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Food crimes

Woman arrested for salvaging perfectly good food dumped on street corner

Friday, March 11, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: food crimes, police, health news

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(NaturalNews) When Sasha Hall, a 21-year-old woman from England, was approached by police officers for trying to salvage some of the 3,000 pounds of perfectly-good food that had been dumped on the street following a power outage at a Tesco grocery story, she had no idea that she would later be arrested at her home for it. Police tracked the woman down after she had taken the goods and charged her with "theft by finding," despite the fact that the food was just sitting on the curbside in bags for anyone to take.

"It had been thrown out, so I thought I could put it to better use," Hall told reporters. "I would think the police have better things to be doing with their time than going after people who pick up potato waffles from the street. It's all been blown totally out of proportion."

During a time when oil and food prices are skyrocketing and millions of people are without employment, Hall makes a very good point. And the scenario was not a typical one involving expired food that had simply been discarded in the store's dumpster after going out of date, which is a common practice among grocery chains. The vast majority of the food in this case was literally just sitting on the curb following the unexpected power outage.

Ironically, Tesco's motto is "Every Little Helps," but apparently salvaging perfectly good food from a curbside does not apply. The chain would rather have a ton-and-a-half of ham, pies, and other goodies needlessly rot than to allow individuals to put the food to good use. Due to the unique circumstances of the event, the company could have at least chosen to donate the food to local charities or homeless shelters, say critics.

"Tesco clearly did not want the food," said Hall to the Essex Chronicle. "They dumped it and rather than see it got to waste, I thought I could help feed me and my family for a week or two."

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