Rotting Food Bank

Food Bank (#66) -- by Joe Reifer

Food Bank (#66) -- by Joe Reifer

While exploring Mojave Desert night photography locations with Troy Paiva of Lost America, we stumbled upon an abandoned junkyard and got out to have a look. Smelled like an animal had died. We thought maybe it was the nearby sewage treatment plant.

We shot some images of abandoned cars and trailers, and in a few minutes figured out where the smell was coming from -- palettes of food that had been left to rot out in the desert. The stench was unbelievable. There was canned food, drink boxes, packaged food, spinach, yogurt, whipped cream...even some tooth whitener. A truly disgusting spectacle.

UPDATE: This story just made the front page of MSNBC. Troy was contacted by a reporter earlier today. Turns out the Second Harvest Food Bank gave this expired food to a pig farmer who was evicted from the ranch in January. This stuff will apparently all be properly disposed of now. Don't miss the interview with Troy and slideshow at the top of the article.

UPDATE: The food bank cleaned up the mess. More details in the LA Times article.