10 Rules For Eating Out of The Garbage

Time to face facts, people.

Were you aware that over 50% of Americans eat stuff out of their own kitchen garbages? Are you aware that the trend is happening so often that there are support groups to help people cope? You’ve probably even seen references to the eating out of the garbage thing on popular TV shows and sitcoms.

So if that’s the case, isn’t it time we set a list of ground rules on what you can eat and what you can’t eat?”

Whether or not you know it, more people would opt to eat out of their own kitchen or household garbages if it was more socially accepted. But we can’t just have people eating out of the garbage without setting some ground rules first. So, that being said, here’s the ten rules you need to consider if you plan on getting into this “hot” new fad.

  1. You may eat anything that is on the top layer of the garbage.
  2. You may not retrieve protein from the garbage (i.e., chicken, fish, beef) unless it has previously been wrapped in plastic wrap or is currently sandwiched inbetween a bun of some kind.
  3. Packages of cookies, pre-wrapped candies and boxes of crackers can always be consumed no matter how far down in the garbage they have been placed, thanks to their outer protective structures.
  4. If you need a utensil (spoon, fork, grabbing device of any kind) to retrieve the food from the garbage, you may not retrieve it and consume it.
  5. You may never eat food out of the garbage whose names happen to rhyme with “mottage tease.”
  6. You may eat the fillings inside of foods that you previously weren’t allowed to eat. For example, you may not eat a chicken breast out of the garbage (as referenced in #2) but you may eat the fillings inside of a chicken breast (i.e. chicken cordon bleu) if you so desire.
  7. If you plan on retrieving and consuming a food item from the garbage and someone else in your household sees you eating said food and wants some, you must come clean and announce that the food had previously been thrown away.
  8. You may never eat sushi out of the garbage.
  9. If said kitchen garbage has been packed up and moved to the outside industrial sized garbage pails, you may only go into that closed bag if it is indeed closed and is one of the top two bags in the industrial sized garbage pail. If it is below the top layer you may not go into the bag to retrieve said food items.
  10. If you can’t recognize what the food item is, you may not eat it out of the garbage.

I hope these helpful rules will help you make the most out of your household and industrial sized garbage-eating.

And remember — the key to successful digestion is always chewing your food.

26 comments on “10 Rules For Eating Out of The Garbage

  1. Keith - May 11, 2006 at 9:12 am -

    11. You may not consume any liquids out of the trash. Unless they’re in a protective outer covering, like a can.

  2. Pauly D - May 11, 2006 at 9:15 am -

    Well, as long as the liquid is in something like a closed Capri-Sun bag. If you’ve got an open can halfway in the garbage, you have no idea what fell into that top of the can.

    I don’t know that I can sign off on your #11, Keith.

  3. Syd - May 11, 2006 at 9:39 am -

    Wow what a great business opportunity! Everyone would hire these garbage eaters. I would sleep much better at night knowing the food I threw away wasn’t wasted, but actually fed another person. Not to mention the implications this would have for the land fills all over America.

    I would call my company, “Garbage Mouths”. GM for short….oh that’s been taken.

  4. jimi - May 11, 2006 at 9:54 am -

    How do these rules translate when you are eating food out of other people’s garbage? Like these folks.

  5. H.F. Peterman - May 11, 2006 at 9:59 am -

    Well, you, my friend have crossed the line that divides Man and Bum.

    So lemme get this straight: you find yourself in the kitchen. You see an eclaire, in the receptacle. And you think to yourself, “What the hell, I’ll just eat some trash.”

    Adjacent to refuse, is refuse.

  6. jenny - May 11, 2006 at 10:41 am -

    Is there any sort of a 5-second rule for eating out of the garbage? Like, say I tossed the final piece of a California roll into the trash, walked away, but then remembered I was still a little hungry? Could I eat the sushi in that case?

    This is going to be really hard to live by.

  7. Dariush - May 11, 2006 at 10:59 am -

    This is the scariest post ever.

  8. Dean - May 11, 2006 at 11:23 am -

    None of these rules helps out with a sticky situation I encounter every once in a while.

    Let’s just say you’re at a friend’s house, and let’s just say this friend needs to leave you alone in the kitchen, and let’s just say you happen to dig through her trash just a little bit, and let’s just say you see something in there you can’t believe she would throw away-like most of a piece of turtle cheesceake, and let’s just say it looks really good, and let’s just say it’s separated from the coffee grounds by a protective screen of a Land’s End cataologue.

    Question is: Am I obligated to offer her some?

  9. Pauly D - May 11, 2006 at 11:27 am -

    Dean – Once someone ELSE throws something away, there’s the 7 minute rule. Count to 7 minutes and if she hasn’t come back to eat out of her own garbage, it’s yours. No sharing.

  10. monkeyinabox - May 11, 2006 at 11:32 am -

    I want a post like this for stuff dropped on the floor. I’m not talking about the ten-second rule. Sure crackers are fine, but what about a piece of lasagna?

  11. Pauly D - May 11, 2006 at 11:36 am -

    Monkey – I couldn’t not respond to your comment. The way you deal with lasagna that has fallen on the floor is this:

    Since lasagna has layers, you don’t eat the actual layer that hit the floor, but you can eat all the layers of pasta and cheese above that layer. Really, next to seven layer dip and that main course pie thing from the feature film Big Night, lasagna is the next best food to drop on the floor due to the ability to eat a lot even after the bottom layer has been compromised.

  12. better safe than sorry - May 11, 2006 at 11:47 am -

    i have one simple rule, if it’s in the garbage, it’s garbage. enjoy yourself at the hospital, it’s only a matter of time.

  13. Dave2 - May 11, 2006 at 12:31 pm -

    Sometimes reading Words for My Enjoyment makes me want to cry.

    Not today, obviously… what great tips!! I am so totally going to start eating out of the garbage now that I’ve been told how to do it properly!

  14. Susan - May 11, 2006 at 1:39 pm -

    I am sure I can abide by these rules, no problem. And I would never eat anything that rhymes with “mottage tease”. The “mottage” sounds bad, but a food called “tease” – now I’m intrigued!

  15. Anne - May 11, 2006 at 5:27 pm -

    Oh, man! So I guess I’m the only one that doesn’t eat out of garbage cans…but if something especially yummy gets on the floor, I wipe it off on my jeans and eat it…

  16. ms. sizzle - May 11, 2006 at 7:44 pm -


  17. Chris Soth - May 11, 2006 at 9:12 pm -

    Everyone’s invited over tonight. Tomorrow’s trash day.

    Seriously — throw it in the trash. Spray it w/Raid. You’ll break the habit.

    Well, not “seriously”…

  18. Darrel - May 12, 2006 at 1:41 am -

    Human goats are just wrong. I attribute this behavior to the reduction in home economics classes. People just don’t know how to buy groceries anymore. Listen up garbage eaters! Buy a big jar of Nutella and whenever you’ve got the urge to eat something, just grab a spoon instead of the garbage can.

    I like the insect spray idea… just like that sour apple spray used to repel pets from furniture, garbage cans, and other objects. Dirty, dirty, dirty.

  19. Bre - May 12, 2006 at 5:02 am -

    People really do that?!!?

    Ugh. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  20. Spencer - May 12, 2006 at 8:50 am -

    Couple of things
    I have to think that there should some sort of salary requirement. For example – Bill Gates at no point should ever be eating out of his trash. That would just piss me off.
    If there is an adequate supply of said food, then you’re going into the trash for sheer enjoyment. Admit it.

    I’ll come up with a few more rules.

  21. Rabbit - May 12, 2006 at 6:35 pm -

    I have been known to dig stale Tootsie Rolls out of the wastepaper basket. But 1.) they were still in their protective wrappers, 2.) nothing else was in the garbage besides paper and junk mail, and 3.) they were calling me.

  22. Thoughtsgalore - May 12, 2006 at 7:33 pm -

    Garbage eating is just soooo wrong. However, I will share this with you.

    I NEEDED coffee. I just took the grounds out of my coffee maker and dumped on top of the trash. Then I went to get the coffee out of the fridge to make some new stuff….ok there was barely any. That my dear is a case for drastic measures.

    I scooped the coffee out of the trash, from on top of the mail from the day before and added the few remaining grounds from the can…and voila! LOL! I just didn’t add as much water and let me tell you…not too bad.


  23. Monica Ricci - June 25, 2006 at 3:04 pm -

    Two points:

    1. Ugh. Garbage eating? Who’s doing this vile thing?

    2. As an organizing expert, I am fundamentally against redundancies and extra work. Therefore, throwing something INTO the garbage without eating it, and then RETRIEVING it just to eat it, seems like an extra step to me. Cut out the middleman and just eat the food BEFORE you throw it into the garbage for God’s sake.

  24. […] So then why, in automobiles… The one place where we create the most garbage per person than any other place, are we given tiny little plastic-molded ashtray garbages that are literally the size of one pack of gum and 3 millimeters of lint discardations? One typical daily trip in a car can typically produce garbage that is the equivalent of three gum wrappers, one empty plastic water bottle, two food wrappers, pocket crap and some errant pennies here and there. […]

  25. Danielle Danzig - October 2, 2007 at 9:51 pm -

    haha. the coffee thing’s great ! i really hope i’m never that addicted to it, however.

    i don’t think i’m going to begin eating out of my own or anyone elses trash…even if i did just read up on it. (:

    scrape up some change and buy some food !


  26. GK02Anon - March 1, 2018 at 2:33 am -

    Been following these rules for 12 years

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.