Recently, few members of the household have been going dumpster diving. This leaves less fresh food in the house and frustrates the individuals who found the items as the food they found disappears and is not replaced by anyone. I will refrain from naming persons unless it is completely necessary or unavoidable. I will herein analyze this problem and see what things are exasperating it, this is not meant to chastise any party involved but instead to bring up all of the problems surrounding food gathering and, hopefully, to solve them.
Purchasing food has added to confusion about how much community food is available and the value said of foods. When all food is from dumpsters and thus jointly owned by the Casbah one could glance in the refrigerator and quickly see that we had just gotten food or if we hadn’t gotten food in weeks. The constant amount of fresh food in the refrigerator gives the impression that there is more food available than there actually is. This is not bad it is just a something that people need to be aware of.
Purchasing food has also led to an awkward dynamic in the house. Purchased food has a higher value than dumpstered food for obvious reasons. People who purchase food aren’t dependent on dumpster diving and often don’t eat as much dumpster food, when dumpster food isn’t available they simply switch their consumption to purchased food and experience little problem with their being no dumpstered food. Meanwhile those who don’t purchase foods rely on the dumpster food and when this food runs out they are the only ones who feel a strong incentive to dumpster dive. This dynamic causes a rift between the two groups and removes joint ownership of food responsibilities.
One thing that has worked well for Sheep is that he has a personal refrigerator leaving his purchased goods separated from the jointly owned food, thus most of the Casbah members don’t even know the food exists and don’t take it into account. Obviously that isn’t doable in all situations because this would lead to there being way to many fridges in the house and not enough food in any of them. However, another possibility going along with this would be dividing the purchased food from the jointly owned food by segregating it on separate shelves and cabinets. This happened in the past with our recently deported G.I. Joe. Though his majorly aggressively vibes have at last been eradicated, this idea seems to be a good one, in retrospect. His purchased foods were clearly separated in cabinets and on one shelf that we just ignored.
Recently there have been fewer people going dumpster diving leaving both less food and more ‘ownership’ feelings towards the food that is dumpstered. The first problem isn’t as bad as it has been for those who dumpster dive as there only food source as it has been in the past, due to the massive surplus of non-perishable foods, ie. canned soups and frozen foods.
The second problem is that less people are going dumpster diving and when they go they often go alone or with only 1 other person. Thus, the person who finds the particular items feels entitled to them and becomes frustrated when they do not get to consume as much as they wanted, while to all of the others it came from a dumpster and is fair game (as is appropriate). Typically, when everyone goes dumpster diving in a group, the goods are thought of as communal and ownership issues are non-existent. However, in present conditions, the individual who finds the item feels resentful towards those who are consuming the goods.
To encourage joint ownership of food and duties of obtaining food, all persons should be diving, preferably in groups, so ownership is collective rather than individualistic. This should be encouraged rather than forced because dumpster diving is a fun group activity, not something we want to think about as a chore.