Bad idea: dumpster food to a dinner party

This is why I avoid potlucks: who knows how the food was prepared or, where the food came from.

Like a dumpster.

Someone wrote a lifestyle type at Toronto’s Globe and Mail to say her “brother-in-law is a dumpster diver, only for the thrill of it and not because he needs to. … Things gave cause for concern when his family’s contribution to Christmas dinner was food from a dumpster. Still sealed, mind you, but publicly announced as a terrific find.”

Part of the response: “While there’s no doubt your brother-in-law put some effort into his contribution (effort which may have included being covered in coffee grounds and banana peels, and throwing stinking, steaming, soiled diapers over his shoulder), it’s the ultimate re-gift.

“I would also question whether he’s exposing anyone to health risks with his tossed-out offering. Maggots squirm and writhe around in our waste containers. Sealed or not, it could be spoiled, contaminated, or otherwise compromised. Some things are tossed out for a reason.

“You’re certainly within your rights to politely refuse when someone passes you the dumpster doughnuts.”

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time