Friday, March 23rd: Dumpster Diving Dilemma

On Wednesday we read “Sharing the Wealth at a Dumpster Divers’ Feast” and talked about the short film “First the Dishes, Then the Revolution.” Key questions raised in this discussion were:

  • Is this truly revolutionary?
  • What stakes to state and local governments have in regulating what happens to our waste?
  • Would we eat at Grub?

For Friday I’d like you to read a second article: “Food Not Bombs Cooks Meals Acquired from Dumpster Diving.” This article visits a Toronto chapter of the organization Food Not Bombs, which argues our collective spending priorities favor corporate wants over human needs.

Local Food Not Bombs groups are known for setting up feeding sites for people with low food security, like people who are currently homeless. Richmond’s Food Not Bombs has historically served food each weekend at Monroe Park (which caused controversy when the city shut the park down for renovation — see here and here).

This, many have argued, raises a moral question: do people have a right to food access? Do people have a right to know that their food is safe to consume? Does serving food harvested from dumpsters put these two rights at odds? Read the content linked above, and respond here by Sunday evening! Note that we have other reading due for class on Monday.

One Reply to “Friday, March 23rd: Dumpster Diving Dilemma”

  1. This article seemed more politically charged then the video on “grub” that we watched in class. The video was about food waste but this group “Food not Bombs” had multiple agendas. Something I found interesting was that they set up their free food stand outside of fast food restaurants. You get the feeling from this article that it’s not just about bringing waste awareness but also about causing a little friction and possibly being a little more outwardly controversial. People absolutely have a right to know their food is safe for consumption, with out safety regulations we would be fed chemicals and goodness knows what else, in order for companies to cut costs. The thing is, is that the food salvaged from dumpsters is often still good and well within the safety guidelines, and hasn’t expired yet. We can still have food safety regulations while wasting way less food. I also thing that people should be allowed to have food access. I think it should be presented in a different way so that people don’t need to search in the trash for foods but wasting such a massive amount of food when there are homeless people and hungry children is unacceptable. I think the FDA could create a waste program where unspoiled/less attractive food that is about to be throw away can be donated to soup kitchens or have their own governments food banks where people can (At their own risk) take things for free. These two moral issues don’t have to be at odds, we could find ways to allow people food access while still being safe about it and reducing waste. Unfortunately the USA is a capitalist country and government social programs are often looked upon as negative or a waste of money, so how this joining together of ideas would come to be is hard to say.

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