Our garbage could save millions of lives...

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Our garbage...our food waste...would almost certainly be
enough to end world hunger. I feel confident that every
state, and maybe even every major city, produces
millions of pounds of food waste every single day. That
wasted food goes to feed rats and other vermin we would
rather *not* feed in dumps and landfills, while humans we
would rather feed are starving. Much of the nutrition which
makes life possible--any amount or form of which is rare
and treasured to hungry people all over this planet--has
become nothing but a problem to get rid of for those of
us fortunate enough to have the "problem". Even if only
a small percentage of the people who have the problem
were to participate in organized group efforts, it's almost
certain that a large percentage of world hunger and
starvation could be reduced or eliminated. The garbage
from McDonald's alone could save how many human

How to do it? Organization and agreement to commit to
the projects would be a first step. What to commit to would
of course be a necessary consideration. How to store,
transfer and sanitize the waste food would be some of the
biggest obstacles to overcome. Making regular use of
food grinders, dehydrators, possibly crushers of some sort,
probably UV sanitizing methods, and packaging systems
would be required on both the private and commercial
participant level. Collection and distribution would
be on a bigger scale, and would require properly developed
business level organizations and facilities in order to make
productive use of what so many of us consider to be waste.
Some sort of incentive to participate besides simply providing
life for other humans would probably also be required, or else
systems such as that would have been established and
working for years already.

How to begin? The first thing would be to accept the idea
that it would be possible, and could be made practical and
maybe even beneficial to those who are willing to participate.
It would probably have to begin on a small scale, with groups
of interested people working together to help select other
groups and individuals in their local areas. It needs to be
kept in mind that those who would survive and benefit from
such a change in the thinking and efforts of those who could
help them, would be dependant on the stability of the system.

But there's already a surplus of food. So would it be a waste
of time? Even if we could dry, sanitize and package millions
of pounds of nutrition from our food waste every day, would
it be of no real value? Are people who are starving just going
to have to continue to starve, regardless of how much extra
food more fortunate people have to deal with? Would they
just become another dependancy...more trouble than it would
be worth? Or could it be practical to put together a system
like that?

Re: Our garbage could save millions of lives...
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And who is going to pay the bill when some yahoo sues for $1.2
million, because he ate a stale muffin and threw up? The amount of
food that gets thown away from grocery stores and Warehouse grocery
stores is obscene. They can't even give the food to foodbanks or
homeless shelters, they have to throw it away. The reason they do it
is because they could be sued out of existance by any idiot who ate
some past-due food and decided he wanted to scam the system, and sue
for a million or two.

Re: Our garbage could save millions of lives...
Caya wrote:
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Brings back fond (no, really!) memories of dumpster-diving back in the
70's at a local grocer. *One* day outdated dairy products, refrigerator
biscuits, etc.? Hell, yes!

Re: Our garbage could save millions of lives...

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Reminds me of a time several years ago when I was delivering 100LB bags of
flour to a commercial bakery in GA. 2 of the bags had developed small leaks
due to the stitching coming loose or from the corner of the bag rubbing
against the trailer wall. The bakery rejected the 2 bags but offered to
dispose of them for me. My company said to slice the bags open & empty them
into a dumpster. I called the local food bank & offered to bring them over,
nothing wrong with the flour. They said they would they would only take
undamaged bags with no leakage. I guess beggars can be choosers

Re: Our garbage could save millions of lives...

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Awhile back, I had to clear my kitchen & pantry of anything with gluten
in it since I can't have gluten anymore.  Lots of opened items had to be
thrown out.  And the rest resulted in an unexpectedly large amount of
food for a local food pantry.  It was about 3/4 canned & jarred goods
and 1/4 boxed items like pasta.  When I dropped off my large donation,
the manager asked me for my name and address so she could send me a
"thank you note", she said.  I told her that was entirely unnecessary.  
Finally she said she had to have it in case anything was wrong with the
food!  Everything was sealed in its original package but I confess that
I did worry for a time and it's made me think twice about donating food
to pantries.  


Re: Our garbage could save millions of lives...
Emma Thackery wrote:


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Don't sweat it. "Anything wrong with the food" is a euphemism for
deliberately poisoned. Asking is a good way to prevent foul play.

Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.

Re: Our garbage could save millions of lives...
If anybody thinks they have a solution to this I'll bet it starts with the
elimination of bureaucratic control over the food supply.  Not that we
shouldn't have standards and inspections, but real hunger demands real food
and not real obstruction.  I personally have thrown into dumpsters great
pans of freshly-prepared (by licensed caterers and restaurants)  meats and
vegetables because I couldn't get anybody to take them.  I called every food
kitchen in town and got "No" for an answer every time.  Polite "No", but
"No" just the same.  I've also seen fields of high-quality vegetables
rotting on the vine because the organizations that could use them just
wouldn't come get them.  I've hunted game birds in fields with the
farmer/owner as my hunting partner and asked him why these tons of produce
were just lying there in the sun.  His reply was that he made an annual
practice of offering his fields to gleaners and food kitchens after the main
picking was complete, and had as yet had no takers.  Amazing!  Tons of food
for free and nobody would take it!

I didn't get any pheasants that hunting trip, but I did come home with a
dozen excellent acorn squash.


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Re: Our garbage could save millions of lives...
John Gonser wrote:
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So those people who were too busy to come pick the food were
bureaucrats? Maybe we need more bureaucrats so they won't all be so

Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.

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