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Critical Analysis of on Dumpster Driving by Lars Eighner

Critical Analysis of on Dumpster Driving by Lars Eighner

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Published by Aaron Merrill

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Published by: Aaron Merrill on Dec 05, 2009
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12/05/2012

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Critical Analysis of "On Dumpster Driving" by Lars Eighner
  The essay on “On Dumpster Diving” written by Lars Eighner is about ahomeless man, accompanied by his dog, explaining the strategies andguidelines of surviving from dumpsters, thereby exemplifying the wastefulnature of Americans, while explaining the etiquette involved in the process. The author began dumpster diving about a year before he became homeless.He used all of his infrequent income for rent, consequently having to deriveall of life necessities from dumpsters. He then goes on to share the valuableinformation he has learnt as a human scavenger.He starts by outlining the guidelines of what is safe to eat. The mainprinciples involved are, using senses and common sense to evaluate thecondition of food, knowing the dumpsters in a particular area and checkingthem frequently, and always wonder why the food was discarded. He isconvinced that a lot of perfectly good food is discarded. Canned goods turnup fairly often in dumpsters and are among the safest foods. However, somecanned foods can cause fatal diseases like botulism. Dried foods such ascrackers, cookies, cereal, chips and pasta are usually safe to eat, once theyare free from visible contaminates. Raw fruits and vegetables are usuallysafe, except for the rotten ones. Confectionery like chocolate and other hardcandies are also safe, since candying is a method of food preservation.Carbonated beverages tend to be good if they still fizz, and alcoholic juicemixes were always appreciated. The author also scavenged pizzas from adumpster behind a pizza delivery shop. Prepared food was usually not safe,but he retrieved the pizzas immediately after the shop was closed. Theseextra pizzas were due to prank calls, incorrect orders, or customer rejection,and were perfectly good when discarded. The pizzas shop made efforts todiscourage the author but they were in vain. The author was also wary of a number of items. He was cautious of leafyvegetables, grapes, cauliflower and broccoli, because they may containliquid contaminants that are difficult to wash away. Fruit juices were knownto contain nasty molds and were usually avoided. The author avoided game,poultry, pork, egg-based foods and fish, which tend to spoil quickly. On rareoccasions he would find large amounts of beef that he was able to cook. Healso stayed away from leftovers since they were usually spoilt. Despite thesenumerous precautions the author still got dysentery at least once a month,consequently showing the downfalls on dumpster diving. Caution was alsotaken of other animals that thrived from the dumpsters. Cats, bees and birds

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