Germany’s state-run DW TV: “Fishing for edible food in dumpsters could soon become legal in Germany.”
As rising food prices force working-class Germans into poverty, the German government is set to legalize the so-called “dumpster diving” in search of food. “Fishing for edible food in dumpsters could soon become legal in Germany,” German state broadcaster DW TV reported Sunday.
The measure allowing Germans to look for food in trash cans without legal prosecution has been initiated by the country’s Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Agriculture, media reports say.
The government announcement comes as inflations push ordinary German families into poverty. In 2022, nearly 14 million Germans, out of the total population of 83 million, lived in poverty or were at risk of dropping below the poverty line, Germany’s leading welfare organization Der Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband disclosed.
As food prices rise, German businesses are reportedly taking steps to stop widespread ‘dumpster diving.’
“We lock our garbage cans or we fence them off to keep the risk as small as possible from the outset that food sourced from the garbage could be a health hazard,” a spokesman for the country’s Federal Association of the German Food Trade said.
DW TV reported the government’s proposed initiative:
[I]f Justice Minister Marco Buschmann from the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP)and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) have their way, fishing for edible food in supermarket trash containers will soon go unpunished, provided there is no trespassing or damage to property. “Anyone who saves food from the garbage can should not be prosecuted further for doing so,” Özdemir said.
The federal ministers are supporting the proposal from the state of Hamburg, an amendment to the so-called “guidelines for criminal and administrative fine proceedings.” (…)
While some students in Germany who have to stretch every cent — and go dumpster diving to fill their sometimes empty fridges — are celebrating the initiative, Christian Böttcher, the press spokesman for the Federal Association of the German Food Trade is less enthusiastic.
“We believe there is no need for action from a legal point of view,” he told DW. Even now, public prosecutors can drop such proceedings on the grounds of triviality if they involve garbage cans that are freely accessible, i.e. neither secured with a lock nor located in fenced-off areas. “The two ministers’ proposed regulation is therefore unnecessary.” (…) “We lock our garbage cans or we fence them off to keep the risk as small as possible from the outset that food sourced from the garbage could be a health hazard.” (…)
The Federal Association of the German Food Trade (BDL) is afraid of being held liable for food removed from the containers that may not be edible.
Largely due to Germany’s ‘Green Energy’ policies and cutting on Russian gas supplies, fuel and electricity prices have skyrocketed in recent months.
Desperate to keep themselves warm this winter, poor Germans are forced to scavenge for firewood in the forests. “More wood is being stolen from German forests. The reason is the high energy prices and the shortage of firewood. The Forestry departments are responding with more controls, and forest owners are reporting of increasingly brazen thefts,” the German state broadcaster Der Tagesschau reported in October.
In the past year, Germany witnessed the biggest increase in the cost of living since the end of World War II. “German consumers faced the fastest-rising prices, particularly for food and fuel, in the history of the post-war German republic in 2022,” DW TV noted in a separate report on Tuesday.
This economic trend should alarm political elites in Berlin. It is worth recalling that hyperinflation between 1921-23 contributed largely to the rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party.DONATE
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