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According to a report by the United Nations, approximately one third of all the food in the world is lost or wasted. Almost every industry in our modern world is characterized by waste and overconsumption. Many people feel powerless against these figures, but there is a movement taking radical measures to live a different lifestyle. Could freeganism be a part of your addiction recovery?

Freeganism is a movement committed to imagining a different way of life that is kinder to the earth. It can also help you heal your relationship with food and commit to eating in a way that serves your body, rather than one influenced by marketing.

Understanding Freeganism

Freeganism is a word born from the radical vegan movement. As much as possible, Freegans do not participate in the capitalist economy, neither making nor spending money. They use alternative living strategies such as squatting, foraging for food instead of buying, and volunteering rather than working. As a general philosophy, freegans embrace concepts of community, generosity, freedom, and cooperation. This opens up the possibility of living in harmony with your body instead of succumbing to marketing pressures.

Freeganism operates on a continuum. Those on the extreme end often find much of their food through dumpster diving. Though it may surprise you, dumpster diving is technically legal in all 50 states. In 1988, a Supreme Court case ruled that dumpster diving would be legal as long as it does not conflict with any city, county, or state ordinances. If you want to get into freeganism and dumpster diving, it is best to research your city and county policies online. However, note that it is never legal to dumpster dive on private property, though businesses and restaurants all have their own policies.

Freeganism As Part Of the Recovery Journey

Recovery always involves creating new habits, and often a whole lifestyle change. If you are interested in an alternative lifestyle centering around radical generosity and breaking away from consumerism, freeganism may be something to explore. The principles of freeganism also allow an opportunity to rebuild your relationship with food and nutrition.

As you move away from addictive habits and begin to tap into what is healthy for your body, freeganism can help build a relationship to food not tied to marketing pressures. Think of the difference between buying food from a supermarket and getting it through foraging. In a supermarket, you are blasted with advertisements for mouth watering food and money saving deals. This is tempting enough for those without an addictive personality. For those who struggle it’s even worse. If you get food from foraging, you are free to make decisions based on nutrition research and listening to your body.

Research Required Upfront

Freeganism does not mean you simply have to accept any food you find or are given. There are so many ways to get healthy food for free and minimize waste. For example, apps like Falling Fruit map wild growing plants around cities. You can find all kinds of fresh produce available for anyone to pick. Foraging provides the opportunity to find food in the forest, seaside, and all kinds of spaces. However, it is essential to research what is edible and nutritious that you can forage in your area. Coupling proper nutrition research with freegan values can help you heal your body and your minds relationship with food and consumption.


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