Freegans are making waves… but are they thieves or heroes?

Posted on 21 Mar 2011 in End Waste | 0 comments

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Freegan is a name given to a group of people who regularly find food and other necessities from bins and skips in a practice known as “urban scavenging” or “bin diving.”

Bin diving?!?

The idea of getting your dinner out of a bin may put you right off but as the People’s Supermarket recently showed on TV, most of the food in these bins is perfectly safe and edible, it may just have a wonky label or be mis-shapen or on the sell-by date.

Nobody likes wasting food either… or so we like to think. In fact British households throw away a third of the food they buy and supermarket waste adds almost 25% to that. It’s a common food myth that there’s not enough food in the world to go around, but that’s simply not true. There is enough food in this world to make everyone fat. The problem is the massive over-production, over-consumption, inefficient dispersion and waste of food by rich countries.

So what can we do?

Well you could turn Freegan if you fancy it and style yourself as a heroic food free-er!… but watch out because you can get into trouble with the law. Technically taking food discarded from the supermarket bins is theft by finding, as the lady in this article found out.

Or we can start treating food like it’s precious. Maybe one day the mass waste of food will be illegal and supermarkets will have to work with organisations like FoodCycle, who take wasted food and use it in a positive way.

What do you think? How can we start treating food like it’s precious?


Royalty-free stock photo from

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