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Freegans: Creative Living Outside of Capitalism

Karen Hart

"Freeganism is creative living outside of capitalism." - Cindy Rosin -
In this short documentary on the Subculture of Freegans, we meet a few Freegans in New York City and learn about their strategies for practical living. We explore why they take limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources.

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  • pandaaze

    Calling all freegans or those considering it! Can you please complete either a multiple choice survey takes less than 7 minutes OR an under 5 minute short answer questionnaire The purpose of this survey is to educate Florida Atlantic University's graduate class Food: Environments and Culture class about freeganism. Your answers will remain anonymous and confidential. The results will be compiled into large statistically representations, unless otherwise noted by you in with written consent at the designated final box stating that you want to be used as a specific example. At the end of the survey there is also an optional elective to request a follow up interview which should last between 30 minutes to an hour depending on your availability. Feel free to skip any questions you feel uncomfortable answering, you can always save and continue later, and you can submit without finishing if need be. Thank you in advance for your participation in my project. I really appreciate it!

  • EC8OR

    abbie hoffman would be proud

  • Bsilverman

    Does this happen in every city?

  • Hillary Newman

    I'm surprised more markets and restaurants don't donate their food to foodbanks. Seems like a no brainer.

    Could you be a freegan?

    • BD1

      You're right, Hillary. A long time ago, I asked restaurants and stores why they didn't give their excess food to the homeless, especially since the homeless were sitting right outside their doors. They said that they could get sued by the homeless and shelters if something bad happened to them after they ate that excess food. I just took my excess directly to the homeless. Don't have much of that lately, though.

      And, no, I couldn't be a freegan in the sense that I would have to eat from trash cans. However, I think others should be able to be freegans, even if it's to help others eat. Food should never go to waste. It's a sin, and should be a crime, to deny food to people who need and want it.

      • Hillary Newman

        So backwards! It's so strange that markets and restaurants could potentially get in more trouble from sharing excess food with the homeless, than throwing food away.

    • Dawn Casey-Rowe

      No, I could not be a Freegan, but it's a nice reminder to stick with simplicity. There are markets and bakeries that try to donate to shelters and causes--I used to take the Thursday night run for this...the problem is that there are so many laws. Good food goes to waste because of expiration dates that are "just in case" and have a window--people could have used the food, but there's legal liability. I got clearance from a farmer to pick the rest of a fruit field once--I was going to do a huge lot of canning and bring jams/jellies/fruits to a few shelters and the VA home. Apparently, this is illegal. I need to go to food safety school and be certified--so, the food went to waste.

      What a shame the laws get in the way of good.

      • veronica lazalde

        agreed, dawn. i don't think i could live a freegan lifestyle, but it's unfortunate that laws prohibit others from doing so, especially when the often good food would just go to waste otherwise.