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Ashland native bikes across U.S. highlighting issue of food waste

Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio

 A Wisconsin native who's biking across the U.S. and eating nothing but food taken from dumpsters was in Milwaukee on Friday, highlighting the issue of food waste.

During his stop in Milwaukee, Ashland native and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse graduate Rob Greenfield reached into an open dumpster outside a grocery store and pulled out a loaf of bread, wrapped in plastic. After unwrapping the bread, but before taking a bite, Greenfield noted that its expiration date was just the day before.

Greenfield also spotted unopened bottles of water and packages of juice and macaroni and cheese in the dumpster. He said he's very careful to avoid spoiled food.

Greenfield, who calls himself a lead-by-example environmental activist, said that despite some grocery stores and restaurants doing a better job of donating edible food to pantries, too much is thrown out.

“And if we care about our citizens, then we can handle it properly and everybody can be well-fed,” said Greenfield.

Greenfield hoped to gather enough dumpster food to supply a Milwaukee dinner tonight organized by the group Ninjas for Health.

Greenfield plans to bike and dumpster dive his way to New York City by the end of next month.