Yale’s Dumpster-Diving Foodies

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A house full of Yale University students lives on a food budget of $8 per person per week, thanks to veggies provided via a local community supported agriculture operation, tossed-out foods that they regularly collect from storefront curbs and behind supermarkets, and lots and lots of improvisation in the kitchen.

One of the students writes at The Atlantic about their experiences, which often involve run-ins with the police:

My housemate estimates that around half of his dumpster raids involve some encounter with the police. Often, he hides silently in the darkness, nestled among food and trash, until foreign footsteps become inaudible. Occasionally, he is followed by a police car, pulled over, and interrogated. One friend was ordered to remove the groceries from his trunk, only to throw them back out into the dumpster, going home with nothing.

So, not knowing exactly what’ll be in the fridge, what do they cook?

The scramble is a popular choice, as is the stir-fry; some of our more food-inclined housemates have been known to treat our fridge as a battleground, and emerge triumphant with pilaf, homemade gnocchi, or pierogies. During the summer, our dinner table hosted between nine and 13 people a night. We have discovered that dinner parties, when catered out of a dumpster with a lot of helping hands, are of little financial and logistical consequence.

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