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With Poverty Rising, Germany Set to Legalize ‘Fishing For Food’ in Dumpsters

With Poverty Rising, Germany Set to Legalize ‘Fishing For Food’ in Dumpsters

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.

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Comments

Good work Obama, Biden and Klaus Schwab: you got what China paid you for.


 
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SeymourButz | January 17, 2023 at 1:15 pm

They’d sooner legalize fishing through the trash than fishing in a stream.


 
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Ironclaw | January 17, 2023 at 1:26 pm

Dumpster dining … not just for Venezuela anymore…


 
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henrybowman | January 17, 2023 at 1:28 pm

Does Germany have the same stupid regulations we do about not allowing restaurants &c to offer “surplus” food to the poor and homeless at the end of each working day… BEFORE it gets dropped in the dumpsters?

I was personally amazed at all the edible bread just one restaurant in town (Subway) discards in a day. A small proportion of it is objectively “bad” — underbaked or burnt — but the vast majority of it gets discarded simply because it got cut badly during the making of a sandwich and couldn’t be sold. If we caught them taking a bag out back, we’d ask for it for our horses, who could party for a week on the contents of just one big trash bag. We had to meet them out back and transfer it like a drug deal because “we’re not supposed to do this, but as long as it’s for your horses I don’t see why not.”

Stupid, stupid, stupid.


     
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    healthguyfsu in reply to henrybowman. | January 17, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    Wastefulness and inflation go hand in hand if you are trying to wreck an economy.


     
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    BierceAmbrose in reply to henrybowman. | January 17, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Yes, similar, all over.

    We have Fed and State regs, with the nature of the State regs tracking to which state as you would expect.

    Regs are particularly wasteful and egregious for food service — restaurants, fast food, groceries. The authoritah have troubles with food carts, n artisan food trucks, since their impositions clip their constituencies of the urban pseudo-cool.

    Food service was particularly targeted during the ‘rona spasms, since they’re a visible target — “Something must be done!”, and they’ll comply. Food service places typically run one fine or closure away from failing. They target the people they can get; the relatively defenseless.

    The connected and well-off are immune; as the comely sex worker interviewed in Today’s Daily Mail said when declining to name her clients: “You don’t want to get into litigation with these people.” Assuming this in-group / out-group analysis bears on the 87,000 new armed IRS agents willing to be on call and use deadly force … is a conspiracy theory, so I’m told.


     
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    Free State Paul in reply to henrybowman. | January 17, 2023 at 4:35 pm

    A big casino in Reno once told me that they used to donate uneaten food from the all-you-can-eat buffet to a homeless shelter. But their lawyer made them stop because the food wasn’t being maintained at the proper temperature as it was delivered. So they threw it away and the homeless ate out of their dumpster.


 
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BierceAmbrose | January 17, 2023 at 1:58 pm

This is just how they do…

They’ll mandate systems “recovering” “recyclable” waste nobody wants, while mandating against people who want to use other people’s discards.

I particularly enjoy the screeching about bottle-deposit entrepreneurs. The social architects are quite annoyed that the over-consumer people don’t use fewer bottles, or even mostly recycle the bottles themselves. At the same time, they are incensed at the street entrepreneurs who collect and return these containers from streets and the general waste stream.

Less waste, actual routing into the recycling system, and some folks with nothing better make a couple bucks to pay for their shelter bed, vs. stealing or dealing for it. It’s even a hiring candidate system — diligent, organized, adaptive; can I hire that guy for a day job? Crappier work, in a soul-deadening office, but more money, and inside out of the weather. Yet, the authoritah and their moralistic cheer squads are incensed.

It’s like the point is forcing people to do what they don’t want, vs., you know, helping them do what they do. Shutting down people’s solutions to their own needs, vs. you know, celebrating or even supporting solutions they came up with.

One wonders who these systems are actually for, and what they get out of it. One does wonder what the wast management lobby in Der Fatherland would have to say about reducing the waste stream.


     
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    henrybowman in reply to BierceAmbrose. | January 17, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    “It’s like the point is forcing people to do what they don’t want, vs., you know, helping them do what they do. Shutting down people’s solutions to their own needs, vs. you know, celebrating or even supporting solutions they came up with. One wonders who these systems are actually for, and what they get out of it.”

    An excellent analysis.
    I’m pretty sure I know what they get out of it. It’s described nicely by this old joke:

    Masochist: Beat me! Whip me! Scar me! Abuse me!
    Sadist: No!


 
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guyjones | January 17, 2023 at 2:01 pm

I’m sure the vile and stupid crone Merkel is doing just fine, though. The same reprobate and fool whom American and European media once hailed as the alleged greatest and most sagacious western leader, let’s note.


 
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Fat_Freddys_Cat | January 17, 2023 at 2:29 pm

It’s interesting that this is necessary. I’ve been told many times–usually in a very condescending tone–that the social democracies of Europe are vastly superior to the primitive U.S. when it comes to the well-being of people.

There is a company in the US that is selling “ugly” foods that the grocery stores would normally reject via delivery of food boxes – https://www.misfitsmarket.com/?exp=control

Maybe life in East Germany wasn’t so bad after all.


 
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Milhouse | January 17, 2023 at 3:26 pm

Wait, why is it illegal in the first place? Yeah, it’s Germany, but still. I’ve never heard such nonsense.

Is it also illegal in Germany to go dumpster diving for other stuff, or only for food?


     
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    henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | January 17, 2023 at 6:49 pm

    Health rules. Starving is acceptable, botulism is forbidden.


     
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    CommoChief in reply to Milhouse. | January 17, 2023 at 9:05 pm

    Germany is by and large very orderly. Tidy is an old fashioned word but would be very accurate. The people are very compliant re their response to common sense policies of general social cohesion.

    I was stationed in Germany for a decade, though deployed outside it for seven years, and I loved it. Lived off base in a tiny hamlet, nice neighbors. The big difference is general cleanliness. No trash on roads or sidewalks. Trees and bushes trimmed and neat. In many ways the best description is a comparison to theme park, everything is neatly correct or is being put that way.


     
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    ghost dog in reply to Milhouse. | January 18, 2023 at 12:07 am

    Yes. Removing things “movable” from the trash is a crime.


       
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      Milhouse in reply to ghost dog. | January 18, 2023 at 12:15 am

      Not in this country, it isn’t. I assume you mean in Germany. But why? In the USA, if someone has thrown something out it’s ownerless, so anyone has the right to go through the dumpster and take it. That’s why detectives (police or private) go through people’s garbage. Why would any country ban that? For fear you’ll create a mess while doing so?


         
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        DSHornet in reply to Milhouse. | January 18, 2023 at 10:55 am

        So you might think, but no, taking things from someone else’s trash can result in negative personal consequences.

        When working in a maintenance department years ago, I was doing my daily walkabout through a vacant office building. I saw an unopened jewel box with a virgin CD set of Office 2010 in a trash can. I mentioned it to my manager who told me that, IF I took anything from the building, even if it was obviously being thrown away, he didn’t want to know about it. The unsaid message was to peruse the trash if I wanted to but keep my mouth shut so nobody would be an accessory.
        .


         
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        BierceAmbrose in reply to Milhouse. | January 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

        Would that it were as you say. Where do you live that what you say is so?

        Federally, IDK. In NY State there are granular food disposal n other “waste stream” laws, plus mandates on intermediate govts, that conveniently can really only be satisfied one way. (NY State loves this hack.)

        W/in various counties n cities what you imagine holds even less, in part as inevitable consequence of state mandates. Some of the excess is their own choice, also.

        In my city, it is literally required to curb your garbage bins:

        — only on the designated day,
        — only in the designated containers,
        — only placed as narrowly directed, subject to escalating citations and fines.
        — There are voluminous additional driectives for “recycling”

        Otherwise disposing in any other ways is expressly verboten.

        In my city — the one requiring you curb your garbage & etc — it is also specifically prohibited to touch, look through, or take anything that’s been placed for pickup.

        Read also “or seems to be for each requirement, and being cited or charged is itself a burden and penalty, regardless of how eventually resolved.

        The various laws and regulations for disposal of “food waste” as they define food waste are more comprehensive — I’d say “invasive”, but I’m a crank — for food retailers, food service, and the like.


 
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Free State Paul | January 17, 2023 at 4:38 pm

Cold, hungry, and in the dark. Sounds like Germans are nostalgic for 1946.


 
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The Gentle Grizzly | January 17, 2023 at 8:09 pm

I’m looking at that picture at the top of the article. My mind is playing black and white newsreels and candid footage of starving Germans scraping muck out of garbage cans, Walter Cronkite’s voice narrating.

The program was “The Twentieth Century”, and this was the time of a little, pear-shaped man with a comic mustache, screaming speeches in beer halls and on street corners.

Germans should start making life uncomfortable for their politicians and their families.
Very uncomfortable.


 
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GravityOpera | January 17, 2023 at 11:43 pm

The article reads “Largely due to … cutting on Russian gas supplies, fuel and electricity prices have skyrocketed in recent months.” It should read “due to Germany’s short-sighted addiction to Russian gas biting them in the backside” instead. Your version is like an economic article focusing on the inevitable bust instead of the artificial boom that caused it.


 
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caseoftheblues | January 18, 2023 at 7:57 am

How the mighty have fallen….Germany’s decline to a 3rd world nation accelerating at the agreed upon pace…

I wonder what the large Moslem population thinks about the goings-on within their future caliphate.

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