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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Freegans - New Food Eaters

A new breed of ethical eaters, who scavenge for food as a reaction against a wasteful society, has emerged. The "freegans" say their philosophy is a way of highlighting how supermarkets dump tonnes of food every year that is still edible. They argue capitalism and mass production exploit workers, animals and the environment.

The term "freeganism" combines free and vegan. It is evident in both Britain and the US, where the "urban foragers" are also known as "dumpster divers". Manchester freegans Paul and Bob said it was a lifestyle choice and they had a network of bins. They have money and could buy food if they wanted, but as a protest against supermarket waste they choose to live a freegan life.

"There's so much waste, it's just unbelievable," said Bob. "While it continues I can't see my freegan lifestyle changing." Their best-ever bin raid yielded 75 bottles of beer and 100 frozen chickens, they told the BBC. 'We found so much food we went out and bought ourselves a big deep freeze and filled it with chickens and meat."

Each item raided from a bin is washed and the packing wiped over with disinfectant. Waste Resources Action Programme figures claim British households throw out 6.7 million tonnes of food each year.

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