Sunday, April 20, 2008

The 4 year old speaks

This conversation today, while waiting in the parking lot for the two safeway employees to finish their smoke break so that I could dumpster dive the safeway dumpster:

E (The six year old): Why can't you dumpster while they're there?

B (The Dad): Well, it's against social norms to dumpster dive, so they'd probably tell me to stop.

E: What's "Social norms"?

B: blah blah blah trying to explain social norms to a six and a four year old.

C (The four year old): "I broke my norm when I was a baby!"


Anonymous said...

hahahahaha! that is awesome!!!

byron smith said...

Have you been diving for long?

Benjamin Ady said...


Thankyou. =)


... I'm thinking ... 4 years ish? but more over the last 2 years. I was trained by a super awesome couple we call B&P. They live in a VW Van from the 19... 40's or something, which they totally rebuilt themselves. You'd love them--they really rocked, even though I haven't seen either of them in something like 18 months.

sam and becca said...

LOVE it! S

byron smith said...

What proportion (roughly) of your food comes from DD?

Benjamin Ady said...


It varies. I guess it probably ranges between ... 30 and 60%? Something like that.

There's a local food bank that is only open on Saturday. So if for some reason we can't get down there on a Saturday, then that means more dumpstering the following week.

I mean it goes in cycles. We never, for instance, buy bread. All bread is from food bank or dumpstering. We dumpstered 2 50 pound bags of organic flour like 2 years ago, and it's only just now running out (Try using 100 pounds of flour sometime). We have 2 frozen turkeys in our freezer--one from food bank, one dumpstered, both just before or after Thanksgiving (That's last November), but hey, they've been totally frozen, and are doubtless still fine.

Here's to the alternative economy. Tonite we are eating a beautiful pot roast and beautiful artichokes, steamed, all dumpstered yesterday (note--the pot roast was of course lovingly and carefully wrapped in it's own little package by the butcher, with expiration date yesterday. And it's really cold out here right now--it was fine. But on hot days in summer you have to be more careful =), and potatoes, from the food bank, with store bought butter and spices, excepting the rosemary, which grows like a weed everywhere here, and we walk outside and pick some.

I even dumpstered a 5 pack of beer once. One bottle had broken, so they tossed the whole six pack. That doesn't happen very often =)

One of the kewl things about dumpstering is you never know what you might find. Sometimes we find lamb, which is *really* expensive here compared to other meats. They throw out the most perfectly okay produce. Yesterday a perfectly beautiful bunch of bananas, and 2 beautiful apples, and a beautiful honeydew melon, and the artichokes.

One time I dumpstered a huge bag of pistachios (which are *really* pricy!)

There's a dumpster just south of downtown where all the naked juice trucks park, and they fill up the dumpster sometimes with just out of date naked juices--which are the most beautiful straight up fruit juice mixtures. We go down there and get 20 or 30 sometimes and stick them in the fridge--the come in individual bottles.

Megs said...

that naked juice has made me fat!

byron smith said...

Wow - that's some serious food! I've heard of the concept, but never investigated the practicalities.

When I was studying a couple of years ago, the college had an arrangement with a local bakery that we would pick up their left-over bread a couple of times a week and distribute it amongst the student community, so we never bought bread for a couple of years.

D said...

Awesome. And inspiring. :)