These are New York’s Freegans who enjoy the world’s cheapest barbecues, having scavenged their food solely from dustbins.
Freeganism, which began in the mid-1990s, is an anti-consumerist lifestyle where people employ alternative living strategies – and these New Yorkers showed how to have a free summer feast.
American politicians may have only just agreed on a way to attempt to clear the country’s national debt of $14 trillion, but these ladies and gents have a cheaper option that will give President Obama food for thought.
The Big Apple members – many of whom have high-earning jobs by day – spend their evenings bin-diving to collect fresh produce discarded by cafes and supermarkets.
The group, who organise monthly ‘trash tours’ so that people can seek the best places for free food, sourced potatoes, peppers, packaged salads, yogurts, pasta, bread rolls and hummus and made their own burgers and barbecue food from the ingredients.
Organiser Janet Kalish, who has been practising Freeganism for two decades, said: ‘We’re finding these tours to be extremely popular.
‘They are filling up with newcomers who are shocked by the level of waste and who now realise what they can recover from supermarket bins.
Dig in: One Freegan serves up the food, which was originally collected from bins, while another looks very happy with her findings
WHAT IS FREEGANISM?
- Freeganism started in the mid 1990s, out of the antiglobalization and environmentalist movements
- The word Freegan is a portmanteau of ‘free’ and ‘vegan’
- According to Freegan.info, members ’embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed’
‘Once a month, we invite new attendees to come on our trash tours of the village and then for a meal the next day with the food we’ve recovered.
‘There is no reason for this food to be thrown out. It is just as good now as it was 20 minutes ago when it was in the supermarket.
‘Many of the Freegans are young professionals who are environmentally and politically conscious, but we also find that many of them are people who cannot afford the high cost of food in New York City.’
Peter Desantis, 26, attended the July feed and said: ‘Last night I looked up Freeganism on my computer for the first time, and I live nearby [to the tours] so I figured it was fate that led me here tonight.’
Revellers enjoyed a five-hour event at Freegan Cindy Rosin’s home, which included a trip to the beach, and swimming in the sea.
Conservation worker Miss Rosin said: ‘It’s not just the rescuing of food that’s important, it’s about preparing the food together, cooking the food together, eating together, and cleaning up together.’
The Freegans hope to raise awareness and gain more followers and, as Mrs Kalish added: ‘This is non-sustainable, this amount of waste. It must stop.’
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