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Dumpster diving

(article, Culinate staff)

It's no secret that food has become a topic worthy of academic study. But for one enthusiastic anthropology student at the University of Washington, "field work" now means getting down and dirty in local Dumpsters. 

As Katherine Long reported in the Seattle Times,_ David Giles is writing a doctoral thesis "examining how cultural assumptions of what is appetizing lead to the disposal of surplus, edible food." 

At issue, of course, is the First World's love of waste: "The 31-year-old Australia native hopes his work will raise awareness of the volume of edible food that gets thrown out and will prompt people to think about how they might get more food into the hands of the hungry — perhaps by giving it to a food bank or handing it out to the homeless in a park."

Tips for aspiring freegans? Giles does eat the food he scavenges from Dumpsters, soaking the produce in a sinkful of water with a half-cup of bleach swirled in, then rinsing the produce thoroughly. Bon appétit!