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External links for sites with no inline reference[edit]

Following the guidance of WP:EL I have moved the more obvious sites with no inline reference here and removed the template:too many links, if you want some of these back into the page please make them relevant or reference them in the main text:

Ashley VH (talk) 19:05, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Supermarket tree tryouts-eating[edit]

At supermarkets, free tryouts of some snacks and foods are also available. This too can be consumed freely (for shoppers; yet yo do not actually "need" to buy anything offcourse). Perhaps it can be listed in the article; or in the list of subsitstence techniques in Wikipedia.

KVDP (talk) 14:26, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

This wouldn't be considered freeganism at all. The products you are consuming would not otherwise be wasted. You are just not paying for them; you're exploiting someone else who is. Richard001 (talk) 02:04, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

What is freeganism?[edit]

When I was on a camp last week I brought my own food (everyone else paid about $80), but ended up eating mostly what would have been thrown away (including several sausages). I would consider this 'freeganism', but the lead of this article seems to restrict it to the narrow sense of 'eating out of supermarket dumpsters as a political statement'. I'm primarily concerned with avoiding waste (hence my eating of meat despite being largely vegan), not making any massive political statement. I also generally refrain from eating out of dumpsters, so as to avoid consuming bleach or rat feces etc. Would eating things that would otherwise go to waste not be considered a better definition of freeganism then? If not, what would it be called? Richard001 (talk) 02:01, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I've never seen rats or rat droppings in or around the bins I frequent. And the supermarket doesn't throw bleach on everything. Rarely there'll be some chemicals on the contents, but that's only because the pack had a crack or leak, or tear in it, and they just threw away the whole bottle, and however it landed, that's how it ended up. Luckily most stuff can be rinsed/washed, and comes up well. Recently, I had to remove golden syrup off heaps of things. Not fun!DaveDodgy (talk) 16:56, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Dear Richard, you are "largely vegan", you understand how abhorrent waste is, and you are humble enough not to want to make any "massive political statements"; why worry about about a definition? live well! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thamus (talkcontribs) 23:54, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

In the UK, food safety laws dictate that certain foods like meat MUST be essentially destroyed before disposal in order to stop people eating them. This is why some supermarkets throw bleach over it before placing it in the 'trash'. Throwawayaccount42 (talk) 04:39, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Terms such as "Largely vegan," "would have been thrown away," and "free sample," defeat the greater message Freeganism is pursuing. They dilute the impact of food which is actually prepared for consumption, then discarded with the intent of unnecessarily depriving any human of its nutritional benefit. It is the impact of the message, moreso than the fact discarded food is being consumed, which is more critical. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Older than the 1990s[edit]

We were doing this in the 1970s, but the article states it started in the 1990s. Perhaps because we didn't call it 'freeganism' the confusion arises. Alpheus (talk) 08:04, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree, there is evidence that this practice predates the 1990s, perhaps as early as 1906. I would go further and suggest that we merge this article into Hobo.-- (talk) 03:34, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I also suggest merging it with Hobo. bladez (talk) 10:37, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Whoops! This is me.--Pink-thunderbolt (talk) 03:38, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Back in 1995 I met a belgium couple who owned an eco-agro-tourism farm in Portugal. They told me about their freegan practice while in Belgium, some 12 years back (around 1983) but they never used the word freegan. Saludos, Thamus (talk) 22:39, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

It might have a longer history - wasn't the life of Henry David Thoreau something that contained touches of this? ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:27, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

It obviously has been going on for many many many years in the homeless/hobo communities, I think freeganism is distinguished by the fact it is more often done by choice rather than necessity. The people I know who live this lifestyle are more lower-middle class to middle class, rather than the underclass who NEED to do this to survive. In this regard some people consider it an unfair practise as it may take away food from those who truly need it. Throwawayaccount42 (talk) 04:37, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Freeganism is part of the modern anarchy movement, which has shifted its focus away from governments and toward the de facto rule of multinational corporations. While hobos, Diggers and others may have had similar practices in the past, Freeganism's political message makes it distinct from similar practices. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:22, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

So what I understand is:[edit]

Basically, these people eat what others produce but did not consume? So basically, in a society where everyone eats from the dumpster this would not been possible. It actually builds on top of the consumer-lifestyle. So it is an consumer of the consumer-lifestyle. Pretty ironic, but I might just be clueless. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Truly so. For indeed, Prophecy has it that when the Last of Consumer-Society's Producers has turned Freegan, it is then, that We shall turn and consume one another, and thus rid us of the last chains of our Carbon Footprint. For so it has been written in the Sacred Freegan Scriptures That Unfortunately Had To Be Recycled Into Our Humanure Toilet Blessed Be Its Odour. (talk) 16:09, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Not exactly "truly so." Freeganism is an expression of modern anarchist thought. Both the ethical basis of the practice and its shock value, and the impact of the political message are more critical than the practice itself, from an anarchist point of view. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:24, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

In war, you fight your adversary and still take what advantage you can of him. Yet, if I understand it correctely, freegan action aims primarily at an awakening of conscience, more than immediate reform of society. Also, they take their reality and their environment such as they are. something lyke "this is where I was born and this is the state I find it in, it was done before me and I was not consulted, but this is where I have to live. So, how can I do it best without participating in it, if I am against it?" freeganism is one answer.Thamus (talk) 23:12, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Its like saying if everyone went on welfare there would be no welfare because there would be nobody to pay for it. While if freeganism avoids putting food in land fill sites (where presumably rats would eat it anyway) then it may be a good thing but to claim an ideological thrust is a bit weak but if that is what they do we should record it here all the same. perhaps we should emntion that it occurs in most of the 3rd world (people scouring rubbish tips). Thanks, SqueakBox 20:40, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
In Sydney, Australia, and probably many other places, you're "not allowed" to take anything out of the rubbish tip/recycling centre! DAMN THEM!! They reckon it's a safety risk, or whatever. Plus, they weigh your vehicle on the weighbridge (going in, and coming out), so they can sorta tell. They should let ya take what ever ya wanna take, like the good ol' days!DaveDodgy (talk) 17:10, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

How many Freegans are out there?[edit]

This would not only add to the article but it is also an issue of notability, I think -- (talk) 16:42, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Also, where are they (please note the question refers only to freegans, not to people who scavenge for food in the third world out of necessity. Freegans do it out of ideological choice. Where are they, and how many in each country) Thamus (talk) 05:45, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Living off other's consumerism[edit]

I'm not sure I understand. I see pictures of people in urban settings pulling fruit out of dumpsters. But a banana in NYC is only there because somebody paid for it's transportation from the orchard to the city. This movement seems entirely dependent on the consumerism of others to bring food into urban areas. If somebody hadn't paid for that banana to be brought to NYC, it'd still be in Ecuador. JeramieHicks (talk) 23:47, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Clearly you DON'T understand, but that is understandable. It is an easy blunder to take these people for lazy oportunists. Yet, if you read closely, it is said that they have global social and political concerns. Such high moral standards aren't easy to grasp. Also, if you bother to inquire, you will find among these people many that have attended prestigious universities and would be able, or have for some time lived in relative luxury, but decided to change their lifestyle, out of those global concerns. One very clear example in history is given by the life of Francis of Assissi (St. Francis for the catholic church).Thamus (talk) 22:56, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Way to completely sidestep the point he's trying to make - the whole idea of freeganism requires consumerism to exist. So while you can rant and rave about consumerist behaviour all day long, you lifestyle requires it to exist. I mean even this very website relies on advertising and other people's charity to exist... much like freegans. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:06, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

I see it more as a political style compromise. Their final aim may be the destruction of the consumerist capitalist system, but until that day comes (lol, same day pigs fly maybe?) they will compromise by at least trying to make the current system more efficient. Throwawayaccount42 (talk) 04:43, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Why in an article about Freeganism, in the section on composting toilet, is there someones arbatrary opinion of how much it would "cost" in dollars to make a composting toilet? What does that add to the discussion? Is it implied that freegans will use money if something is cheep enough? The point of the article is to explain a group of people who attempt to live without money, right? Why then would we measure their efforts in terms of how much it would cost if they did use money? Why not state the amount of time it takes to make a composting toilet? The cost of the toilet is completely subjective anyway, the price could be highly variable depending on your circumstance, to me that is a POV issue. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:28, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

A-class? Really?[edit]

This is hardly A-class material. The sections cite few sources and are long and rambling, when they don't need to be, there's excessive information about Weaver street, the sawdust toilet section provides a bunch of HOWTO info, and some of the citations are broken/badly formatted. B-class at best, probably C-class due to lots of irrelevant material. KellenT 09:50, 29 May 2009 (UTC) 1 BILLION people squat worldwide? 1/6th of the entire worlds population? I find this likely to be a typo. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Anareon (talkcontribs) 00:42, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Anti-laissez-faire bias[edit]

"As such it ignores the need for state regulation in capitalist society."

Need? There are plenty of laissez-faire capitalist supporters that would argue vehemently that there is zero need for state regulation in a capitalist society. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:43, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Reliance on the website[edit]

The website is a project run by the political organization "Wetlands Activism Collective". Naturally the website has an associated political and geographical (i.e. USA) bias and may not represent "Freeganism" in its generally used sense internationally. The article assumes that all people living a Freegan lifestyle must be motivated for the same reasons as the Freegans contributing to This makes for an inappropriately biased definition. Is there a consensus on how to balance this natural bias?—Ash (talk) 07:06, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Finding other sources is the only way. KellenT 15:59, 1 December 2009 (UTC)


The thing that concerns me is the safety of the food Freegans eat. There is little or no mention of food safety issues in the article. It occurs to me that safety is or at least should be a primary concern among Freegans.

When someone buys food from a store the buyer feels a level of assurance that the food is fit to eat. Its in the store's best interest to provide safe food for obvious reasons and there are goverment agencies such as the FDA in the US, and state departments of health governing health codes in restaurants, that enforce policies and guidelines intended to prevent unsafe food from reaching consumers. Sure there are cases where these barriers fail, but they are statistically rare. And sure many people criticise the FDA on a number of fronts but this is a separate issue.

When a Freegan takes food from a waste container there is also a level of assurance, quite opposite, that the food is NOT fit to eat. Or more accurately, that a person, namely the previous owner of the food, determined that for whatever reason the food is no longer suitable for consumption. It may not have rat feces on it. It may not have a dangerous chemical on it. You don't know why that person decided to throw it away. And of course that's the point. You don't know why. It could be anything. If I spilled a chemical on some food or dropped it on dog feces, I wouldn't write some kind of do-not-eat warning to Freegans on it before I throw it away. Nor would the vast majority of the people on this planet ever consider doing this. (admittedly only NOW, if the food was truely dangerous, would I consider taking this or a similar more practical step only because I thought about it, and am now aware only recently, that Freegans exist) When people throw food away they do it with a confident assumption that no one will attempt to eat it, EVER, once it is in the trash. There is no more responsibility felt or required. Whether a Freegan agrees with this or not is irrelevant. It is a cold hard fact that a Freegan should consider. It is afterall the Freegan's life and well being at risk here. Not the life of the person who thows the food away. I am sure that the likelihood of a truely dangerous or poisonous food reaching a Freegan is fairly slim, but the analogy of Russian roulette comes to mind.

I am aware that Freegans generally take certain precautions such as frequenting trusted sources, inspection of food and proper preparations of the food to reduce the risks. I am curious if there are any statistics showing the rates of food related illnesses and deaths among Freegans compared to general populations. Could these and other safety related issues be included in the article?

While many people may consider eating from trash unacceptable and irresponsible behaivor in most modern cultures, I have no moral issue with this practice and I understand the reasons why Freegans do it. It is well intentioned and quite noble. I am interested only in how Freegans view and handle the apparently obvious safety risks and if safety should be a topic in this article.Racerx11 (talk) 17:31, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

I seem to recall a video made a few years back about how to "properly" eat food from a dumpster. Basically a survival guide for--well ,I do't think the term "freegan" was used then, but a sort of guide for your urban dumpster-diver, I guess. There's an art to picking the choicest trash--nothing spoiled, wilted, or moldy. Rush Limbaugh mentioned the video back in the day and showed excerpts on his TV show. --The_Iconoclast (talk) 15:53, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Mark Boyle[edit]

In the United Kingdom in December 2009, quite a big story was on how a freegan called Mark Boyle had lived for a year without either earning or spending any money. Does any one want to start an article on him, or at least, to add some information about him to this website? I expect he will get quite a few Google hits. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:26, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

No, he is just a homeless person. (talk) 06:19, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Laws effecting freeganism[edit]

Should some mention be made of laws that can effect this? An example in the UK would be the theft by finding law. Here are a couple of sources for a case of a woman arrested and taken to court over her liberation of food that would have gone to waste.

Throwawayaccount42 (talk) 04:33, 5 September 2011 (UTC)[edit]

Hi, I operate the, a wikipedia blog. You have me listed as a reference. I paraphrase and amalgamate wikipedia articles. Therefore, it would be circular to reference me in wikipedia. I'm going to delete the reference. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:35, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Incoherent paragraph.[edit]

'Not all people who identify as freegan are vegan. There are some, because of a confusion with dumpster diver, that consume animal products only if those animal products would otherwise be wasted. "Vegans are people who avoid products from animal sources or products tested on animals in an effort to avoid harming animals. Freegans take this a step further".[16]' This makes no sense. The sentence, 'Freegans take this a step further,' is a lead-in to another idea (i.e. as the sentence appears in the source). Dumpster diving doesn't take veganism "a step further", at least not in any obvious sense. The souce explains what is meant by "further". It has no meaning by itself.

Agreed. Also, from the lied, "not all dumpster divers are vegan, but the ideology of veganism is inherent in freeganism" is self-contradictory. I will consider a rewrite from my account as time permits unless someone takes issue. (talk) 11:32, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Point-of-view Tag[edit]

Some examples of non-neutral/undeveloped content:

"Freegan group organizers are frequently harassed by law enforcement." "...society views garbage as something “dirty” and overlook it as an area to get a wholesome meal." "Mass advertising is constantly encouraging customers to get the latest and greatest products, always upgrading."

Legality & Sanitation section does not detail anything about whether or not eating food from garbage is unsafe. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't see that these are POV issues at all, and I've removed the tag as there has been no discussion in almost a year. --Sammy1339 (talk) 15:56, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Should this article be B-rated?[edit]

How did this article get rated B-class, anyways? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Lentower (talk) 23:00, 10 March 2015 (UTC)