17.05.2017 13:54


Dumpster-diving. Will finally end wasting with food?

Autor: Matěj Maděra | Kurz: English section | Kategorie: Features and other

This idea of an alternative way of life has has been appearing in the Czech Republic. This original lifestyle came to our land from Western countries. And what is it all about? The idea of dumpster-diving is really easy. People are wasting food a lot especially in developed countries. Restaurants and supermarkets also play its role in a food wasting. They are throwing a lot of edible food to containers and bins. But there are people who trying to save this food and eat it on their own or give it to other people.

Majority of people think that taking things from bins or containers is a business of homeless. But that's not true. There are groups of people who are doing this too and they aren't homeless. Mostly they have enough money to buy food. These pickers are angry when they see how supermarkets are wasting food and other goods. They are walking around these shops and trying to save some food. There are people who going to search some food for example once a month for variegation of common meal (there are often some exotic fruits etc.) and there are also people who are doing this more often and they almost do not have to go normally shopping.

And that's an example of a student Bára - a young girl, who is studying in Brno. She is living an ordinary life. Studies, sometimes goes to pub or some club or goes out with friends. There is only one peculiarity. Time to time, after nightfall, she goes with other friends to search for food in some supermarket's containers. Every trip has the same screenplay. They come to the back side of the supermarket, where the containers with food are stored. "We must be really careful, because there are employees inside and sometimes they are going outside," the girl describes. The other problem is that containers are closed very often and the main thing is that this activity is still illegal in this country, because rubbish and discarded food is a property of supermarket.

Sometimes it is hard to find something good because the food is mixed with rubbish, or food is mixed with rotten food. In this case, they don't take anything. But when they have luck, they find a container full of packed pastry, or bin full of fruit and vegetables. The reason why is food without mildew or rot in container is that these goods are after the expiration date or the vegetable is unsightly. The food is still edible, but can't be sold or in case of vegetables – nobody will buy it.

As Bára says, she could buy food without problems in shops. But she doesn't want to do it for the same reason, as we have been writing in the beginning. "They are often throwing good and tasty food. When I don't consume everything on my own, I can share it with my friends and make a tasty dinner," she says.

Sometimes they find only few things. But mostly they find as much food as they aren't able to carry it. Almost every trip they find some tasty vegetables or fruits. They can also find a toast bread, yoghurts, tins with vegetable, chocolate bars, chips or legumes and other things. "I can live with this food for several days," she says and adds, that when she shows her friends how many foods she found, they are horrified very often. Good news according to a young student is that this problem starts to bother more people. "And it also starts to harass some politician, which is very important," laughs Bára.

The best solution, according to her, is that supermarkets will give this type of food to charity for people in need. In some countries, for example in France, it is quite common. In the Czech Republic, it doesn't work like that. "Plastic bags are also prohibited in some countries and the relationship of people to nature is much higher than in our country," thinks Bára. That is why she is also trying to limit over-production of waste in his life. She is trying to avoid bags and plastic packaging. This means that if she must buy something, she buys at stores where the goods are not sold in packages. "I put the goods in my reusable bags made of cloth," describes her idea.

But we must not end in a negative way. As for food waste, there is one small change. Some supermarkets began to sell also ugly vegetables. "There are really people who buy it without any problems" she says happily. As Bára says, there is another hope for improvement: "From 2018, big supermarkets should offer this food to non-profit organizations. But in the meantime, containers will be still full of good food."

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