Feeding the Masses... For Free!

in food •  3 years ago  (edited)

One of the most common questions I get from people about my travels is how I manage to stick with my organic vegan diet while traveling with almost no money, and more than that, feed tons of people that same medicine food. There is no one answer to that, as it involves a combination of home-grown foods, farmers’ markets, shopping the “reduced produce” shelf, and dumpster diving.

So full they're spilling

For some reason, “western” culture is so dedicated to upholding the illusion of scarcity that businesses would rather (or are legally obligated to) throw pounds of food every day into the landfill than give it away. A lot of people tend to get stuck on that inefficiency, complaining about the percentage of food in America that ends up in the trash, and sometimes even asking for violent threats to be used against any company that throws edible food away (I've heard "Let's pass a law like France that requires companies to donate their out-dated food" far too much recently) . As with any issue, once you are aware of it, the best thing you can do is focus on possible solutions to it. In this case, by simply visiting your local grocery stores a little after they close, you are not only feeding people for free, but you are turning a “loss” as the company sees it into abundance.

Like so many things in the paradigm that we are transitioning out of, the idea that there isn’t enough food is not only based on a scarcity-mindset (and therefore not in alignment with reality), but is factually untrue.

On a logistical note, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's & Sprouts often have compactors (as do almost all Kroger or Safeway store) but it's worth checking. Natural Grocers, on the other hand, I've never seen a compactor, or even usually locks; they also separate their trash & compost. All you need is a headlamp and some gloves.

Saturday, March 12th: Our abundance-reclamation team came up with (on a very short run, about 15 miles round trip and maybe an hour of our time) 20+ pounds of potatoes (none of which were soft, sprouted, or moldy), 5 bags of apples (each of which had 2-3 smashed ones and 8-10 perfect ones), and apparently one store had emptied its meat freezer.

Meat Haul 1

While I personally do not consume meat, I know a lot of people who will eat these finds. The only thing I find worse than raising these animals in captivity for the explicit purpose of killing them, is to then throw away the meat, which is the entire justification for the genocide to begin with, “We need meat to feed people”. All of this meat was still packaged, still frozen, and it will be perfectly usable for many months to come. Sticker price on all this meat was just about $690. Let that sink in for a minute…

Here’s the breakdown of the meat that was tossed out:

11x Beef Tenderloin (7oz)
9x New York Strip (10oz)
4x Rib-eye (10oz)
10x Beef Stew Meat (16oz)
3x Whole Chickens (~4Lbs)
1x Chicken Breast (1Lb)
1x Pork Chop (1Lb)
1x Salmon Filet (8oz)

Wednesday, June 1: Tonight was ridiculously amazing. I took my friend Crash on his first run, and after 2 (of a planned 6) stores, we had to stop back at the Liberty Lodge to unload supplies before heading out to get the rest. After about 2 hours of the actual run, and another 2-3 hours cleaning, everything was packed into the refrigerators to the point that it was actually spilling out when you opened the door to one (see that top photo)

That One Night

Monday, July 25: Tonight was a night of yogurt! Apparently one store had an item or 5 explode in their dairy cooler, and instead of cleaning off the products that got splattered (with what I believe was sour cream), threw it all in the dumpster. I didn't manage to haul out nearly everything that was there, and I've found that most of the milk I bring back still ends up getting thrown away, not many dairy-drinkers in this community. I did manage to rescue a LOT of coconut, almond, and grassfed-cow yogurts :-) That's about $110 in yogurt you see right here, most of it dated for August 10th or so.

The Great Yogurt Haul!

Originally posted to my website on March 13th, edited to include other great runs.

#abundancereclamation #freefood #feedthepeople #kennysconsciouskitchen #bethechange #livesimple

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

This is the best thing I've read on Steem today. I wonder if so much food is thrown away here in the UK? I'd love to see some videos of you guys donating food and finding it.

Wow, thanks! I wouldn't be surprised, especially at any corporate chain stores. I just recently got a video camera donated to my work, and am going to work on that :-)

Keep up the good work my friend! It's people like you who make the world a better place.

I really appreciate that.

I am shocked at the level of waste especially in the meat markets. I really do need to just go visit my local butcher and produce shop instead of the big chain and get my mindset right on how I think about sustainable living. Thanks for this amazing info!

You're very welcome! Let me know if you have any questions.

  ·  3 years ago (edited)

I know here in Canada it can be as much as 30%... possibly more. I see good food thrown away all the time where I work. Funny because I barely make enough to eat well lol.

Kenny that is amazing - I would definitely go for a run with you!

Let's make it happen sometime. I'm a little scared to think what actually makes it into the dumpsters in Acapulco haha. We may need to meet up somewhere else.

I see you have not yet done an introduceyourself post. People here on Steemit would like to have some verification of your identity--generally a photo of yourself holding up a piece of paper that says "Steemit" and today's date. This is just to ensure that no one has stolen your pics/blogpost/identity. Thanks and welcome to Steemit!

I'll be doing that shortly. It's always easier to talk about something other than myself haha.

Cool. Saw it. Thanks :)

o m g mate ready for a nuclear bomb or what???

It all tends to get distributed pretty quick actually. I try to feed as many people as possible :-)

great man!

"Apparently one store had an item or 5 explode in their dairy cooler, and instead of cleaning off the products that got splattered (with what I believe was sour cream), threw it all in the dumpster."

That just blows my mind. It's frightening to think how common these kinds of practices are within the food industry! The U.S. in particular wastes an INSANE amount of food (40% !!!) which is a real tragedy. Anyway, I really admire the work that you're doing and it'd be terrific to see some video footage of it in the future.

Oh, and kudos for being a sensible vegan! As a vegan myself, I agree that it doesn't make much sense to let perfectly good meat go to waste, even if we're not going to consume it ourselves.

It's almost inconceivable that people would ever let that much food go to waste, and it's nice to know that I'm not the only one doing this, there are people all over the world helping to reclaim this abundance :-)

I just got a video camera in the last couple of weeks, and plan on making some footage of runs, along with many other forms of world-changing I take part in. Working on editing up a couple videos I filmed for We Are Change Colorado right now.

Thanks; I don't really consider myself a vegan so much as I practice mindful eating. I am very mindful of the things I put in my body, how they make me feel, what the energy put into them is, etc. My body doesn't like the feeling of meat, milk, or cheese. Not to mention the waste & pollution created through the livestock industry itself, methane from cows will have more of an effect on temperature than CO2. How much GM corn & soy is grown every year, just to feed animals that are later going to be eaten? (animals who would much rather be eating grass by the way).

That's awesome, man! :) Change starts from within and it's always great to see people who are not only talking the talk but walking the walk. I read some articles recently about a restaurant in India that placed a couple of refrigerators outside their establishment and filled them with paper bags of leftover food for the homeless to take. One of my goals is to open a plant-based restaurant in the future with an emphasis on solar cooking, and I'd like to adopt this same sort of practice. Sustainability doesn't end with where our food comes from but where it's going, too.

Yeah, animal agriculture is one of the worst (if not the worst) culprits of environmental degradation and destruction. Cowspiracy is a wonderful documentary film that highlighted this key point. The way I see it, if it weren't for the billions of dollars in government subsidies that are given to the meat, dairy, and egg industries in the U.S. (maybe in the UK and other countries, too, I'm not sure), this wouldn't be as big of a problem as it is today. It'd be great to have those subsidies abolished and watch the rise of entrepreneurial advancements in cultured meat (such as SuperMeat) become widely adopted in the marketplace.

Wonderful! We definitely need more places like that, just like we need more of the pay-what-you-can restaurants, more Food Not Bombs, etc. I feel like the biggest thing is what the intention behind the food is; the more it was created out of love, the better it's going to be.

I'm very much down for people shifting away from supporting those industries. I am, however, very wary of things like lab-grown meat.

Just posted my first video of a mission, thanks for the motivation :-)

Fantastic! I just saw it and upvoted! :)

Nice post..As kids in New Zealand we would wait for the right days and jump the fences behind a store that would throw out there expired chocolate bars. We would have enough for the next month until they did it again,lol...The expiry is by law it doesn't mean the food has gone bad. Although obviously with some foods you have to be more careful.

That's awesome! Ya, you definitely can't just eat any and every thing you find. A large part of what I have been doing is taking people out for their first runs and "showing them the ropes". Now that I have have a camera, I will definitely be making some videos breaking down the important details for people.

  ·  3 years ago (edited)

Nice score! We had a community of 20+ and everyone would be well fed on organic, mostly vegan food, from trader joes and sunflower market dumpsters... we were living large and would dehydrate bananas, zuchinnis and whatever else we'd find. Really great memories.

Its really fun to manifest with dumpsters... try visualizing and intending what you will find and you will find what you intend.. miracles unfold. I remember finding a case of maple syrup when one of the kids wanted maple.. like magic :-)

I am also vegan.. woohoo!

Sorry @allahhh, somehow I didn't see this post until just now. It's a great way to do things, I've seen dozens of avocadoes, gallons of coconut yogurt, cases of kombucha, and much more manifest when asked for :-)

Hey man! You are featured in the first ever issue of Golden Nuggets from Steemit! Check it out here!

Holy WOW! That's awesome :-)
I'm so stoked right now! I'm going to go share the hell out of Golden Nuggets :-)

This is an amazing post and story ! 💕🙌

Thank you!

Keep up the great work, would love to see some more posts or pics on the distribution to the hungry masses. :)

Good article - it always makes me "sick" to see so much food go to waste - I agree that countries/governments should make companies donate food that is jsut coming up to 'sell by date' - when they dont get rid of it that day by reduction. Old peoples homes, orphanges, homeless, foodbanks etc could all benefit from this

Thanks! I agree, and that's why I make a point of doing something about it everywhere I go :-) Not to mention I love to cook, so it's wonderful having tons of random food come my way to cook for a community of super-heroes.

Sweet! We used to live in some apartments near LA that would sometimes have amazing goods in the dumpsters. Folks would move and just throw perfectly good furniture away. It was nuts. I haven't done the food thing yet though.

Yep, in this goofy ass consumer culture, you can find just about anything in a dumpster.

Loving watching you do your thing Kenny

Thanks Elissa! Hope you're having a wonderful summer, loving your posts :-)

thanks! You too, its endlesss summer here, one less stress I love to be warm....you´ve been secretly teaching me lotsa stuff so thanks for that too : )))

Ya, I didn't think about that.

Well, that's delightful! I love being able to share the benefits of the lessons I live :-) I would love to share space again sometime, you are hilarious, insightful, and wonderful!

Your are an inspiration man. The work you are doing is awesome.

Thank you, I'm just doing what I can to create & share solutions for any problems I find :-)

in Russia expired goods sold :-(

Keep being beautiful! You're a fucking super hero!

Thank you for everything you do for the community, the world, the universe. Bless Iyah Bredren!

Thank you brother! We've got quite the super hero tribe :-) I'll see you soon, sending love.

Yogurt heaven...;-)

Luckily I just got a pound of oats as well, time to toast em up for granola :-)

Great article. Nice to have you in our facebook group :-)

Thank you! I look forward to diving into the Steemit world!

This is awesome!

Thank you!

Okay, I need to go try this. I'll post results later.

Awesome! I look forward to seeing what you come up with :-)

Thanks! I'll check it out :-)

Do you ship?

What do you mean?

Scarcity is a myth! It's artificially created to enslave people. Great post and keep up with your great work!

Absolutely true! Thanks for your encouragement :-)

Thank you Kenny for this heartwarming article

You're very welcome :-) Thank you!

It looks like you might be interested in my geothermal greenhouse.


This is so great. By the way, if you're worried about germs, etc. just soak all the veggies and fruits you reclaim in vinegar and water. This will clean them and make them last longer -- much longer. And it's safe. Try it.


Yep, I clean everything off before I put it away/start distributing it :-)



lovin you phamily!

Thanks! Loving you :-)

Great content Kenny ;)

Thank you!

Thank you for what you do :-D

thank you brother! So glad you joined us here :-)

Sweet! You are doing a great service. I love it!

Thank you!

Reminds me of the good ole days dumpster diving and picking up donated food for Food Not Bombs. Live well!

Awesome, I love FnB :-) Thank you, and you do the same.