Alex V. Barnard, 2016, Freegans: Diving into the Wealth of Food Waste in America, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 294 p
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‘Waving the banana’ refers to performance of waving a still-edible yet discarded banana to convey to the public the underlying causes of food waste and its relationship to capitalism in a freegan trash tour. This gesture and phrase encapsulate the key message of Barnard’s book that describes the motivations and activities of participants from the New York City group, freegan.info. Freegans are people who “employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and the minimal consumption of resources” (freegan.info cited p. 10). Their practices go beyond dumpster dumping, its most visible activity, to include guerrilla gardening, wild food foraging, squatting, repairing clothing and furniture, bicycling and hitchhiking. The freegan group, freegan.info, the focus of Barnard’s research in the book, also offers public ‘trash tours’, collective dumpster dives where freegans open the dumpster lid to reveal the moral failings of capitalism.