Dumpster Diving: Suburban Style

by Shauna on May 17, 2012

I have a confession.

I eat out of the trashcan.

But only the one in my kitchen. It’s not like I’m some gross person who eats out of other people’s trashcans. Now that would be disgusting. Before you go all Judge Judy on me, I’ll have you know there’s a reasonable explanation why I do this.

My family throws away perfectly good food. For real. And to clarify, I only eat the food that’s laying on top. It’s not like I dig down and scrounge under wrappers and empty containers looking for chicken bones and half eaten sandwiches. Although a half eaten sandwich still in the baggie or left on a paper plate is an acceptable find.

It started a few years ago. Post kids. I can’t remember ever eating out of the garbage can before I became a mother. But one day, I went to throw something away, and found a cheeseburger—right there, on top, with only one bite missing. And, I was hungry. I did hesitate for a second. I mean, we are talking about the trashcan. And you know, trashcans are filled with snot rags, and hairballs and moldy bread. But this cheeseburger was almost perfect and just laying there, wanting to be eaten…practically begging me, calling out “Eat me, Shauna. See how yummy I am?” So I reached in, scooped it out, blew on it (you know, to get the cooties off) and then gobbled it up. The whole thing.

And that was the beginning.

Now, looking for perfectly acceptable half eaten food in the garbage can is part of my daily routine. You can’t imagine the goldmine that rests in the cylindrical stainless steel container in the corner of my kitchen: milkshakes, and quesadillas, Lean Cuisines and curly fries. A girl could eat for days! And a certain girl generally does. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I’m a disgusting pig, and normally I would agree with you.

But I’m telling you, you’re wrong this time. What I am is a genius. Do you know how much money I’m saving my family by eating the leftovers they so frivolously throw away?

Oh look, a barely chewed piece of gum. Mmm. Minty.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

collin May 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

You’ve heard of the 5 second rule for food dropped on the floor? Forget about it … In my family we had a two day rule! =)

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Meghan May 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm

You are an enigma, Shauna Glenn. xo
Meghan´s last blog post ..He Gets His Point Across

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MS Mom May 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I can usually relate to every one of your posts, as if you were secretly watching me from a corner writing down all the bizarre things that happen in my life. This one, well…..I got nothin’.
10second rule from the floor, yes. Trashcan, no.
But thats probably becuase I live with a dipper who walks by periodically and spits snuff in the trashcan.
MS Mom´s last blog post ..The Things That I Know

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hdj May 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm

In towns like Berkeley and SF in California there are people that do all their dining this way – like it’s a challenge to not eat food they actually buy in a grocery store. I think these people are trying to make a statement about how much food we waste as a society or something, but I think they can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods and don’t want to be judged for shopping at a regular grocery store. I digress… These people do get their food from other people’s trash cans, though, so I don’t think you could live with them.
It’s your trash, they’re your kids – like you don’t already have their cooties anyway?

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Skwishee May 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm

There are far too many snot covered kleenexes in my garbage to eat even a perfectly good cheeseburger. Kids are gross.
Skwishee´s last blog post ..Diamonds in the Rough.

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Keia May 22, 2012 at 11:03 am

I have to agree with Skwishee. My son is GROSS! KIDS ARE GROSS.

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Nikki Mohamed May 18, 2012 at 3:53 am

I did that when they were younger….(post diapers age, pre-teenage age) but NOW….there’s just no way. You can get away with this because your boy isn’t yet a teenager. Just wait until he starts trying to impress you with his “perfect aim” and hocks a loogie from the kitchen door into the trash can 3 feet away.

Not judging you………..just my own situation. I’ll pass.
Nikki Mohamed´s last blog post ..Endogenous Morphine….I Dig It

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MariaV May 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

I’m sure my grandmother did the same thing and she was a great woman.

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bellawriter (Nuala Reilly) May 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I will never understand why kids waste perfectly good food and then walk around all the time complaining of being hungry.
You go girl.
bellawriter (Nuala Reilly)´s last blog post ..No funny Saturday tomorrow.

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Keia May 22, 2012 at 11:04 am

Agreed.
Keia´s last blog post ..Electronic Reading

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shana May 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I don’t do this, but I do have veto-power on what actually goes into the trashcan. As in, they actually have to ask permission before they throw away anything that could be considered edible.

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Jen May 18, 2012 at 9:43 pm

You’re my favorite.
Jen´s last blog post ..More Than Four Wheels

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vanessalillian May 23, 2012 at 2:39 am

I hate to admit it, but I do it in my own kitchen… but there aren’t any kids there and I’m pretty much the only person that uses the kitchen. **I** know that I keep the inside of my bin disinfected and that the bin liner is clean so, theoretically, it’s like a giant plastic container, yeah? So provided there’s nothing actually rotten in the bin, snacking from the top layer should be fiiiiiiiine :)
vanessalillian´s last blog post ..Fancy-Pants Pizza, Two Ways – Caprese Pizza; and Pumpkin, Spinach, Feta and Caramelised Onion

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Utah L May 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm

You’ve obviously trained them well, no one in our house thows anything away, it just lays on a plate till the dishwasher comes on duty !

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