Transcripts

Secretly Serving Trash To Strangers?

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:03
The next secret we'll uncover today is, I got to say, pretty trashy. I mean like, actually really trashy. Reporter Kerry Klein is the keeper of this secret which she recently revealed to strangers at a potluck in Petworth.

MS. KERRY KLEIN

00:00:18
First off, can you tell me what you thought of the potato fritters?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE #1

00:00:21
They were really excellent. I like the crispiness of it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE #1

00:00:24
They were lovely.

KLEIN

00:00:26
So what would you say if I were to tell you that some of the ingredients in those fritters came from a dumpster?

#1

00:00:32
A dumpster?

KLEIN

00:00:36
A few days before that party I was in a dumpster. It was cramped, loud, dark, illegal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE #2

00:00:47
My goodness.

KLEIN

00:00:47
What it wasn't, smelly. It was chalk full of veggies.

#2

00:00:52
Bok Choy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE #2

00:00:53
Lettuce, Bok Choy.

#2

00:00:54
I love Bok Choy.

KLEIN

00:00:56
Erica and James do this all the time. Their favorite spot to dumpster dive, behind a co-op, one of D.C. finest. But I'm not going to tell you which one.

#2

00:01:06
Jalapenos.

KLEIN

00:01:07
Jalapenos.

KLEIN

00:01:08
Why a co-op? Because the dumpster is emptied all the time. The foods in closed bags. Usually it's only in the trash because it's expired. The two of them inspect everything before taking it.

#2

00:01:20
That's...

#2

00:01:21
I'm going to leave sprouts.

KLEIN

00:01:22
Really?

#2

00:01:22
Sprouts go bad and give you, like, botulism or something crazy.

KLEIN

00:01:26
They even know what to do with stuff that's too mushy to eat.

#2

00:01:30
Some greens for the ladies.

#2

00:01:31
Greens for the ladies.

#2

00:01:32
And by ladies we mean chickens.

#2

00:01:35
That's what we call them.

KLEIN

00:01:35
In just 20 minutes we've got peppers, oranges, strawberries, potatoes, spinach, Bok Choy.

#2

00:01:42
We got some washing to do.

KLEIN

00:01:46
After the dive I took my potatoes and peppers home and scrubbed them, scrubbed them hard, smelled them, squeeze them. I had my doubts. So I turned to the Internet. What should I do about the eyes? Are they really poisonous? What are these purple spots? What are potatoes supposed to smell like? What's the worst that could happen? Could I die?

KLEIN

00:02:06
I can't tell you how many times I was on allaboutpotatoes.com. After all that I was confident. This food was as safe as I could make it. So I was ready for an experiment, a risky one. I decided to feed people garbage, not tell them and see how they reacted.

KLEIN

00:02:29
A party in Petworth was the perfect opportunity. So I peeled, chopped, grated, fried. I brought recycled potato fritters to a potluck.

#1

00:02:42
A dumpster? Seriously?

KLEIN

00:02:43
Yes.

#1

00:02:44
Well, actually I think that's really entrepreneurial and I'm sure it won't make us sick.

KLEIN

00:02:49
Are you guys just being really nice because you don't know me?

#1

00:02:51
Yes.

#1

00:02:54
It's the kind of thing you don't really want to know.

#1

00:02:58
Why?

KLEIN

00:03:00
Because we all say we hate to waste food, especially here in D.C. But sometimes there's not clear line between food and trash. I wanted to see if people could really tell the difference even if it meant taking them out of the comfort zone.

#1

00:03:16
I'd have to think about it a little bit more. I totally see where you're coming from.

#1

00:03:20
Yes, you should have a label on it though that it's from a dumpster.

#1

00:03:24
But it's a bit odd.

KLEIN

00:03:26
Would I dive again? Definitely. Would I feed people trash again without telling them? Probably not but take it from me, home-cooked garbage tastes great.

SHEIR

00:03:39
That was reporter Kerry Klein. She originally produced this story for the 2013 Third Coast Short Docs Challenge, a program of the Third Coast International Audio Festival.
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