Fighting food waste with dumpster dinners

Topic Selected: Waste and Recycling

General Article icon Type: General Article

By Marie Mourad and Alex Barnard

By revealing and rescuing the piles of edible food left outside supermarkets, ‘dumpster divers’ have contributed to public mobilisations against food waste over the last few years. In the US, Barbara (all names are pseudonyms), a 45-year-old high-school Spanish teacher, sees dumpster diving as a way to focus media and popular attention on mass consumerism, which, in her eyes, is “destroying the planet.” For Benjamin, a 25-year-old self-described anarchist and full-time activist, eating from the garbage is part of a strategy (alongside voluntary unemployment, squatting, bicycling and hitchhiking), for engaging in a “total boycott” of capitalism. Across the Atlantic, Pauline, a part-time French tutor and Quentin, who writes for a gastronomic guidebook, are a young Parisian couple organising free meals in their community garden with food rescued from the trash. They describe dumpster diving as “fun&rdqu

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