We don’t think we’re going to get any argument when we say America is a wasteful place. Our supermarkets and restaurants throw out some 260 million pounds of food a day, a lot of it edible but expired. Avowed Dumpster-diving freegan Jeremy Seifert found that Trader Joe’s — which tosses its damaged or expired food in Dumpsters rather than compacting it in giant bales like other large chains — discards tons of perfectly edible stuff every day (“fresh loaves of sourdough, packages of baby lettuce, cartons of eggs, whole chickens, and even a 12-pack of Irish Stout with only one broken bottle”), which he and his friends use to feed themselves and even to cater parties.
He discusses the matter further on Grist, while also plugging the documentary he made on the subject, Dive! (now available on Netflix). He’s even got a petition campaign going in hopes of turning Trader Joe’s into a zero-food-waste company that will donate discarded food to food banks and nonprofits.
The campaign is selfless, of course, since Seifert and his friends wouldn’t be able to throw such a lavish, tri tip barbecue baby shower (seen in the trailer) if Trader Joe’s didn’t toss out so much tri tip. But that’s exactly his point.