Calculated Disease Risk


So Julie and I need help. We like eating peoples’ leftovers. Nothing else brings us as much joy in life. But while we are enjoying our discarded half plates of chicken tikka masala donated by unknowing mall patrons, off to buy some shoes or whatever people do at malls, we are being bombarded from warning from concerned friends and family. “You are going to get diseases! :O,” my uncle, Paul, informs me, adding that exact face at the end of his statement for dramatic effect. I heard whispers that Julie’s family has threatened to disown her for her sickeningly sustainable dumpster diving addiction.

Are these kind souls saving us from killing ourselves with that infected, greatly yearned for half-filled cup of Columbus mocha? Or are we being subjected to more Malthusianesque ramblings brought on due to overblown perceptions of the rates of herpes, mononucleosis, the common cold, and flu?

I’d LOVE to see some research that systematically compares the safety of:

  • conventional industrial grocery store food
  • restaurant food
  • takeaway food
  • hunted/gathered food
  • random peoples’ leftovers
  • friends’ leftovers
  • grocery store dumpster stashes
  • make out session with rando in the club that you don’t remember until your friend tells you the next day

Was that Indian guy mean mugging Julie and I today as I presented that tray of plates partially filled with succulent pumpkin and a plump chicken carcass because he thinks he’s more royal than us due to his choice to pay money for his food? How closely correlated are peoples’ disgust with eating someone’s meal remnants and their general lack of respect for other citizens of this wonderful world?