From guest blogger, Haley:
In response to Dive, I agree that as a society we need to do more to reduce waste. We are a very wasteful society and this is a true fact. Although, I don’t know if I would necessarily dive through a dumpster for my meals to make a point.
When I was showing steers, one of the local businesses that I would approach to come bid on my animal was Lenienkugal’s. I actually got to know Jake and his wife Peg pretty well over the years. After Jake bought my steer for the first time I asked him what his plans were for the meat he had purchased. He told me that there was no way him and his wife could get though that much. So after the meat was processed Jake and Peg would go through it all and pick out what meat they wanted to keep. Afterwards they would donate the rest to local food pantries so they would have fresh meat to give to people. I see this as an example of smart consumerism and this is what a lot of us need to be doing. They realized that they didn’t need it all and donated the rest to the needy.
In Dive when they brought up World War II it reminded me of a story my high school economics teacher told me. His family went over to his mother’s house to help clean and they were going through a few cupboards where they found dog food and a few other things squirreled away. He explained it to us like this: she grew up in the depression era which meant you couldn’t be wasteful and once you had a little economic comfort you still hid stuff and prepared just in case the depression came back again. Society was less wasteful during World War II because the Great Depression just ended and those people knew what it was like to have nothing so they took advantage of every meal. That meant clean plates all around the table and in some cases hiding away extra food just in case a depression hit again. As time moved on and the economy got better people got lazier with clean plates and finishing an entire meal. Society got away from the “we need to take care of each other and help one another” views of the 40’s and 50’s. Even today food pantries are struggling to get enough donations to help families that truly need it and we need to keep this in mind as we enter the holiday season.
Would I dive through a dumpster to get food for my table? Most likely not, unless it was absolutely necessary. I was raised and am still a firm believer in the fact we should use what we have before we get more. I think what he and his friends are doing is interesting it just might not be in the best way. Instead of over stocking on things it would take him years to use up, he could be donating it instead. There are people out there in California that need it way more than him. Every week he could take two or three night’s worth of dumpster dives to a local homeless shelter or food pantry instead. He has way more than his family could ever need even though they are being thoughtful with it and freezing it. He also could afford to go grocery shopping but instead he essentially steals from the trash. I don’t sees this as the right thing to do either but if this is what he likes to do and sees it as what he should be doing, then who am I to say he is wrong or shouldn’t do it.