Woman reveals how she cooks Christmas dinner using food she finds in dumpsters

Woman reveals how she cooks Christmas dinner using food she finds in dumpsters

Christmas dinner is one of the best parts of the festive season, and just listing the ingredients out loud is usually enough t0 make my mouth water. Turkey and stuffing, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes and Brussel sprouts. Simply delicious.

But a more negative aspect of the Christmas dinner is the cost of all that food: it doesn't come cheap! However, a woman from Australia has managed to circumvent the costs in an ingenious, albeit off-putting way; namely, by dumpster diving for fresh food that retailers have carelessly thrown away.

Lauren Mueller, who hails from Victoria, first began this unusual practice when she was still a poor student studying environmental science at Deakin University, after being encouraged to try it out by a friend.

While at first expecting the food to be rotten and festering with vermin, she instead discovered an abundance of clean and fresh food, the majority of it still in its packaging, as a well as a whole community of people doing the same. She's now managed to forage for the entirety of her three-course Christmas dinner for 2018, and is hopeful that others will do the same.

Lauren Mueller's friend Lenka preparing Christmas dinner. Credit: Press Association

Commenting on her dumpster-diving in a recent interview, Lauren stated: "We tried to go for things that wouldn’t go off, or make big batches of food as soon as we could then freeze them. In the weeks before Christmas Day, we went on lots of extra bin dives to make sure there was enough fresh fruit and vegetables. We even managed to get mulled wine, beer and cider, as well as Christmas crackers, napkins and a decorative wreath.

"I just hate the thought of food going to waste. Not only is it bad for the environment, but there are so many people living in poverty, struggling to afford to eat – I just don’t understand why we readily throw out perfectly good food ...  Most of the shopkeepers are really great about it and tell us to take whatever we like so long as we’re careful and don’t get sick - which none of us ever have. I think if people do have a problem it stems from social conditioning, and this pre-conceived idea of what thrown out food is like."

Some of the ingredients Lauren has salvaged while dumpster diving. Credit: Press Association

She added: "I understand it’s not seen as nice to see people going through bins, but there is a little naivety there about the state of the food we’re taking. It’s absolutely edible. In fact, we eat like kings and queens the day after a dive ...  I would convince anyone to give this a go.

"As a society, we waste so much food every year, and I hate to think of how much that ends up in landfills is completely edible. Not only does dumpster-diving help reduce waste and pass food on to those in need, but it saves you money and introduces you to a great community."

So, if you're dirt poor this Christmas, but still want to scoff down a big feast, then maybe you should take a leaf out of Lauren's book and see what you can scavenge. Happy hunting!