If you’ve ever found a hubby or sweetheart in a bar, why the heck shouldn’t you get perfectly fine fruit out of a dumpster?? (It’s the same as the bar pal men, sweet, hinky, cheap & always a few bruised spots.) My ole granny used to say ‘the sweetest fruit has a rotten spot. Actually, she meant it about MEN. But I’ve found it’s actually true about food too! 


We’ve all found beaux in bars and they were useful or fun or both for a while. Well, I’ve found many wonderful things in dumpsters. The best trash in L.A. was behind the 99c Store: Waste paper baskets, brooms, children’s toys, fake flowers! Stuffed animals. (I put a teddy bear through the washing machine, dried it in the sun and gave it to a litter of kittens!) And endless food! Just before they bought lockable dumsters, I found FIVE net bags of tangelos, 50 costly fruits, each bag had one that had become a little soft but as they were in bags, they just tossed the others along with the one bad one. I planted the bad ones as the seeds were ready to sprout, (you never let citrus seed dry out. You plant it damp!) And I immediately juiced up the rest, filling a JUICY JUICE 64 oz plastic container with something even the Beverly Hills Hotel doesn’t serve, as their juice is mere oranges at l0$ a glass. The Tangelo beats all.  And it was a quart!

A woman named Elizabeth Gibson found a similar treasure, a million dollar painting appeared in her NYC dumpsterTHE DUMPSTER PAINTING! Read up on it, the thing is famous!  I get great antique paintings at garage sales but not in dumpsters. Not yet, but I’m always hoping! What I get most regularly out of the 99c store Treasure box is superb food. And not a bit dirty. Not even dirt cheap--- Free. Reason it’s fresh and succulent is that it comes in plastic packages, cello wrapped and also, I go daily, as soon as the produce man puts it out there, I’m on it! Try twenty pounds of bananas for BANANA BREAD. (Walnuts are costly but NOW you can afford them!) Try a bag of grapefruit. Get it home, wash it off, dry it. Maybe a spot on an edge somewhere; that comes off. The rest gets juiced immediately, put in the JUICY JUICE plastic 64 oz jug. I maybe put half grape juice in there because that mix is a total WOW! 


Oprah did a segment on dumpster divers:

Here are a couple links to the episode...

The trash tour: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Trash-Tour

A slide show and article: http://www.oprah.com/world/How-Far-Would-You-Go/1


Third Coast audio (in the business of promoting great audio-art and radio documentaries) recently featured a documentary that we think you might like. It's about this guy, name Darren, who's a career dumpster diver in Toronto. You can hear it here: The Hunter film: http://www.thirdcoastfestival.org/library/961-the-hunter

There are tons of other radio stories about everything under the sun in our audio library. And if you like it, we hope you'll share it on your

website. http://www.thirdcoastfestival.org/library


Frugal inspiration for a weekend of TRADER JOES DUMPSTERS. Everything is wrapped still iced, cold. The berries can be rotten as we PLANT THEM! But 75% are fine. Float them in water to tell what’s good. Big markets now lock their dumpsters, but if you wait for the produce man to exit, maybe you can tip him for access. If not, just get in his face grabbing, saying ‘I have four kids who haven’t eaten in twenty four hours, please! ANYTHING.” Better a white lie that hurts no one than a black one that hurts millions.. like Afghanis did 911 so 3 weeks later, OCT 7 2001, we have to Invade AFGHANISTAN and kill a million people….alleging OSAMA is there, another lie.


The trick with DUMPSTER DIVING FOR FOOD is, only take bagged stuff, or in cello-packs, or mostly they throw it away in a huge plastic bag which I slit to peek. I take nothing touching walls of dumpster and be cautious that you take nothing that flies could get to. (The only exception would be rotten berries as you don’t eat them. You plant them. Yes, I squish the berries a little with my hands in water, and plant the slush itself in flats, then later, I trade baby berry plants for bags of potting soil. I put my BARTER ad at Craigs list. I get huge bags of potting soil, which would cost me 8$ each, for a few babies sitting out on my sun/shade ping pong table nursery. I’ve been offered trucks full of mulch, too.


When I see dozens of plastic wrapped boxes of sweet peppers, red/ yellow, orange and green, and Puebla peppers, Anaheims, etc, I wash, dry, slice and take out seeds. Then, I fry all these rainbow peppers in olive oil with my quasi salted, home cured olives, (Neighbor has tree,) I wash salt off……add jalapenos, cleaned up, onions, garlic and give it a long slow fry. Then, I throw mélange into old peanut butter jars, squish down, then cover over the top of peppers with oil so no pepper is exposed to air. I fridge it. Every time I eat meat in a corn tortilla I slather my pepper salad on the taco. WOW! So much VIT C that it doesn’t last a week, but what a week!


I find cucumbers in trays, plastic covered, I wash them, dry them, peel (take off nicks,) and make my own PICKLES. IN SUMMER TIME those dumpsters are filled with cukes! Nectarines, peaches also.. which instantly become jam. I find Onions in net bags, wash dry, store in produce drawer. When I find the booty in the dumpster, the produce is in individual bags or plastic coffins cellophane wrapped. Another ‘exit’ wrap is the box. I then take the entire box as I plant seeds of the mushy stuff. A crate of berries will give you thousands of plants you can sell at 4$ each! Often the employee has kindly bagged this treasure trash in a 40 gallon black plastic trash bag so nobody will see it. HA! I SEE IT! I slit these big bags open to see the clean, protected foods inside. Then take the entire bag. It’s Just as clean as it was in the ole mercado. I reach in carefully not bumping sleeves, elbows wrists or fingers against the metal container, and by going daily, do not touch or try to use food that’s been there two days or twenty hours…and avoid touching the gucky stuff.  One store, a healthfood store, let me come in and they’d pile up the things right in the market. 10 32 oz yogurts, a dozen bottles of milk, a rat-munched dog kibble bag. I then created a route of starving people. I had a car in those days. Made home deliveries.. 


RULES: Never tell the produce manager or employees inside the market, “why do you waste food like this? In that bag, 15 oranges were perfect, only one was soft. ”Ditto the potatoes. Ditto the tomatoes. Why don’t you lazy fools re-bag it, just removing the one bad fruit??” Are you crazy? HUNGRY people won’t find anything there if you do that! Markets do not rebag. FORGETABOUT teaching the help! Just be grateful the stuff is there when you visit that parking lot. Or alley. And ya know what? There ARE other hungry visitors outside, you know. Even if you didn’t see them at that precise minute. NEXT RULE: Don’t tell the men you date that the food you serve them came from a dumpster. Don’t tell girlfriends that you do this either, unless you think you can teach them the art of procuring cheap food. One in ten wants to try. The other nine hear you have a head cold and immediately think it was your garbage diet! And that way , I can show up with a huge bag of grapefruit and say ‘my neighbor’s tree.’ And give it to them.


POPULAR SITES ON THE SUBJECT – THE FREEGANS and their maps of great stores/ dumpsters

Google ‘freegans’ & you’ll find fascinating Newsweek, New York Times articles on them. 


http://urbandumpsterdiver.wordpress.com/  GREAT BLOG








ONIONS – GARLIC SPROUTED or  Bags of onions, slightly sprouted. They come home, get planted in the garden, bloom with big purple flowers. A really fresh onion was washed, dried(no wet food in fridge) and went in produce drawer in my fridge. Onions are 50c an lb now, so I NEED THEM!


DUMPSTER CAULIFLOWER - Simmer broken up chunks of cauliflower for 8min. Meanwhile off to side, fry 4 oz. Bacon or meat in olive oil w. onions, garlic. USE IRON SKILET. When cooked, 2 min, add chopped cilantro and chopped fresh dumpster tomatoes, throw in the cooked cauliflower, stir, cook one min.more then serve with a pair of corn tortillas (NO PRESERVATIVES,), heated on fire. ALTERNATE: SQUASH- Chop; yellow/green squash, simmer 8min. MAKE PAKORAS with it. Chick pea flour is cheap at Hindu/ARAB or Armenian markets. EVERYTHING IS! Half the price of Chain SuperMarkets.


DUMPSTER ROMAINE- Slice off neck, soak in sink l hr, root down; neck inhales water! Then, pick off leaves too fried by heat. Shake crispy leaves, dry in colander, bag up, and put in fridge. Same treatment for carrots. Soak in sink overnight. If they’re spotted, I cut them up, toss spots, simmer 5 hours in crock pot, drain, toss in the fried chicken iron skillet which has remnants of today’s chicken (for my cats,) and that oil keeps them from getting freezer burn as I squash ‘em in containers and freeze them. Every day when I make cat meat, I’ll take out a half cup of carrots, cook them with the cat’s meat. And I give them as is to possums in woodpile who get fed nightly. I like these stupid animals as they have eaten every snail and slug in my entire garden. I used to fill a bag with a pound a night, during a chilly flashlight walk! Who needs that misery. They do it for me, now. So Every night they get carrots or apples or the bones from cat’s chicken which they demolish with their little shark teeth. I take iceberg lettuce for another reason. It is a soporific. Make salad at bedtime you sleep as if you’d had poppy bolux, dreaming in Chinese all night long. See INSOMNIA.


DRESSING: the brands you find in dumpsters are not so hot but I extend them with olive oil, homemade seasoned salt, lemon juice, onion slices, garlic squeezed in. or chipped in. anchovy paste. Mayo, chopped cukes. To make dressing taste Oriental, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, and even whizzed up tofu, soft kind. Makes creamy dressing.


BLACK BING CHERRIES: Float them, spot bad ones, cut off spots, take rest, soft simmer with sugar, lemon, lemon peel for 5 min. PULL SEEDS out of bad cherries, put in wet peat moss in fridge for two months, then sow them to get trees. THE GOOD CHERRIES you simmer with sugar, throw into jars, keep frozen or near freezing. They will rot in fridge unless you turn them into highly sugared jam as cherries have HIT VIT C. Those things require JAM procedures. Sugar is a preservative, so is HONEY. NOTE: My mistake in this recipe was only taking five pounds of cherries when there were fifty pounds in the dumpster. Most every cherry was perfect. The stewed cherries were about three glass jars worth. BUT THIS FRUIT is so unusually tasty and useful! ON TOP OF YOGURT. And it’s the superb blood builder of all time, for vital health. The cherry juice goes into my freshly made GRAPEFRUIT juice. EVEN though I get dead ripe grapefruits that in fact fell on the ground all around this HOT, California interior valley, with the tree owner’s blessings, THIS FRUIT needs a little sweetening but the incredible cherry flavour is sooooo wow! Try it with RED WINE, as a cherry sangria!


BANANAS have shot to 79c an lb so I can’t buy them any more. Dumpster Bananas become banana bread. I cut them into cereal, if it has started to get mushy, we all have cinnamon, nutmeg, milk in blender, a banana to sweeten, WOW! WOW! BANANA SHAKES ROCK! Throw walnuts in there when you make ‘em, good flavor. Nutmeg too.


BERRIES and KIWIS become JAM. MIX LEMON PEEL and LEMON JUICE with the fruit. Simmer 5 min, throw into old peanutbutter jars, well washed, lid when cool, keep in fridge. I don’t sterilize. It’s gone too quick! All the soft berries you can’t eat or jam, rub into a quart of water to free the seeds, plant them in flats. Baby berry plants get set in garden when five inches high.


KIWI/ LEMON – Peel kiwis, slice. Boil wi. Sugar, lemon peel or zest and lemon juice. Take the black seeds out of raw fruit and plant it. Google propagation + kiwi.


BERRY/LEMON – Pluck out dented berries, simmer rest wi equal amt sugar and lemon zest and juice ALL DENTED BERRIES get planted in acidic soil, kept moist. Vines result.

APRICOTS/LEMON – Leave the skins on. You can even cook the jam with the stones, remove after they jell.


NOTE YOU CANNOT FIND MULBERRIES AT ANY MARKET but if you find a tree, add LEMON and RIND as it make good jam. MULBERRIES have no citric note so they really need lemon/ zest.

You will note that Lemon peel, zest and juice are required for most fruit & adding it is the secret of tasty jam.


Nectarine/peaches- Float them. Really rotten fruit sinks. Pick thru the rest, cut off rotten spots, peel, chop. ADD lemon peels, lemon juice, sugar, simmer five min. Jar up, freeze or near freezing. In fridge they mold after five weeks but not in freezer. 


POMEGRANATE – Juice on orange juicer. Boil with sugar til syrupy. Store in glass jars. TO USEadd to GINGER ALE for SHIRLEY TEMPLES. Add to water for an unusual drink. Throw in red wine you have Sangria Anti-oxidant rich so makes us young. Plant plenty of the seeds in a flat. Little pomegranate trees identical to mom.


BELL PEPPERS and CHILE PEPPERS are the most often found items. They lie in little coffins of plastic, with film over them, and none are corpses. All are perfectly delicious and fresh. MAYBE ONE has a spot. The store saw that spot and threw away the whole package. Sheer lunacy! These bells LIVED for us, and someone interrupted the process? I find thousands of them, wrapped neatly, inside of a big black trash bag, which when ripped open with a fingernail reveals a field of plenty! Heat olive oil, slice, eviscerate, (saving seed for the garden next spring,) fry with onion, garlic, then the meat goes in, served all in a delicious melange. Let’s hear it for PEPPERS! 


CrookNeck yellow squash. Simmer in water with onion pieces, cilantro. In separate pan, fry olive oil wi. Onion, garlic, throw vegies in it, use your homemade seasoning salt, melt a few week old garlic jack cheese cheese pieces on top.It melts and freshens up,so keep old cheese around. Hey, in FRANCE, they keep cheese in a cellar for years, you think six months in your fridge is a deal breaker? 


APPLES- Cut off bruises and throw ‘em thru a JUICER. Pith goes to possums. I feed possums nightly as they have eaten every snail in both gardens, so I forgive their making nests in the sealed garage that they had the wits to break into. These little guys love apples. They go to their little dish in the middle of the woodpile (50 feet of antique redwood plank fencing with all kinds of livable spaces, covies in the middle….and they eat well. If I have left over foods of any sort, it goes to them as they’re omnivores. I didn’t think they’d go for eggplant in porky-sauce. THEY LOVED it. Hey, if there’s ever a recession, I’d eat the possums before I ate the mice and rats! Last night, my big tomcat Salty had a big fat rat in his mouth. I couldn’t stop him, it grieved me, but hey. Meat is meat. He’s tired of the chickens I boil up, peel and debone.


My favorite recipe with apples is cooked with honey, butter, spices, rum or brandy flavoring, walnuts. Keep a pint around full time for yogurt. REMEMBER apples  make juice. HONEY CRISP is the best but there’s no controlling what Dumpster’s spittin at ya. . I save all 64 oz jugs so the kids don’t know their JUICE was made while they were at school, made with real, healthy fruit. They only trust pasteurized crap with lots of corn syrup in it. Green apples turn into baked goods with cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, sugar. And a real butter crust.


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Our POSTER is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, Futurist and Astrologer. Catch up with her websites  TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The  FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! FRUGAL LIFE STYLE TIPS,  HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also ARTISANRY FOR EXPORT, EARN EUROS....* Anita is at astrology@earthlink.net ). Get a 15$ natal horoscope "my money/future life" reading now + copy horoscope as a Gif file graphic! No smarter, more accurate career reading out there!
















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