For a non-freegan going through someone else’s trash is not an option. Besides attaining publicly free fruit freegans like to dumpster dive, or sift through the garbage lands for good food. Most consumers would find this awful.
Most people who resort to dumpster diving do it out of complete necessity for survival but for a freegan attaining food for free is just a perk of searching for food in a garbage bin. Food retailers such as Trader Joe’s routinely throw away food in perfectly good condition because it has passed the products sell-by-date. Since dumpsters are located on private property many freegans get caught trespassing while searching for food. Some Trader Joe’s locations lock up their dumpsters and keep them behind steel doors so trespassers cannot access them during the off hours.
Trader Joe’s employee Bryan Agiular says he has had multiple encounters with freegans as he closes up the store at night.
” There are usually a few of them and they come just as the store is closing,” said Agiular. ” They always ask me to do them favors by pretending to not see them but I always tell them we have to lock it and I’ll get in trouble if the cameras catch me.”
Agiular says he encounters them often as he commonly works the night shifts. He says the store has had some issues with keeping them off of the property. Traders Joe’s employees are under strict order to not speak to the media regarding the issue.
“Personally, I think its kinda gross that they go and sift through the trash, I don’t see why they can’t just go in the store and buy things,” says Agiular ” It’s like they are homeless people or something, I feel bad telling them to leave but I have no other choice.”
People’s outlook differ when it comes to searching through the garbage for food. Capitalistic America see rummaging though the trash for food disgusting and dangerous. Others see it as a lifestyle and a way to better their environment.