have lots of used grounds for composting.
A local one here as a bin with bags in it, free for taking for compost. And during the season, the local fruit/veg stand has a box with scraps for chickens/compost also. If you have a garden, you can feed it free inedible stuff and turn it into more food.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
137. I live right next to a grocery store and dumper-dive all the time.
The manager is perfectly OK with it and if I run into him he'll point out the best stuff. He also donates a lot of nearly-expired food to various places, such as the preschool I work at. Just last week I got a half dozen frozen pizzas that are really good but pricy as hell (about $7.50 per pizza!).
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #137
141. The main dumpster in my town regularly feeds about a hundred people I'd guess.
When we go to give away the extras, we're often hobbled by the fact that half the people we know also have the food! My favorite is frozen food and dry goods because they're less likely to go to waste.
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nankerphelge Donating Member (995 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
139. Eat for less than $1 a day on a vegan diet
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 02:41 PM by nankerphelge
This is a good idea - it drives me crazy that "healthy" eating costs a premium in this country when it should be cheaper. I thought the experiment by a couple of vegans in the recent CS Monitor was a good idea as well - even though they were limited in options, if more people did it, the costs would fall and options would increase:

http://features.csmonitor.com/backstory/2008/12/29/dini... /

http://onedollardietproject.wordpress.com /

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Mike 03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
148. Beautiful, beautiful, compassionate post. Thank you. It should be
pinned to top of the forum for everyone to see.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
152. Frugal recipes
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 03:59 PM by chill_wind
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Beacool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
155. It's a sin to see so much food go to waste.
I live in upscale Hoboken, NJ (home to Gov. Corzine and Sen. Menendez). We have one shelter that feeds the homeless breakfast and dinner. There is also room for 50 people to sleep the night. The shelter is run by all the churches and the jewish temple in the city. My Lutheran church is the only church in town that feeds lunch to the homeless. We used to open only for lunch, but started opening at 8:30 AM so people would have a place to go once they leave the shelter for the day. Both the shelter and the church have seen the number of people who show up to eat more than double in the last couple of years, but unfortunately donations are down. The lunch program is financed solely by the parishioners and we are not a big church. Hoboken is on the edge of the Hudson right across the river from Manhattan and many of its residents work or worked in the financial district. The town has been hit hard by the downturn and people can't give like they used to. Heck, some are struggling almost as much as the people we feed daily. Donations at the shelter have gone down by 60% in the last few months.

I do though have to commend some businesses that regularly give, such as Duncan Donuts. There is one in particular that donates a big garbage bag full of goodies every night to the shelter and has been doing so for years. The local BJs in neighboring Jersey City has also been very generous, as are some local businesses in town (there are several delis that donate pounds of cold cuts on a monthly basis). Having said that, the demand is so high now that we are struggling. It's sad that warehouses, due to liability reasons, can't donate this imperfect food to the local shelters and churches.

I work in a Fortune 100 and we used to waste a lot of food. I brought to the lunch program left overs many times. Bags of bagels, tubs of cream cheese, jelly, etc. until I was told once that I couldn't do it anymore because the company would be liable if someone got sick. I still did it anyway, I just sneaked it out. There isn't much entertainment lately and few chances to take stuff.

Take care and I hope that you never go hungry.

;-)
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Dennis Donovan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
161. "Have the healthy people eat first as a precaution."
:rofl:

They won't be healthy then. :D ;)

GREAT tips - I can see this being especially helpful to Homeless co-ops. :thumbsup:

Recommended. :)
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Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
164. I knew that things were bad back home. But now I'm starting to think that I have no idea
It's one thing to read seven newspapers a day, get my updates from the organizations we support, and come to DU and FR and read people's take on things. But it's another thing entirely to read a post like this that really hits home. Damn, this shit is real. It is happening. And people are having a really, really hard time right now.

This is heartbreaking and eye-opening at the same time. Thanks for posting.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
166. Kick! And thanks for the Tips AND the CAUTIONS in this Thread...
I worry that "Dumpster Diving" and other efforts might cause people to get sick from recalled foods or other things...but, if one knows a store person who can help you...or others who "know the score" then it's worth it to try to cull some of the waste for the stores that might help those who really need the food.

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thrift_store_angel Donating Member (184 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
175. Vender Warehouses
Companies that bring their own products into a store, chips, crackers, bread, etc... They normally come to the store at least once a week. If a product is out of date by even a day, or if it is damaged then it has to be reclaimed, whether it is one box or a whole pallet. They don't do anything with the product normally, they just scan into in to their system and it goes in the dumpster at their warehouse. It might not be the most nutritious food, but given the choice of no food, or food that might not be so great for you, it is probably better to have something than nothing.
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
181. A little tip on veggie washing.
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 07:56 PM by madeline_con
A 1/2 cap of bleach in a sink full of water kills any nasty stuff. We used to do it to locally grown stuff when we were living overseas.

If you add a pinch of baking soda to the water also, you have the same concoction as that expensive "FIT" stuff they sell as a produce wash. You wouldn't believe the dirt you can get off grapes and strawberries with it!
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
184. K & R, bookmarked.
This is a great thread!
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shireen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
187. thank you.
Your post and many of the responses have been invaluable.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
190. BE CAREFUL TRYING THIS
My friend's husband drives for a food warehouse company, and they hire GUARDS....some of them ARMED..and the facilities around here at least, have big ole fences completely surrounding the place..even the drivers cannot get in or out without passing a guard-shack and presenting company ID..

Food "left out" can make you SICK...and some food may be discarded BECAUSE there's something wrong with it..



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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-09 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #190
197. here is the problem
Not to disagree with you about cautioning people, but we are all already at terrible risk even if we follow all of the rules. The "good" food is mostly imports, almost none of it inspected, and there is widespread and dangerous contamination happening. That is just one of the many ways we are already under terrible assault, whether we play by the rules or not.

We may not already be at the point where we are more likely to survive and are safer by breaking the rules than we are by following them - we could debate that - but it certainly is getting closer and closer to that situation every day, at the very least.

I suggested that people hook up with small farmers where they can, as a safer alternative. But people will do what they need to do to survive. We have been living under a reign of fear for decades and submitted to it in the hope that if we were good little boys and girls - obedient and compliant and playing by the rules - that everything would be OK. We now know that this was a dangerous illusion that has only made us more vulnerable and more at risk.
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Phentex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-09 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #190
200. and then there's The Grapes of Wrath...
ever read it?

Sometimes there's absolutely nothing wrong with it except who owns it.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-09 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #200
202. Of course , I've read it.. My POINT was that people who try this
need to think about it FIRST...and not after they get arrested for trespassing or even theft.. Around here, they arrest people for dumpster diving or even removing things from the trash, people put out on the curb..

The city pays people to collect the recyclables & large items, and when people come around and "take" them , the city considers it theft.

Additional fines & court costs are NOT what someone who's struggling , needs..
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
191. Very good. Everyone should read this.
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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
192. I wish we could have a forum dedicated to surviving the Bush economy.
I learn so much from all of you, have so many questions and few things to share.
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slampoet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
193. I have been dumpstering for decades but most of these centers have Crusher systems
and not just open dumpsters.

For instance ALL target stores within 50 miles of me have crushers.
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Swagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
196. another tip slightly off subject but saves heaps of cash....
Edited on Sun Feb-01-09 11:41 PM by Swagman
I seek out auction houses that sell household/electrial goods that have damaged packaging.They aren't hard to find. Big stores turn down deliveries of big ticket items..tvs etc, with damaged boxes as customers won't accept them. As they get insurance for the goods they end up in auction houses and are sold to the highest bidder..well under retail price.
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Concerned Canuck Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-04-09 02:04 AM
Response to Original message
206. How To Survive A Depression
I have an offer for you and a request.

To readmoreoften for a great and helpful article and all other constructive and helpful posters on this tread.

My name is Chuck and I am writing an e-book that I hope to have completed very soon, called

How To Survive A Depression MANUAL

I am requesting the use of your ideas, those written here, and any others you might want to contribute.

I am offering a free copy of my e-book when it is done for those contributions, if you will submit them to my site so I know who offered what and then I can get the book to you.

The site only went up a few days ago and there is much more work to do, but it is progressing.

We live in very scary times, but it can be a great experience as well, and, we really can make the best of it. But, we must plan ahead and realize the game has changed. There are people who sadly, are already living the reality that so many more, are going to have to face.

I am racing to get this book together so people can get it before more of them cant afford their internet connection.

When the book is done and you have your copy.

I have two requests please...one, if it is valuable, would you please offer a testimonial? And two, if it is valuable, please print off copies and take them to people who are not on the internet?

I want people to get this book, but I must charge for it, because I learned a long time ago, people dont read free books. If they can afford an internet connection they can afford this manual.

But those poor souls that are desperate need every opportunity to get a leg up, and the Lord has greatly blessed me, so I would like to have an army of volunteers with a heart.

Thank you in advance,
Cheers
Chuck

http://www.ThisGreatDepression.com



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