A number of readers have asked me to post the results of the polls and any decisions I made as a result of them.
Poll #1: The first poll was whether or not it was acceptable for me to get free food at the farmers' market.
While there was an overwhelming “yes” vote, many readers thought it was wrong of me to bring the samples home and use them for a fruit salad. I feel free to take samples from the farmer's market when I go (infrequently — usually only to spend time with my nieces), but if I decide I want to take samples home again, I'll likely put that to another vote.
Poll #2: This was a question that came about because I purchased diapers for my sister and used that purchase to help me reach a $25 minimum to get $5 off a $25 purchase which I then used to get myself free food. The overwhelming response was that I should be able to do this.
I have no problem doing this and will do it in the future if I am requested to pick up something for someone else. I could probably get a lot of free food this way if I wanted to, but I think it would be against the spirit of the challenge to actually seek out people to buy things for so I could save money on my purchases. It is certainly an option, just one that I will not use in this challenge unless someone else initiates the request.
I do forage for food on public land. The question was whether or not it was acceptable for me to get food from private land if I asked for the owner's permission.
About 75% said that it was okay for me to do this. I could get a huge amount of food if I made a concerted effort to knock on people's doors and ask if it was okay to take food off their trees (and would certainly have no problem doing this if food was really tight), but have decided to limit this to only getting the private land food if the person that owns the land offers it to me. I will not ask for food, but if I am offered it I will not turn it down.
Poll #4: This was a question of whether or not the readers thought I should continue with this challenge. They said yes and I decided to do so:
Poll #5: This question came about because I do travel a decent amount and I forgot to bring some basics along, so I wondered if I could use basics like oil and spices that I had (but had forgotten).
I opted not to use the basics available and instead went for creativity using some salad dressing that I had for oil and seasoning. I don't think this situation will come up again unless I decide to do this challenge really long term. if it does, I will think about it again at that time.
Poll #6: I was curious what readers thought as to whether or not they thought gum should be considered a food. Most said that is should not be:
I don't think that this will ever be an issue. Gum is available fro free / nearly free on a regular basis so it would cost very little (if anything) to get if I ever decide to get some.
Poll #7: This was a question that came up among friends that I though would be interesting to get others opinions on – whether it is acceptable to bring your own food into a movie theater. Most people said yes:
I didn't. If I was able to survive for a few weeks without salt and oil, two hours without snack food was nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Since I rarely go to movies, I highly doubt that this will come up again, but I think I would opt not to bring in anything again.
Poll #8: Usually when I house sit, I do not touch the food since the house sitting is for a short time and all the food will still be good when the owners return. In doing a three week house sitting job, I wondered whether I should be allowed to use the perishable food that was left that would otherwise go bad. Most people said that I should be able to do this:
I decided to ask that the people to clear out their perishables to friends, neighbors and their local food bank so that it waws not an issue.
Poll #9: I went into a restaurant to get some free food with a coupon I had. As I was waiting for it, I started to wonder if it is acceptable to take condiments in proportion to the meal even if you have no intention of using them on the meal?