Thursday, September 27, 2007
Environmental Sciecne: Could you live as a Freegan?
Freeganism is an anticonsumerism lifestyle where people employ alternative strategies for living based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed." The lifestyle involves salvaging discarded, unspoiled food from supermarket dumpsters that have passed their expiration date, but are still edible and nutritious. They salvage the food not because they are poor or homeless, but as a political statement.
Many freegans get free food by pulling it out of the trash, a practice commonly nicknamed dumpster diving in North America or skipping in the UK. Freegans find food in the garbage of restaurants, grocery stores, and other food-related industries, and this allows them to avoid spending money on products that they claim exploit the world's resources, contribute to urban sprawl, treat workers unfairly, or disregard animal rights. By foraging, they believe that they are preventing edible food from adding to landfills and sometimes feed people and animals who might otherwise go hungry.
Instead of buying industrially grown foods, wild foragers find and harvest food and medicinal plants growing in their own communities. Some freegans participate in "Guerrilla" or "Community" Gardens, with the stated aim of rebuilding community and reclaiming the capacity to grow one's own food. They claim to seek an alternative to dependence and participation in what they perceive as an exploitative and ecologically destructive system of global, industrialized corporate food production.
Articles on Freegans
Freegan Ride: One month as a Freegan
Diving for Dinner
Not Buying It
Feeding the hungry