To fight waste, this group of environmentalists in Spain occasionally gathers for a “junk food” dining experience, open to the whole neighborhood.
The previous evening, dragging their shopping carts, they ferreted through the waste bins of food shops on the hunt for discarded ingredients that are still good to eat.
After a fruitless first hour, they finally hit pay dirt in a rubbish container outside a fruit and vegetable store.
They harvested pounds of Swiss chards, apricots, tomatoes, carrots, bananas, medlars, half a pineapple, plus cabbages, cauliflowers, peppers, celery and cherry tomatoes.
“It is a good haul. Most of it’s in good condition,” said 50-year-old Txomin Calvo.
With a nearly 25% unemployment rate and one in five persons living below the poverty level, Spaniards are resorting to extreme measures to put food on the table.
In addition to the ingredients found in bins, shopkeepers donated some food that had gone past the expiration date.
It had all been disinfected.
The movement started off in the United States in the 1990s as “freeganism”. But it has taken on a new meaning in Spain, which is in a deepening recession and suffering a financial crisis.
In May 2011, a UN Food and Agriculture Organization report said too many shopkeepers and consumers were throwing out food that was perfectly fit to eat because of excessive attention to outside appearance.
The price is right. If you are willing to swallow your pride in order to swallow some “fresh” produce, this may be the way to go. I mean, it’s still good, right?