Eating Vegan Is Nothing Next to Eating 'Freegan'

dumpster diveThink going vegan is the ultimate ethical food lifestyle? Think again! If you truly, selflessly care about planet earth, you'll go Freegan. In other words: dumpster diving for your food. Hundreds of able-bodied, college-educated people are taking their ethics to the garbage and pulling out dinner. Oh yeah, if you really want to go green and give the finger to The Man, you've got to go deep.

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Freeganism is an alternative lifestyle "based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources," according to Freegan.info. Do you know how much perfectly good food Americans throw out every day? Freegans do, and your waste makes their lifestyle possible.

Judging from this Freegan's journal, dumpster diving can make for some surprisingly healthy eating. He makes a fresh veggie stew that will last him 4-5 meals, pizza with fresh mozzarella, and oatmeal and fresh smoothies. And Freegans will have you know they are tidy when they dumpster dive; they're not there to make a mess of anyone's garbage.

Reading about Gio the Freegan today was perfect timing for me. Yesterday I cleaned out my freezer and refrigerator, throwing out some ancient Popsicles no one liked, 2-year-old liverwurst (from the freezer!), a small cabbage that turned out to have all these funky-looking spots, bread heels, mystery sauce, and a shriveled wasabi root. Imagine the Freegan meals! 

I always feel guilty when I throw away food. Always, always, always. When you look at the total calories the world produces, we actually have enough food for everyone; it's just that a lot of food gets wasted (that and wars/corrupt leaders get in the way). So I try to buy only what I really think I'll use and I compost as much as possible. I don't feel guilty enough to go Freegan, though.

Still, I think Freegans and I are on opposite sides of the same coin. Freegans love food too much to tolerate its waste. I love food too much to waste calories eating something I don't love.

So Freegans, please stop by my apartment when you're hungry. I've got some perfectly good but slightly stale tortillas and some beet greens to share.

What do you think of dumpster diving?


Image via Luana/Flickr

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