SILVER LAKE, California –
All across the nation, it has become more and more evident that a “hipster culture” has reached epic proportions. Young people who want to proclaim their individuality and separate themselves from mainstream society choose to conform to the ever-so-popular hipster way of life; a culture that holds firm beliefs on many things, including and especially food and drink.
Dining on all-natural, organic gourmet, the majority of hipsters consider themselves “foodies,” and many follow strict vegetarian, if not vegan, diets. While eating organic can be a path to healthier living, it is often drastically more expensive due to the absence of chemicals, hormones, pesticides, preservatives, and the costs of maintaining a higher standard of living conditions for livestock.
A young man recently set out to tackle the food issue plaguing both him, his girlfriend, and their small circle of other hipster friends.
“It’s real tough, ya know? A pair of Birks [Birkenstock sandals] can run you anywhere from $70-$120. And eating organic is the only way, man. It’s just the right way to live, ya know? But it’s like, really, really expensive, right?” says Tate Lane, founder of “Not Too (res)Old Organic,” a new pop-up food tent in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood. Lane is a professional finger painter and estimates that before his food tent took Silver Lake by storm, he was making roughly $50 a week between selling his art and picking up odd jobs. “I just wasn’t making enough money. But money isn’t important to me. I want to make that clear.”
Legally, once something is thrown away and taken to the curb or sidewalk to be picked up, it is no longer considered private property, and there is no expectation to privacy or ownership of any item that was discarded. While many cities have enacted stricter laws and heavier fines to deter dumpster diving, Los Angeles has yet to do so.
“I was walking past an organic gourmet market one night with my girl, and we watched them throw out bags upon bags of food. She dared me to eat something from [the trash] and I never turn down a dare. I opened up a bag, and to my surprise, there was plenty of food that was, in my opinion, totally good. Some of it was unopened! I couldn’t justify all of this gourmet, organic food going to waste! I filled up my backpack and had a feast when I got home. That’s when I came up with my food tent idea.”
Lane and his girlfriend/partner Miranda Zimmerman (who he met at a Starbucks where Zimmerman worked as a barista) stay within legal bounds by searching through discarded bags at high-end, organic markets in their city the night before, and giving away their findings at their food tent; accepting donations only to avoid complicated rules and regulations attached to food sales.
Business is going well for the hip pair that’s paired at the hip. “I’m with my girl all day, everyday, ya know? We have the most popular food tent, and we always sell out. It’s the tits.” says Lane.
“We offer an innovative, affordable way of accessing the healthiest, high-end foods in addition to eliminating unnecessary waste. I guess we’re living the dream.” Comments Miranda, appearing to be the brains behind this operation.