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Dumpster Diving: Suburban Style

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I have a confession.

I eat out of the trashcan.

But only the one in my kitchen. It’s not like I’m some gross person who eats out of other people’s trashcans. Now that would be disgusting. Before you go all Judge Judy on me, I’ll have you know there’s a reasonable explanation why I do this.

My family throws away perfectly good food. For real. And to clarify, I only eat the food that’s laying on top. It’s not like I dig down and scrounge under wrappers and empty containers looking for chicken bones and half eaten sandwiches. Although a half eaten sandwich still in the baggie or left on a paper plate is an acceptable find.

It started a few years ago. Post kids. I can’t remember ever eating out of the garbage can before I became a mother. But one day, I went to throw something away, and found a cheeseburger—right there, on top, with only one bite missing. And, I was hungry. I did hesitate for a second. I mean, we are talking about the trashcan. And you know, trashcans are filled with snot rags, and hairballs and moldy bread. But this cheeseburger was almost perfect and just laying there, wanting to be eaten…practically begging me, calling out “Eat me, Shauna. See how yummy I am?” So I reached in, scooped it out, blew on it (you know, to get the cooties off) and then gobbled it up. The whole thing.

And that was the beginning.

Now, looking for perfectly acceptable half eaten food in the garbage can is part of my daily routine. You can’t imagine the goldmine that rests in the cylindrical stainless steel container in the corner of my kitchen: milkshakes, and quesadillas, Lean Cuisines and curly fries. A girl could eat for days! And a certain girl generally does. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I’m a disgusting pig, and normally I would agree with you.

But I’m telling you, you’re wrong this time. What I am is a genius. Do you know how much money I’m saving my family by eating the leftovers they so frivolously throw away?

Oh look, a barely chewed piece of gum. Mmm. Minty.

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