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Thursday, March 26, 2009


This is an attempt to document my (mis)adventures as a "freegan." I have been living for the past month or so as those way cool hipsters in NYC and Chicago do without knowing that there is a whole movement devoted to stuff I've been practicing on my own. If you have not heard of them before, keep an eye out because I have a feeling this thing is about to blow up... Freegans are people who reject conventional lifestyles in favor of one that is sustained by what others discard. I reckon they came from those wacky vegans who dont want to support bad shit by buying stuff from companies that wreck the environment and all that jazz... the thing is, no matter what you buy, you are supporting some bad shit, whether you know it or not. The amount of waste that all those brainwashed mindless drones(the average American) produce is so massive that we absolutely can not sustain ourselves, even the rest of our lives, using our current practices. If only five percent of the 305 million pounds of food that is thrown out each year, nearly 4 million starving people in America could be fed. Thats more people than live in Manhattan. This is where the freegans come in. With so much perfectly good food being dumped into the earth in landfills around the country every day, one might wonder why they should ever buy food when they can have it for free.

There is a certain stigma attached to people who eat out of the trash, but freeganism takes it a step further by completely rejecting the economic system and living off the grid, acquiring everything they need for daily life, food, toiletries, clothes, furniture, books, appliances, utensils, and just about anything else, from what others discard as "trash." I, myself have not purchased food in well over a month, and I have no intentions of ever buying anything again, if i think I can find it somewhere(with some exceptions like rent, gas, past bills, some toiletries, etc.)

Now some of you may be thinking "Damn, i didnt know Mikey was so nasty! I bet hes gonna get food poisoning or somethin like that from eatin trash..." but I assure you, the biggest risk involved with dumpster diving is probably getting a cut or getting a strong whiff of something smelly. This brings me to another point that ignorant people are very touchy about: expiration dates. Most often, fresh foods are packaged and given a "sell by" date. This indicates the date at which the product has reached its peak freshness. This is not the expiration date. The expiration date is often days or weeks later than the sell by date of fresh foods and weeks or months even for sealed packaged foods. So the four packages of imitation crab meat I found tonight or the pound of whole milk mozzarella I found two nights ago.. they are not expired. They are not rotten suddenly because they passed the magical number printed on the package. They were thrown in the garbage because people (mostly/especially in America) are brainwashed in to believing that they must constantly discard what they have(even if its perfectly good) and replace it with something newer/cooler/fresher(even better if it's disposable!), and they certainly wont buy something that is imperfect. Much of the food I have recovered was discarded simply because the label became wrinkled or the box was bent or the plastic got torn. The product has no potential to make money for the company it is written off and discarded, because another shipment will come in tomorrow... Because of this, freegans rarely have
a problem finding fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, nuts, dairy, grains, and meats that were for sale to
the public not an hour before it ended up in the dumpster.

This blog is meant to serve as a tool for me to keep track of what I find and also to educate anyone interested in opening their eyes to the disgusting waste of food, resources, and stuff in general that is encouraged by the corporate run and owned capitalist nation that we so willingly submit to by participating in it like a good little citizen(robot) should.

Well thats all for now. This is not some kind of all encompassing definition of problems and solutions... just me bringing this in to the open, where you can decide if its worth something you or if you like buying disposable stuff.

And so, here is the first official documented list of my findings:

4 12oz packages of imitation crab meat
2 loaves Pepridge Farm bread
1 package Aunt Jemima frozen pancakes
2 12pc boxes Texas Toast, 1 garlic, 1 five cheese
1/2 dozen eggs
1/2lb package catfish filets
1/2lb package ocean perch filets
2 12pc bozes Bundinos Ham&Cheese snacks
6oz package Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 bottle of Bolthouse Farms Acai juice (sell by date 3/!?)
2 drawer metal filing cabinet


  1. Hi Mikey! I found your blog and am very jealous, this is something I wanted to start doing, but you beat me to it! Oh well, no reason we can't all start out own documentation of our freegan adventures. I am a vegan, but I was introduced to freeganism recently (last month) and find it very fitting for my personality and beliefs, so I will definitely be getting into the lifestyle at some point. I hope you don't mind but I will be following your blog: so far I find it very inspiring and convicting. You have my sincerest best wishes! Be safe in those dumpsters! ^_^

  2. Let me know when you begin your adventure, I would love to hear about it! Where are you from? I am very interested how well people manage in other areas. good luck!

  3. Hi Mike -
    I am in the RTP area of NC and have begun dumpster diving in the past few months. The farmer's market is best pulled on Saturday or Sunday when they're busy; nobody even notices what we pull out of the food 'trash' bins. Most of the groceries here have sealed dumpsters except FL. The pharmacy's are quite good. I have a large family, and have managed to drastically cut our juice and snack expenses, while giving at least half our 'bounty' to other families in need. I have been thoroughly shocked at what is thrown away in my time doing this. Thanks for the blog and I think I have provided a link to mine. Take care.



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