Photo from GallowayWild Foods.com
I was watching part of the movie The East and then read about the Freeganism movement. I knew what Freeganism is, I just didn't know it had a name! In tough economic times people do what they have to do, but there are also people who are coming at this form a different take. A more thoughtful place perhaps. Wiki defines Freeganism as-
Freeganism is based on the idea of anti-consumerism and that there is little need to purchase new goods because of the waste that society has produced and because they want to help the environment. The writings of sociologist and anthropologist Marcel Mauss inspire many values of freeganism. Mauss studied the relationship between forms of exchange and the social culture. Not only do freegans use their finds for personal use, they also share their items and use them for free distribution. They believe that the general public greatly misuses resources because of the ideals and activities of mass consumerism and do not want to contribute to the consumerist society.
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. In order to fertilize those guerrilla gardens, food obtained from dumpster diving is sometimes also reused. In many urban guerrilla gardens, vermiculture is used instead of ordinary composting techniques in order to keep the required infrastructure/room small. Guerrilla gardeners 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. Many rural freegans choose to learn about native wild plants which are easily sustainable and either bring favored species home to cultivate or identify wild populations from which to forage. Often rural freegans are also "homesteaders" who also raise their own dairy livestock and employ alternative energy sources to provide energy for their homesteads, occasionally living "off the grid" entirely.
Working less is another component of freeganism. Freegans oppose the notion of working for the sole purpose of accumulating material items. The need to work is reduced by only purchasing the basic necessities for things such as housing, clothing, and food. Not working resists the idea that joy can only be found through the purchase of material items. Working is seen as sacrificing valuable time to "take orders from someone else, stress, boredom, monotony, and in many cases risks to physical and psychological well-being". This time could be spent volunteering in service activities, bonding with family, or participating in a number of other endeavors. The concept of voluntary joblessness has been described as means of completing tasks out of love for others while not expecting anything in return for one’s services. Working is viewed as a component of a system that has abused the world both socially and ecologically. It is realized that not working at all is not an option for everyone, but that there are ways to limit the need to work as much.
Gee, I'm a Freegan and didn't know it! I have dumpster dived (not for food), picked up things by the side of the road, recycled thru Freecycle and Craigslist. We downsized our home, ripped up our turf to grow food, etc. I'm still needing to take up some urban foraging though, unless the neighbor's rhubarb counts? :)
Are you a Freegan, or wanna be a Freegan???