Environmental Activist Raises Awareness About Food Waste Through ‘Dumpster Dining’

Rob J. Greenfield, 28, of San Diego finds grapes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and more that he eats as he digs them out of a dumpster in Oak Park, Mich.(Photo: Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press)
Rob J. Greenfield, 28, of San Diego finds grapes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and more that he eats as he digs them out of a dumpster in Oak Park, Mich.(Photo: Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press)

Rob Greenfield spent Sunday morning shopping for food.

By 11 a.m., he already had salmon, multigrain breads, Starbucks coffee, oranges, bananas, avocados, tomatoes and peppers. For dessert, he had cakes, cookies and spice drop candies. He even picked up some microbrew beer.

He’s not planning a Labor Day cookout. Greenfield is an environmental activist who’s traveling part of the country to shop in dumpsters behind grocery stores, drugs stores and other places to draw attention to the amount of food that is wasted every day in America.

Conducting what he calls food fiascos, Greenfield takes the edible food he finds in each city, then displays it in one spot to show how much of it there is. Metro Detroit is his latest stop on a two month campaign that began in Madison, Wis., and ends in New York City.

“We’ve collected a couple thousand dollars worth of food today,” Greenfield said this morning as he took a quick inventory at a stop in Clawson. “All of this stuff is still good.”

Greenfield peeled a slightly brown banana and took a bite.

Some of the items had expiration dates of Saturday, Sunday or Monday, but others are good until next month. Most of the items are still in sealed packages. The salmon was still cold when he found it.

His lessons are aimed at both consumers and the stores that supply their food. His goals are:

• Reduce the amount of food by better inventory control.

• Encourage stores to donate food to non-profits that get it to people in need.

• Promote composting of food that can’t be eaten by humans.

Click here for more.

SOURCE: USA Today
John Wisely, Detroit Free Press

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