Dumpster Diving: A Story in Food Porn

(photo from All Things Footy)
Vegan MoFo Day #7!

I went dumpster diving for the first time last week in Northampton, MA, with my housemate, a seasoned diver. I can’t remember if my first reaction to dumpster diving was, “WTF gross?!” or “That’s awesome, get ye in a dumpster!” but I’m a big fan now. My farm share is about to run out and the outside has officially become a cost-free refrigerator, so why not? Below you will find what, and how much we got, and some of the things we’ve made from our bounty thus far!

This is all our goods spread out on the table by vegetable. We then sorted through, weighed, and chopped up anything that needed to be chopped.

Weighing the artichokes! Soooooo many! But we’ll get to that later. Our final count was:

– 1 lb. sweet peas
– 7.5 lbs. artichokes
– 4 lbs. 3 oz. green peppers
– 4 lbs. yellow squash
– 3 lbs. broccoli
– 7 large, white onions
– 1 lb. carrots
– 7 lbs. eggplant
– 1 pack green beans
– 1 pack yellow beans
– 1 pack sugar snap peas
– 1 bunch collards
– 1 bunch parsley
– 3 stalks celery
– 1 mango
– 1 bunch green grapes

That is a lotta food, my friends. So the rest of the night we scrambled to prepare and make stuff from it all so it wouldn’t go bad. Here are some photos of our preparations:

The sugar snap peas, rinsed and looking all pretty. I put some of these in some homemade ramen soup I may blog about later.

The peppers, being all green ‘n shizz. We cut any bruised spots off so we just had the good stuff. There’s also a ton of whole peppers in the fridge that I have plans for. Well, for some of them. Our fridge is packed!

The eggplants after roasting in the oven. My housemate made these into an eggplant spread.

My housemate also breaded some eggplant in cornmeal and deep-fried them to yield these beauties, which later became eggplant parmesan.

The next day, I took peppers, celery and onions from our dumpster adventure and chopped them up with some garlic and parsley. Garlic was mine and parsley was from our farm share.

I also roasted the rest of the eggplants and chopped them up. I combined everything, plus some dumpstered broccoli and turned it into this…!

Here is some Creamy Creole Eggplant Casserole from the blog FatFree Vegan Kitchen. It used the celery, eggplant, onions AND peppers from the dumpster, which is why I chose this recipe. I omitted the mushrooms, only because I didn’t have any, though it would have been even better with them!


Some steamed artichokes. We steamed the entire 7.5 pounds of them, and damn did it take a lot of effort, but finally, we got these:

Twelve artichoke hearts, which I turned, along with some dumpstered onions, eggplant and previously dumpstered chard, into this vision of pure perfection (don’t worry, that’s Daiya!):

But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that recipe…


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  1. That’s so awesome, I’ve wanted to go dumpster diving for ages & that’s a great haul!

    vegan.in.brighton / Reply
  2. i remember being very disgusted when we started dumpster diving (mainly for food not bombs here in vancouver) not because i had some ick-out feelings about eating food stores had thrown away but by the sheer quantities of waste! there are people going hungry! people who can’t afford fresh fruit & veg! what kind of nutty world do we live in that this is considered acceptable?

    anyway, niiiiice haul; and what you processed it all into looks great.

    Kreeli / Reply
  3. Now, I’m confused. Did you get all of those veggies from your CSA or the dumpster?

    zelmazal / Reply
  4. zelmazal, everything pictured is from the dumpster! Crazy huh?

    Nicole / Reply
  5. Are you stealing some homeless persons food? I’m glad someone is using it.

    Anonymous / Reply
  6. […] housemate and I went dumpster diving the other day and managed to acquire 8 POUNDS of artichokes. It was my first time dumpstering and I’m […]

  7. […] Photo Credits: Feature¬†Vegannomnoms […]

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