Freeganism is an anticonsumerism lifestyle where people employ alternative strategies for living based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed." The lifestyle involves salvaging discarded, unspoiled food from supermarket dumpsters that have passed their expiration date, but are still edible and nutritious. They salvage the food not because they are poor or homeless, but as a political statement.
I'm all about making the most of what we've got and not wasting food, but I don't think I could do it. And the sad part is, it isn't because I think the food is no good-I totally agree with the statistics in the article about how the US wastes billions of dollars and much of it in food-it's just the idea of digging around in the trash or dumpster diving while other people watch me. I think if I saw someone doing it I would think that they must be poor, or hungry, or desperate but I would not believe that they were doing it for political reasons. I think it takes a certain kind of person, and I'm not it.
Have you ever taken something out of someones trash on the curb? I always feel funny about it and maybe have only done so, once or twice in my life. Somehow I guess I'm stuck on the stigma associated with garbage despite the old saying "One mans trash is another mans treasure." On craiglist and freecycle there are constant curbside "treasure" sightings that people post about but I've never gone to retrieve any.