This is the first post by our newest contributor – Molly Roberts.

It’s 11:45 at night, and I’m bagging and writing off food to throw away. Last night I tossed three garbage bags full of bread products, two with fruits and vegetables, one brimming with meat, and another two with packaged sandwiches, sushi, and convenience meals. At my job – as with all other grocery stores throughout the country – employees must get rid of
food a full day before the “sell by” date. This means that each night literally tons of eatable, nutritious food goes to waste. Studies speculate that American grocers trash enough food to feed all our
country’s malnourished. As of right now, few options exist for reducing this waste as federal health regulations dictate this nightly garbage ritual. And this is why I applaud the “freegan” movement.

The freegan movement started in the mid-nineties as a means of protest against the incredible amount of packaging and food wasted at grocery stores. Freegans, who are not necessarily poor or hungry, salvage food from trash bins outside of stores to make a statement, “stick it to the man!” if you will. Many live completely off the fruits of their labor- quite literally. I’m not suggesting that we all start dumpster diving. It’s against the law and could result in physical injury.

So if taking the garbage plunge isn’t for you, I urge you to participate in donation efforts. Sometimes, the so-called spoiled groceries can be reclaimed by organizations to feed those in need. Either way, it’s important to realize what goes on behind the scenes at your local supermarket, and take it from me, it’s neither energy effective nor humanitarian.

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