Activist Rob Greenfield 'dumpster dives' for food in Chicago - FOX 32 News Chicago

Activist Rob Greenfield 'dumpster dives' for food in Chicago

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Ever heard the saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure?" Well, how about "one man's trash is another man's dinner?"

Self-proclaimed “dumpster diver” Rob Greenfield is riding his bike cross-country and stopping in dumpsters along the way.

“So just like peeking in real quick, it looks like some perfectly good lemonade down there and I'll go check it out,” said Greenfield.

A dumpster behind a Lincoln Park grocery store was Greenfield's latest target.

“Oh my gosh, I mean here is, there's nothing a cyclist likes more than peanut butter,” said Greenfield in an interview with FOX 32's Tisha Lewis.

“Lemonade, peanut butter… This is good stuff, pure squeezed juice, that's something that I'm definitely going to drink,” said Greenfield while standing inside a dumpster.

He's not homeless or hungry. He's on a mission to raise awareness about a growing problem nationwide.

“I want to draw attention to the food waste issue and to me this is an easy way to do it,” said Greenfield. “All of this perfectly good food is in the dumpsters and I want this food to be given to people who are hungry rather than put in the dumpsters.”

“They don't want to feel liable for getting their patrons sick so I can understand why they would rather be safe than sorry, it's just that the amount that they end up wasting is quite large compared to the average American,” said Mary Maloney.

But even the average American wastes plenty.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said $165 billion worth of food is tossed by households, grocery stores and restaurants.

Greenfield also spent the day in Englewood and said there's a stark difference when dumpster diving in poverty stricken areas.

“What you find in lower income areas is they actually lock all of the dumpsters,” said Greenfield.

A City of Chicago spokesperson said locked dumpsters prevent the theft of the actual dumpster.

Greenfield also said residential dumpster diving is risky.

“That's usually like half eaten food and things that are older,” said Greenfield. “America throws away so much of everything that I can actually live a healthy life without a penny to my name.”

On its website, the Chicago chapter of Freegan lists dumpsters with good track records of containing seemingly consumable food – the USDA said that every year up to 40 percent is thrown away.

FOX 32's Tisha Lewis reports the average household discards $2500 worth of “good” food per year. Greenfield said he's consumed goods from more than 500 dumpsters. As for trespassing concerns, he said it's worth the risk.

Greenfield arrived in Chicago on Sunday, and from here he's headed to Ann Arbor and then Detroit.

Follow his journey here:

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