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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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August 22, 2007

Replating: Admirable or Apathetic?

By Mark Sisson

Have you seen this trend? Next time you see a doggie bag atop a trash can, don’t assume the owner was too lazy to throw it away. This is replating. It’s the newest movement in helping the homeless and hungry. I’m not sure about the implications for public health. Aside from that, shouldn’t we be doing more to prevent homelessness? Romantic idealism doesn’t generally work in this place called reality, so while I like realistic and efficient solutions, I don’t like casual charity that absolves people of greater responsibility and real sacrifice. We thoughtlessly waste so much food in this country. And plenty of our own people go hungry. Is this a reasonable way to stop waste and alleviate a problem? I’m not sure there isn’t a whiff of apathy coming out of that doggie bag.

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6 Comments on "Replating: Admirable or Apathetic?"


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Mel Practice
10 years 4 hours ago
I never leave my leftovers on a trash can. But if I’m not going to eat them I will hand them to a homeless person or panhandler if they want it. I was homeless for a few years and whenever someone did this for me I was always grateful. A lot of the programs available to help the homeless or help the homeless help themselves are not easy to access. Shelters and soup kitchens are often dangerous. I could go on and on. Anyways all I’m saying is as a homeless teenager I always appreciated someones leftovers when I could… Read more »
10 years 4 hours ago

Wow, Danielle. Thank you for sharing that touching and personal anecdote. Personally I hand leftovers to someone if I can – I like to smile and say hi. It’s not much but at least it’s showing respect.

10 years 4 hours ago
Never heard of the replating concept, but I love it. Its a lot like dumpster diving, which I’m a big fan of (hell, I did it to my neighbors last week). Dumpster diving is pretty much like it sounds, you hit up a dumpster for items of value, almost always furniture, but occasionally books. My roommates and I have dumpster dived two couches, a full desk, a bicycle, and several lamps, including a soft blue end table light I’ve had for six years which works as a lovely conversation piece at dinner parties. The best time to dumpster dive is… Read more »
10 years 4 hours ago

Hey, dumpster diving is dangerous!

10 years 2 hours ago

Dangerously cool. Dangerously sexy. Dangerously awesome.

9 years 11 months ago
Mel, Your story reminds me of a situation I witnessed in China, a country where poverty overwhelms most people to the point of indifference. While eating a bowl of noodles at a fast food joint in a shopping center, I noticed a boy somewhere between the age of ten and thirteen lingering. As soon as a patron would get up leaving their food unfinished, he would swoop in and gobble the remains, which otherwise would have ended up in the trash. A young Chinese man also noticed his behavior and brought him a fresh, piping hot bowl of soup, which… Read more »