Every time any major article about Freeganism pops up (this one’s in the Times), the commentariat explodes with class rage about “dirty hipsters stealing food from homeless people and City Harvest” (see here and here for anonymous rage). This isn’t even remotely true, as we learned here at The L over the years by reading about the Conscientious Objector’s freegan exploits. (What, she redistributes food to lower income families on the block?! Dirty hipster.) So, please allow me to direct your attention to a transcript of a speech Ms. Taylor gave in May, at NYU, from which the following excerpt is taken (haters, read this).
Almost half of the food produced in this country goes to waste, uneaten. That means half of the fruit, half of the vegetables, and most shockingly, half of the meat. Food waste has more than doubled since 1974—we’re now wasting about 1,400 calories per person per day.
Food waste accounts for 25% of freshwater used, and it accounts 300 million barrels of oil every year.
Most people assume that “something is being done” about food waste—when I tell people about the food that’s being wasted they tell me I should contact someone—that I should call City Harvest, or another organization that collects unwanted and uneaten food for the poor. Few understand that there is simply too much food, too thinly spread out across this city, for organizations to recuperate it all.