When I just moved to Iceland I tried dumpster diving a couple of times. I think too much food that is still good is thrown out and I’m against this waste of products. I think a law like in France forbidding supermarkets to waste food is a good idea (French law forbids food waste by supermarkets). I support the concept of dumpster diving fully.
I tried it a couple of times and found lots and lots of good quality food. Maybe Reykjavik is a good city for dumpster diving because of the cool temperatures, keeping food fresh outside of the fridges too.
What I don’t like about dumpster diving is that … well … you have to go into a dumpster. And that’s a bit gross. I’m really not motivated enough to go into a dumpster on a regular basis. Again I would like to stress that a change in the system would be better, so the food doesn’t end up in the trash in the first place.
But good news for me: In Reykjavik there are weekly dumpster dive dinners and the organizers of these events collect the food. Last Wednesday I went for the first time. The dinners are held in a squat-like building downtown (but I was told it’s not actually a squat) close to where I live.
When I entered the venue I saw a big wooden table filled with vegetables and fruits: mostly potatoes, lots of spinach, apples, spring onions, bananas, peppers, cauliflower, garlic et cetera. but also various other products like ready-made pizza dough, tzatziki, several sauces, a leg of lamb, wraps, and an entire showcase of crisps. All attendees were encouraged to think of dishes to make with these ingredients. The pizza dough and apples were used to make apple-cinnamon rolls, for instance.
The dinners are well-visited, between 20 and 45 people show up every week to cook and eat together. Cooking for – and with – so many people takes a lot of time (this time it took around 2,5 hours), but I really like this idea of everybody preparing and enjoying a meal together made of food that would otherwise be wasted.
Go community spirit!