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[ 2009-05-27 11:18]     字号 [] [] []  
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Nancy Matos

Reader Question: freegan

“So you're what, a freegan girl?”

Could you explain “freegan”? Is it popular in western countries?

My comments:

Also known as ‘”dumpster divers”, “freegans” are people who look through garbage to find their food. It sounds alarming—unsanitary and probably unhealthy—but freegans swear by this practice.

The freegan movement has been getting a lot media exposure lately, especially during the current global economic crisis. The March 2009 issue of “The Beijinger” magazine featured an article on “freeganism” along with tips on being “green” and saving money, which goes along with the freegan movement. Freegan comes from combining the two words “free” and “vegan” (a vegan is someone who eats no animal products, including milk, eggs and honey).

Contrary to what you may associate with someone who looks through dumpsters and rubbish bins for food, most freegans are not homeless and even have well-paying jobs and homes. In fact, the true meaning behind freeganism is not about saving money but more about social beliefs and corporate protest.

According to the website freegan.info, freegans are: “people who 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.”

Some say freeganism has been around for thousands of years. Buddhist monks are even considered to be freegans, as they traditionally only eaten foods not prepared especially for them (just like freegans eat leftovers from the garbage) to avoid the bad karma involved in the production of food.

Freegans aren’t limited to only searching for food in other people’s or businesses garbage; everything from discarded furniture to tools are retrieved by freegans. So if you ever find yourself spying that chair on the sidewalk waiting for garbage pick-up and think about taking it to your apartment, you could be considered to be a freegan too.


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About the author:

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.