Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Freegans

According to Timothy Jones of the University of Arizona, 40-50% of the food in our country is wasted via loss. That means, according to him, we throw away almost as much as we eat.

Recently a movement has begun to reclaim some of that loss. No, we're not talking about extra food being donated to food pantries or food shelves; some folks have taken it upon themselves to reclaim food from the trash. They call themselves 'freegans'.

These particular folks, especially prevalent in big cities such as New York City, search around grocery stores, restaurants, and even private homes to salvage what they consider perfectly good food from the garbage. They then prepare this food and eat it--some of them eating it exclusively. Freeganism is a concept that only seems to have taken off in the new century, but with publicity seems to be growing.

The question of course is, can dumpster diving for food produce safe things to eat? Certainly there are probably some good things to be found, but there are also some bad. It seems only a matter of time before you'd get sick. Says John Krakowski, head of New York City's City Harvest, a food charity, "It's not a good idea to do that, because they're placing themselves at risk." It seems he would know best.

The bottom line message to all of us is that we should do our best not to waste food. Of that 40-50% wasted, most came from private households. If each home was wiser about what they bought, the problem would be less.

And if you feel like you are ready to begin eating for free, you now know of such an option.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Interesting. I had never heard of freegans before.