It is often said that we live in a consumer society where most people think that the more material objects they have, the happier they will be. However, while some people are buying excessively beyond their needs, others don’t have enough money to buy even the most basic things they need. Excessive consumerism is using up the Earth’s resources and as Ganhi said: ‘There is enough on Earth for everybody’s need, but not for everyone’s greed’.

Freegans believe that too many things in our consumer society are just thrown away when they can still be used and this includes things which are produced for almost immediate consumption, like food. So freegans thake things out of rubbish bins and use them. The main thing that freegans look for is food. Most of the food that freegans find is past the sell-by date or the packaging is damaged, but it is perfectly edible.

As well as finding food, they also find drinks, books, DVDs, CDs, clothes, toys… just about everything. They say that the best places to find things are in the bins outside the big shops, offices, schools and hotels and that the goods are clean and in a near perfect condition.

Freegans say they help reduce pollution because they recycle things and stop them going to incinerators and landfill sites.

What do you think about this? Should supermarkets and shops give away the food and products they don’t sell? Would you eat food from the garbage? Would you mind having freegan relatives?


29 responses to “Freegans

  1. Hi Mariluz,
    I am Lola Grau.
    I am going to comment text Freegans.
    I think people not need a lot of things in their homes
    I am disagree, with text Freegans about, when they look for food, because the food can is contaminate, but i am agree about they find books, DVDs, CDs, etc.
    We are living in a society of consumerism, so the world going to pay all they squandering.
    For me, is a good idea that they recycle things.

  2. María José Calatayud Miñana

    Hello Mari Luz,
    I think that people in general, including me, spend a lot and buy more things than we need. Now, in the actual situation of crisis, I see perhaps I don´t need to buy something because I have other and they are new. I am trying my sons to do the same.
    The first thing is not to buy if you don´t need it. However all the people aren´t in the same situation or there are people who like saving money if they buy objects of freegans´places. Maybe you find something cheaper and good.
    The problem is the food. The supermarkets or restaurants could give the food that they aren´t going to use to places where persons who need those aliments could pick them up and the food weren´t with the rubbish.
    I agree whith the “freegans”. I think that is a good way of recycling and giving more uses to an object which can be useful for other person.
    I don´t mind eating food from the garbage if I need it but I´d prefer packaged aliments because they are more hygienics.
    I don´t mind having freegan felatives, it´s a way of life that makes me think about the things that we really need and they help other people who need to buy in “freegans´ places”

    Thanks Mari Luz.

    Please a question: what does freegan mean?

  3. Julio Llorens Bejarano

    Good evening, Mari Luz: I think it´s true that we espend more money that we need. This kind of things were done when I was a child and ancient farmers toke off objects from rubbish for make profit. But sincerely althought this behavior is ecological I think that living with rubbish is and excess. I think that people would become ill very often and that kind of life is unsane.

  4. Freegans
    I agree with the supermarkets give away which they don´t want, however I think that they don´t do it because they think that everybody would be to ask for food.
    In July I went on holidays to Berlin While I was shopping in a supermarket I saw a group of poor people who was waiting for food so I was surprised. I never saw this in Spain!
    This people, doing this are trying that the people realize and think about it. Thinking about it I think why the food in a supermarket has the same appearance? Where is the different food?

  5. Hi, I am Ruth García, I can´t watch the video from freegans, Why?. Although I have watched a report about these people and their accions four years ago. I think the food must take to food´s banks to the best preservation and distribution of them.

  6. jaquelin fortea

    It´s true that, we live in a consumer society, but many families have a lot of need, for that should supermarkets and shops give away the food perishable or sell it half price, so people will not look for in the garbage.

  7. Adrián Santana

    Hi Mari Luz. I´m Adrián Santana.
    Yes, it´s true that we spend more things than we need. But I think it´s impossible to change this attitude.
    We are living in an aggressive society, and I think that we are manipulated by a lot af things, above all by the publicity. And this things don´t let the people (me included) be clever and to think calmly.

  8. María Luisa Vidal agustina

    I think with in the supermarket’s garbage it is a meals is goods for eating, but the politic of supermarket it is have the meal in garbage.

  9. Guadalupe Fernández navarro

    Hi Mari Luz. I’m Guadalupe and I think that I couldn’t be a freegan!!! But I agree whit they because It’s true that we trhow out many things and food that can be used. I think that the problem is our life style.

  10. Angela Chaves Furriol

    Hi!! I think the existence of freegan people are positive to compensate overspending of society. First of all, shops and supermarkets should of give away the food that they don’t sell to the people who need it.
    I would not mind having freegan relatives of course, although I only eat food from the trash if I were poor.

  11. Hiya MªLuz,
    This is a good way to see how we waste a lot of food and things that we often buy without thinking whether we need. In my opinion I agree with freegans who recycle things and look for food in the rubbish as a lifestyle, as freegans say “We won’t buy your crap, but we’ll eat your scrap”.
    On the other hand, nowadays there are many people who are not freegans but they need to look for food in the rubbish, so one good solution might be give the food away that supermarkets or chain stores don’t sell.

  12. Hi MLuz, regarding the video I think supermarkets and food shops throw away a lot of products that are still good to consume. Freegans don’t mind collect this food, but personally I’m a bit scrupulous to pick it from the ground, bins or rubbish bags… Maybe supermarkets should stop to throw away food and to look for another way to use it. For example donate it to charity, people with economic problems, ONGS, etc.
    With respect to the second part of the video, the depot of bicycles and other things, it’s a fine way to reuse and to recycle objects, I suppose could go to try get something if I need to. It’s a pitty!!, these types of depots are usually more common in big cities than in towns.

    by Sonia Vidal.

    P.D: Happy new year!!

    • Thanks for your comment, Sonia. Now we can see some shops that sell second-hand clothes, gadgets or babies’ stuff in Valencia… Little by little!
      Happy New Year to you as well 🙂

  13. I have a question. Do Freegans catch everything they need from the bins or they also work and pay taxes like other people? Because , in a wonderful world we would live taking everything out of the nature but we are living in a society with rules that we had to put to enable the coexistence of all. If someone is buying it’s because someone is selling, someone is working to earn money to buy things, and someone is managing the taxes paid by all. Maybe we could manage natural resources and taxes better and waste less but if everybody works out of the system only the strong survive. What happen if you are ill and can not go to look for the food or you need medicines? I agree that we are wasting a lot, but being outside the system is not the solution. Freegans can do that because they are few people and they think they don’t need the system, but this way of life is not possible if we all do that at the same time. Being Freegan is a way of protesting to make things better but not a way of living life .

  14. I forgot to wish you a happy new year to all

  15. Lourdes Pallás

    Hi MariLuz, I think the freegans are right that much food in the rubbish that is in good condition is pulled, like many things that can still be used. People tend to buy things that are not needed. I also think that collect this food is dangerous because it isn’t known what state is, I never would. But, I think that businesses could donate food, clothing, objects to be thrown away, provided it’s in good condition, with different ONG’s

  16. Hi Mariluz,

    I know supermarkets to eight p.m. begin to lower prices of fruits and vegetables, also lower prices on fish and meat to expire, so do not throw much away, I often I take advantage of these offers.
    In my neighborhood bakery, the bread the day before, they sell a 1 € and finally if they do not sell, they deliver it to soup kitchens .
    And finally in a local takeaway in my neighborhood, at seven p.m. put prices 1 €, I sometimes have dinner as such offers, because I do not like to eat food from the trash though sometimes if it is in good condition I would not mind, I would not mind having a freegan family because I respect everyone’s ideas and I share everything that could be exploited to take advantage .

  17. Antonio Blázquez

    I think that the video shows us what everybody knows about the rubbish but we wan’t to see. We live in a consumer society and we buy things that we don’t need even food that will ends up in the dusterbin. Have you bought last Christmas what you really needed ? to answer this question please have a look to the compost bins in your town . We must mature our behaviour when we go shopping and think if is needed to buy eveything that we buy.

  18. In my opinion the choice of freegans is a consequence of a consumist society. So that, on the one hand it is a way of protest in wich they show that the solution is not throwing away things but reuse and recycle them. On the other hand, in the case of food, I think is not too much hygienic. It should be more convenient if supermarkets gave out of date food to people who really need it instead of throwing away to bins.

  19. Airam Diana Rehués Font

    Hello MariLuz, sorry for my delay.
    First of all, I think we live in a totally materialist society in which saving is the last option. Only with the current economic crisis people realize the difference between basic needs and whims.
    Moreover, I think it’s also healthier to eat food even exceed the expiration date for a little while. Just it is enough that it has a good smell and a taste in conditions. However, what is not organic is collecting these products from the bin, although they are in perfect conditions, as they could be in contact with other contaminated products.
    On the other hand, the waste that make supermarkets throwing away the products that can not be sold for simple problems seems painful. I think they could donate this products to needy people or to sell it with lower prices, for example.

  20. Hi M Luz
    The video shows us how materialist there are our society. Everyday, we expend much money in all kind of things thoughtlessly in people who haven’t anything. Further, we don’t need some things and there are only whims.

    I think best way to don’t do this is to ask yourself if you really need it and probably, the reply will be no.

    For the other hand, the Freegans video explains an alternative way to use this kind of things and give it another life. We have to learn to recycling the products or food because in a few years, maybe we not have the same number of material and organic resources.

  21. Hi MariLuz,

    On the one hand, the video shows us how the society where we live depend on the consumerism. Most of us usually buy more than we need. Compared with it, the supermarkets and the restaurant buy more food and all types of products that after they throw to the rubbish. From this point of view I understand and I agree with Freegans, although I would prefer to donate it for the charities.

    On the other hand, I thing I couldn’t eat products of the rubbish, because my conscience and imagination doesn’t let it.

    I think it is all.

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