Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, September 9, 2009


Calling it stealing is crazy: Liked your "freegans" story. It demonstrated just how much food is wasted. And why shouldn't those in need be allowed to have this stuff? Even those not in need. It's destined for the garbage dump!

To call it stealing just doesn't make any kind of sense.

That some of those profiled choose to live without jobs, using only discarded material — including food — is fascinating. Reminds me, in a way, of the movie The Big Lebowski, only more so.

Interesting and a departure from your usual shtick of laughing at the green movement.
Mel Diamond, Phoenix

Dig the Gleaners: The Gleaners is an international society that's been in existence for thousands of years. In fact, the Bible has laws that allow gleaning (the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or in fields not economically profitable to harvest).

In the modern world, gleaning is practiced by humanitarian groups that distribute gleaned food to the poor and hungry. In a modern context, this can include the collection of food that would otherwise be thrown away by supermarkets at the end of the day. There are a number of organizations that practice gleaning to resolve issues of societal hunger — the Society of St. Andrew, for example.

I did this type of work for our production of the Rock Against Racism tour back in the 1980s with a member of the Chicago branch of the Gleaners society. We fed the whole crew at the concert we gave at the Encanto Park band shell that night.

Please look up gleaning in Wikipedia and learn what self-sufficient people have been doing to recycle, reduce, and reuse for some time before you at New Times decided it was newsworthy.

You should do more stories like this. Your anti-green campaign has gotten old.
James Bailey, Phoenix

Let 'em have the garbage: Eating garbage is disgusting, but not if the food is still pristine, which is the way some of it sounds in your story.

In any case, if those dumpster-diving zealots don't care about disease from the stuff, I say let 'em have it. It's ridiculous to outlaw taking garbage — food that nobody wants — from behind restaurants.
John Fallows, Phoenix

So-called anarchists: Thank you for this extraordinarily well-written article. I'm glad that New Times is bringing attention to the majority of society's wasteful habits. It's good to let people know that even grocery chains could be doing something other than throwing away "bad" and unsellable food.

However, I really want to applaud you for highlighting some of the more hypocritical and ridiculous aspects of the movement against consumerism. I can only hope that these so-called anarchists don't brush off this article or the journalist for "not getting it."
Name withheld

Freegans = trust-funders?: What the so-called freegans are doing is pretty much considered theft, even if all they're doing is stealing from a garbage can.

I guarantee that most of these kids [mentioned] are either trust-fund babies or will be working for "tha man" within five years.
Name withheld

These folks are laughably shortsighted: It's true that waste is epidemic in our society, and it's a good thing that some companies are doing their best to mitigate it. Organizations designed to feed the hungry are also great for America, and I'm glad that governments put laws and programs into place that make it easier for them to function.

However, I'm disappointed that, in this day in age, so many of these self-proclaimed freegans can be this laughably shortsighted, disparaging of the society that allows for the medicine, security, and plenitude they enjoy.

That [society] allows for the cell phones they reconnoiter with, the bicycles and cars that let them sustain their freeganistic ways? I may be wasteful, but I'm no angst-ridden hypocrite.
Name withheld

If it's locked, let it be: I work for one of the local trash companies in the Valley. Sometimes I ride with the drivers, and I have to say it's just amazing what's being thrown away. Both the quality and quantity of the items is mind-boggling.

I personally am not against dumpster diving. It keeps items out of the landfill and, in this case, it is feeding hungry people.

What I am against — and most of it is attributed to illegal dumping — is trash strewn all over the ground with lids and locks [of containers] ripped off.

Keep it clean, and leave locked dumpsters alone. They are [locked] for a reason.
Name withheld


Sad story: Let's get this straight: We have an elected politician/law enforcement officer who pays outrageous salaries to his double-dipping top lieutenants, who then have money directly withdrawn from their paychecks into a fund intended for his re-election, in amounts that clearly exceed campaign finance laws.

The sheriff, then, returns the favor by paying exorbitant amounts of overtime to the lieutenants' family members. Also, one of these top lieutenants runs the shadowy political-action committee, accepting five-figure campaign donations from unknown out-of-state sources, which directly affect the outcome of an election.

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Eddie Carrillo
Eddie Carrillo

I have shopped at Big Lots and found out that all the major appliances are remanufactored.Many Custmers are not told of this practice.They basically cheat the custmers.A lot of the food is usually outdated or damaged or dented cans.The gourmet food is usually out of date because the date is coded.I have thown out alot of this gourmet food because nobody can read the expired dateand it is nastey.Once in a while a pallet of food gets unloaded and is held together with packaging resulting in alot of crushed food.When they take the pallet to stock alot of the boxed items get ripped so it up to the stocker to decide wether or not it can be stocked.Cereal boxes are usually torn so you can not read information on the boxes due to boxes being taped together with packaging tape.I just do not want to get ill from bad food or anyone else.

Damien Sullivan
Damien Sullivan

Dear Editor,

I have both a complaint and a compliment. Complaint first, of course. One of the reasons I pick up your paper ever week is to read Dan Savage's column 'Savage Love' but he only seems to be in it every other week and it's a big disappointment. Why isn't he in every edition of the New Times?

Ok, now the compliment. Like I said, I pick up the paper every week and have to say there is one writer whom I really enjoy reading. I've been following Wynter Holden'a articles for a few years now and she writes on some of the best topics and events with wit, charm, and finesse. It's a pleasure to read her columns every week and I'd love to see more of it.

Faithful reader,Damien Sullivan

Dan Blaschak
Dan Blaschak

The Bird's article on Marcia Powell revealing that the Office of the Public Fiduciary was the guardian is surprising. How she was treated under their care is not. It may be that she was assigned to Dixie Fredrickson.

An investigative report should be done on the Public Fiduciary. There may be surprises in the closet on how individuals under their control are treated.

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