Dumpster Diving as a Necessity for the Homeless

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Principles of Safe Eating While Dumpster Diving
  • The Effect of Students and Manufacturers on Dumpster Diving
  • Conclusion


The author teaches the reader about being homeless and safe dumpster diving. Essay written by Eighner teaches us what is safe to eat, be aware of what one is having relating to his experience. Eighner describes in detail how dumpster diving becomes an everyday task for the homeless it's one of the ways to survive. 'Eating safely from the Dumpsters involves three principles: using the senses and common sense to evaluate the condition of the found materials, knowing the Dumpsters of a given area and checking them regularly, and seeking always to answer the question 'Why was this discarded?' (Eighner 88). 

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Principles of Safe Eating While Dumpster Diving

He tells us his experience with his idea that canned foods are the most dependable when observing in the dumpsters, and it is one of the safest. 'Canned goods are among the safest of foods to be found in Dumpsters, but are not utterly foolproof' (Eighner 88). He also talks about insignificant wasted foods, such as chocolate, pizzas, peanut butter, and other organic foods. He said that chocolate is thrown away, even though it remains edible. 'Chocolate is often discarded only because it has become discolored as the cocoa butter de-emulsified. Candying after all is one method of food preservation because pathogens do not like very sugary substances' (Eighner 89). He also tells us the way to get the best stuff from the dumpster, 'By far the best way to go through a Dumpster is to lower yourself into it. Most of the good stuff tends to settle at the bottom because it is usually weightier than the rubbish' (Eighner 94). The quote, as mentioned earlier, illustrates how homeless people desperate about everyday living needs and how they take seriously about daily living.

The Effect of Students and Manufacturers on Dumpster Diving

Next, Eighner represented college students as rich people who waste a lot of useable sources. 'Students throw out many good things, including food' (Eighner 89). His quote represents not only individual college students but also relates to food manufacture companies. Many foods get discarded due to over the expiration date or little defects at the packing stage, which is an unnecessary waste for the company. It would approximately worth billions of dollars.


After reading this story, I feel very appreciative that I have a warm room to rest, a secured place to stay, and prepared food to eat. Though, Eighner's essay did not change my point of view on homelessness. I understand that there are many reasons to become homeless, such as disabilities, kids who were abandoned on the street, people who temporarily ran away from home due to family discord, lost their homes due to fire, and runaway youth. However, if one becomes homeless because of negligence, 

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