Life During Capitalism- one history student's perspective on life during capitalism

"To omit or to minimize these voices of resistance is to create the idea that power only rests with those who have the guns, who possess the wealth, who own the newspapers and the television stations. I want to point out that people who seem to have no power, whether working people, people of colour, or women-once they organize and protest and create movements-have a voice no government can suppress." Howard Zinn

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Dummies Guide to Bumming Free Food

The Dummies Guide to Bumming Free Food

What’s this about free food?

Not too many people know but it is relatively easy to get free food when you’re living in the city. Three methods to grab a meal are dumpster diving, shoplifting and table topping.

Dumpster what?

Dumpster diving. Literally jumping into a dumpster filled with food and helping yourself. Because of the fucked up way our economy works (thanks capitalism) tones of good food is put into dumpsters across the city every night by bakeries, fruits shops and supermarkets. A lot of this food is still sweet as to eat. For example lots of food gets thrown out because the packaging is ripped or torn, it is just past its used by date, one piece of fruit is spoilt among a whole bag of perfectly good fruit, the bread/bagels are a little hard, or any number of slight imperfections that relegate food to the dumpster.

Surely it’s illegal?

Technically you can get done for stuff like trespassing and stealing but its pretty uncommon. Make sure you go dumpster-diving at night though and go in a group so one person can watch out for cops and security guards. A couple of years ago in Wellington a whole bunch of dumpster-divers got arrested when they were in this supermarkets backyard. A lot of the best dumpsters these days have locks on them and others are behind fences so I’d recommend that if you don’t want to get arrested to be stealthy. (If you are reading this and work at a supermarket/fruit shop/bakery and your boss has a lock on the dumpster, you should leave the lock unlocked at night if you can ; ) )

Isn’t the food gross and /or have diseases?

A lot of the food in the dumpster is useless and people have different limits as to what they will eat from a dumpster. As long as stuff is still in a packet its sweet as, but make sure you give fruit and veges a really good wash at home. Also try to avoid dumpsters with meat in them; cause it smells fucking horrendous and also can give you some pretty harmful food poisoning if you eat it. Other than that enjoy reaping a whole lot of sweet as food for nothing!

What’s table topping then?

Table topping refers to the art of cruising in restaurants and foodcourts and picking over the let overs of people’s meals once they leave their table. Do this surreptitiously to avoid being kicked out and you can usually get yourself some pretty sweet meals, as a lot of people don’t eat half of what they buy. Shame for it to go to waste. If you don’t like the idea of left overs you can always try shop lifting. However I don’t recommend shoplifting as if you do it for a decent amount of time you will get caught and I don’t want you coming and blaming me. But if you do want to find out more about shoplifting or any of the other ways to get free food that I have mentioned in this article check out:

Published in Craccum Issue 1 2007

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