News Source: 
The Daily
February 7, 2012

At the Neptune Theatre last night, 10 food experts from the UW and around the region presented food history, knowledge, and customs that don’t involve trips to the grocery store.

The “Short Takes: What the World Eats” event, hosted by the Burke Museum and produced in conjunction with the Seattle Theatre Group, gave 10 speakers six minutes and 20 slides each to share wisdom ranging from eating insects to dumpster diving.

David Giles, P.h.D. candidate for the UW Department of Anthropology spoke with the intention of changing the way people think about trash.

Ninety-six billion pounds of unspoiled food — 27 percent of all the food we produce, is discarded annually in the United States, Giles said. Wasted food impacts not only the consumer, but also the earth.

“It keeps prices up; it increases the carbon footprint,” he said, suggesting that expiration dates on grocery-store items are not accurate reflections of rotten food.

Rather than throwing away an item marked as expired, he recommended paying attention to the smell, taste, and touch of the food, “like our grandparents did.”

"People are so afraid of what might happen [if they eat expired food or dumpster dive] that they foreclose an opportunity for what they could be doing instead,” Giles said.

For Giles, a new outlook on the value of food means a grocery bill of less than $100 per month.