Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 271–272 | Cite as

Alex V. Barnard: Freegans: diving into the wealth of food waste in America

University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis and London, 2016, 294 pp., ISBN 978-0-8166-9813-4
  • Johann StrubeEmail author

The world of New York City’s curbside trash, makeshift bikes from salvaged parts and forage tours in Central Park may be an unlikely place to look for solutions to the problems of a broken economy. Not so for Alex V. Barnard, whose book “Freegans: Diving into the Wealth of Food Waste in America” offers a comprehensive insight into the lifestyle, group dynamics and radical anti-capitalist critique of the city’s anarchist collective The book defines freeganism as the ““ultimate boycott” directed against “EVERYTHING”” (40), that is the refusal to purchase any goods and instead live on what one’s environment provides for free. In a city like New York, this means most of all: waste. Barnard meticulously describes how freegans recover waste from commercial businesses and redistribute it to people who can still use it. Through this practice, commonly known as dumpster diving, freegans uncover how retailers prefer to discard products that still have use-value if this increases...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and EducationThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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