What, you ask, do I mean by salvaged food? Let me tell you, it ain't for the ultra fastidious or the weak of stomach.
Many stores and greengrocers (produce stores) will through out bags and boxes of fruits and veggies that my have one or two bad apples, potatoes, tomatoes, whatever, rather than sort through it and re-bag. A lot, and I mean a lot, goes into the dumpster.
Much can be salvaged, and what cannot, can either be fed to the chickens or pig, put in the compost pile. Nothing should go to waste!
We have a small produce store that has told us to just go through the dumpster and take whatever we want. Recently we took home 4 flats of strawberries, a box of apricots, three pineapples, a bunch of rhubarb, two boxes of green grapes, two eggplants, several cantaloupes, and an onion.
My wife made over twenty jars of jam, syrup, and preserves out of the strawberries. Several jars of apricot butter, also peach butter(I forgot to mention them, and several mangoes). She is drying the rhubarb for future pies. She is canning the grapes for future use also. The onion we'll use in cooking, the small head of cabbage will become coleslaw. So you have to sort through it and cut out the bad spots, Think of all the fruits and veggies you'll have with no money out of your pocket, just a little work.
Now some will say, "But that's garbage!". Have you ever toured a canning plant, checked the label on some sausages. I once bought some chorizo that was made from hog salivary glands, snouts, and other assorted parts that if I had read the ingredients before, I certainly would not have bought it.
With the economic upheaval we are experiencing now, getting food this way might become more rewarding. Just be sure to tell them you want it for your chickens, pig, or compost pile. If you tell them you're going to eat it, they won't give it to you because of the possibility of getting sued if some one gets sick. Use some discretion here. Happy food gathering!
OWEN NEWMAN 2008