Freegan food: Would you dumpster dive for your weekly meals?

Reusing and recycling has become a national pastime, but how many people would go as far as eating food dumped in a bin?

For the past three years Ali has been doing her food “shopping” via her local supermarket bin.

She describes herself as a freegan.

“Basically, if food is going to be wasted you take it and you eat it,” she told ABC Radio Adelaide‘s Jules Schiller.

It has been estimated that Australian households throw out more than $8 billion worth of food each year.

“There is an unbelievable amount of waste and almost all of it is edible food,” Ali said.

She said by consuming food that would otherwise go to landfill, she was saving money — and helping the environment.

Avoid restaurant bins

Ali said she avoided restaurant bins as the food there was generally offcuts, scraps or had already been handled.

“Supermarkets throw out a lot of otherwise fully edible food.

“A lot of it is still packaged.

“I can fill my entire car in around 30 minutes from one supermarket bin.”

It was not uncommon for a supermarket to dispose of a container of 12 eggs if one was broken during handling, she said.

Ali said she was unsure whether taking food from the bins was illegal, but she admitted planning her trips around when staff were not present to avoid confrontation.

“You don’t want to go there when someone else is there, just because if nothing else it is quite uncomfortable for the workers as it is their job to move you on.”


Sharing the food spoils

Ali said she often shared her bounty with charities and had even held dumpster dive dinner parties.

“I’ve been doing this for coming up to three years and have never had food poisoning in my life.

“Everyone enjoys it and it is a good way of raising awareness of issues as well.”

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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