Freeganism in Telegraph, National British Newspaper December 19, 2005 9:10 AM
Scavengers harvest sell-by date booty
By David Sapsted
The freegans have landed and, by tonight, will
probably be foraging through a supermarket skip near you.
"Freeganism" is the latest craze to arrive in
Britain from the US. It involves scavenging
through bins at supermarkets and food stores to
retrieve blemished goods or food that has been
thrown out because it has reached its sell-by date.
Though supermarket chains said yesterday that
they were attempting to keep a lid on the
situation with locked bins and security patrols,
the Co-op admitted that the craze had become "quite a problem".
Websites dedicated to freeganism have been set up
in America and enthusiasts in the UK are now exchanging messages in chatrooms.
Mary-Louise Holland, a Cambridge city councillor,
raised the problem after witnessing the scavenging at her local Co-op.
"Apparently it is a growing national phenomenon,"
she said. "I have seen scavengers making off with
three shopping bags full of out-of-date food. One
can only surmise that people are caught in a
poverty trap or making a statement about wasting food."
Every year 17 million tons of food from
restaurants, stores and hotels is dumped in landfill sites.
Morrisons said it reduced the price of food near
the end of its shelf life. "Any waste food is
genuinely unfit for sale and consumption," a spokesman said.
Sainsbury's said it donated about £4 million
worth of food to charities, zoos and animal
sanctuaries if it was still within its use-by date.
A spokesman for Marks & Spencer said: "We reduce
food waste by selling unsold items that are still
within customer life at a discounted rate to
employees, staff restaurants in stores and donating to charities."
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