Thursday, November 24, 2005

from CNN.com - One man's trash is another's dinner - Nov 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!
My mom sent me this link from cnn.com, about "freegans," a story about people who find a different way to feast for Thanksgiving:

"They call themselves 'freegans,' a play on the words 'vegan'-- vegetarians who avoid all animal products -- and 'free.' In an ideological rejection of consumer waste, they only eat food that's been discarded. And in New York City, at least, they never go hungry.
'We find more food than we could ever possibly eat,' said Adam Weissman. Just 24 hours before the dinner party, he found a hefty stash outside a gourmet supermarket in Manhattan: bags of salad nearing the sell-by date, dozens of sandwiches, boxes of Ritz crackers, some nice looking squash and loaves of still-crisp baguettes.
Although not all freegans are vegan, they all eat for free. Weissman said that with few exceptions he has not eaten store-bought food, either at home, in a restaurant or as guest of a friend, in more than a decade.
Weissman and others say they have mixed feelings about Thanksgiving, which Weissman called 'basically a celebration of excess.'
Madeline Nelson, the host of the freegan dinner party who says she recently left a job in corporate communications at a Fortune 500 company, says she's concerned about holiday over-consumption.
'We are heading into wasting season,' said Nelson, who's serving a semi-freegan Thanksgiving dinner to her family, including her 83-year-old father.
A study suggests that freegans may have a point.
Timothy Jones, an anthropology professor at the University of Arizona, conducted a 10-year study that concluded the country wastes 40 percent to 50 percent of its food. A 1997 U.S. Department of Agriculture study put the loss at 27 percent of total U.S. food production, or 96 billion pounds of grub.
'The number one problem is that Americans have lost touch with the processes that bring it to the table and we don't notice the inefficiency."


I'm not sure I'm ready to go freegan. But today, as I look at all the food sitting around post-feast that I know I won't ever eat, I can't help but think maybe they're on to something...
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