Dumpster Diving Response Essay

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Dumpster Diving Summary/Response “Dumpster Diving” is an essay by Lars Eighner, highlighting the good and bad of “scavenging” as he likes to call it. He brings to light how to become a diver, the stages divers go through, and his reservations about judging others who throw away perfectly good items. All in all, he is simply trying to enhance the fact that our culture is wasteful, and the large gaps between social classes. I think that Lars manages to keep his humanity intact, despite being homeless. He only takes items that he immediately needs or has a use for, the rest he leaves for others to discover and use. Eighner portrays a how-to guide in his essay, on how to become a diver. For anyone who is new to this sort of thing, it is must-know information. Eighner provides a simple three part checklist “using the senses and the 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, 147). He promises that if you follow these three points, you can not only eat safely, but eat well. As an example, canned goods, candy, dry goods, soda, and alcohol can be consumed safely. On the other hand wild game, homemade food, and ethnic foods should be avoided (148-151). The reasons behind this are botulism, upset stomach from ethnic foods, or lack of knowledge about them, and home made leftovers tend to be very old when thrown out. Upon further examination, I have realized that I am very “germaphobic” when it comes to food. If I think that someone has contaminated it while I walked away from it, I will get grossed out and automatically chuck it into the trash bin. As Eighner said, most people will throw out moldy cheese just because one corner is bad, and I have to agree I am a part of that group. In America we are so

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