Oprah Cliffs Notes II

posted by Momo Fali on March 1, 2008

Last week, Oprah had a show on Freeganism. Freegans embrace an alternative lifestyle that is part Vegan, part dumpster diver. I’m all for scaling back, but these folks take things to a new level.

According to Freegan.info, “Freeganism is a total boycott of an economic system where the profit motive has eclipsed ethical considerations and where massively complex systems of productions ensure that all the products we buy will have detrimental impacts most of which we may never even consider”.

Confused? I am. If you ask me, that just sounds like gobbledygook.

So, let me break it down for you. Freegans believe that mass consumption is unethical, harmful, and just plain wrong. They live an all-around, minimalist lifestyle.

And, speaking of gobbledygook, this way of life includes going through other people’s garbage to collect things Freegans still find useful. Oprah showed us that this can be anything from eggs and fruit to furniture.

This is Madeline. Madeline was interviewed by reporter, Lisa Ling, while she made a dinner made from food which had come out of the trash. Though, Lisa didn’t eat because she had just stopped her SUV at a fast food restaurant and consumed a high-fat, processed meat-burger in a styrofoam box. Either that, or she wasn’t in the mood for eggplant with a side of shoelaces.

This is Daniel. Oprah introduced us to him and his wife. They are a doctor and an engineer..so they should know better. Daniel once retrieved an Ab-Roller that someone threw away. There’s a reason you found it in the garbage, Daniel. He and his wife frequently go through dumpsters and pull out food they feel is salvageable. Luckily, having a doctor in the family means they have easy access to antibiotics.

    Comments

  • Stacey @Real World Mom


    I’m cracking up! I agree–good thing there’s a dr. in the family! Ewww!!

  • Rachel


    That just gives me the heebies… eeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww

  • Tara R.


    eeeewwww! That is disgusting. What sort doctor was it?

  • Wisconsin Mommy


    I seem to remember that my dad had a name for these types of people – bums.

  • wheremytruthlives


    Ok, I gotta play devil’s advocate here. I’m not a freegan, I’m not trying to save the planet, I’m not a hippie. But I think the Freegans make afew good points.

    Our consumerist society is EXACTLY the reason we are so very far in debt as a nation and none of us is willing to do anything about it if it means changes to our cozy little lifestyles. I admire these people for living according to what they preach.

    I’m embarrassed to say that I bitch about the recession and cost of fuel like most but I realize that my very lifestyle is contributing to the problem. Sure I compost and recycle but those are just the things I can do conveniently. I’m well aware that I’m wasteful and irresponsible in so many of my practices.

    Sure it seems a little strange the idea of dumpster diving but on the other hand, their extremism is bringing to light an issue that Americans would rather turn a blind eye to. It is our consumerist ways that have created our national deficit and our national deficit will see America lose it’s financial power to countries that understand the value of conservation.

    We could all use to swallow our pride and work a little harder to combat the mentality that everything is disposable. Start reusing and buying more used, American made products. Dare you to take that little bonus you’re going to get in the next few months from our government and NOT spend it on something new and shiny.

    K, putting my soapbox away now. 🙂 Interesting post topic Momo!

  • The Immoral Matriarch


    That’s just stupid. Stupid.

  • Pendullum


    Yuck…
    Why not just call it Dumb People???
    A rose by any other name….

  • Momo Fali


    Wheremytruthlives,

    I agree that we consume too much…no doubt about it. But, I have to draw the line at getting my food out of a place where there could very well be biohazards. Who knows, maybe some of the food is recalled and that’s why it’s in the trash. Granted, there’s a lot of waste though. I think standards should be in place that allow grocery stores and restaurants to give the food to shelters or churches, without it being a bureaucratic nightmare.

  • HRH


    This was very funny and very true. I saw the show and was rendered speechless so I am glad you fought through that to write this!

  • Xbox4NappyRash


    Am I the only one who wonders what would happen to the ‘freegans’ if everyone decided that was a great way to live?

    There’ld be no garbage and they’ld all starve to death.

    They are surviving off the very society they claim to be in protest at.

    Numpties.

  • Chuck


    I like how the comments to this one evolved. xbox4nappyrash does a nice job of tying it together.

    Cool post Momo.

  • Maureen


    Agreed. Xbox4nappyrash expressed my very thoughts…

    I heard about this on the radio and wondered what the heck they would do if everyone did this.

    Yes, there is too much waste. But this is going a bit to far, IMHO.

  • Stacey @Real World Mom


    Happy Saturday! Blog Hoppin’! 🙂
    “Margarita Mom”

  • meleah rebeccah


    that is sofa king nasty.

  • newnorth


    that’s just gross. I can see not being wasteful of your own stuff but come on.

  • BusyDad


    Momo, I immediately gravitate toward anything on your posts in italics. You never disappoint me.

    Ok, look at Daniel. His “I’m scaling K2” outfit does not bode well for “keepin it dumpsta.” I’d buy it more if he had on some tennis shoes with no tongue and and a tin can with a candle in it to illuminate his forays into the garbage.

  • HomeSlice


    ugh i saw that. and i have to be honest. i threw up in my mouth a little bit. i saw one lady taking a head of moldy lettuce and coring it, then eating the core. i just am not down with dat.

  • Bean


    To second Momo’s follow-up comment, you just never know if a clueless individual threw away large, unwrapped, fluorescent tube bulbs that broke in the dumpster – resulting in Mercury all over the contents of said dumpster.

    And really, I can barely stomach things from my own fridge that may be old or icky … let alone from trash.

    That being said, I have actually been in a dumpster before, as a child. For the record, my parents were NOT aware of that fact! Mo, you can file that under the few things you don’t know about me!

  • soapb


    Yikes!
    Err, glad I didn’t see that Oprah.
    Well, I agree with XBox’s and Chuck’s comments.
    Beyond that? I got nothin’ (except a queasy feeling in my stomach).
    🙁

  • Our Crooked Tree


    I am happy to see being a minimalist does not mean you have to sacrifice stainless steel appliances and a gas stove:)

  • Joeprah


    Thats not activism, thats just a bunch of cheapskates…wtf are they thinking? You crack me up, great post! Very well written.

  • chefmom


    That is nasty!! I’ll admit, I’ve picked up furniture from the side of the road and refinished it, but that’s about it. Food…I can’t even fathom the thought. Go take a food sanitation class….I’m amazed those people are still alive!!

  • Lisa


    Ummmmm…aren’t rats in dumpsters?! Can you say bubonic plague?!
    I will be washing my hands a whole lot more when I am in public now….

  • Mr Lady


    Douglas Coupland wrote a whole book on this, and how bad it can turn. As soon as I remember the name of it, I’ll tell you.

    I think the whole thing is poppycock.

  • Kimmylyn


    That was totally my ab-roller.. I should got get it back.. and I will take that little head light on his head too.. 🙂

  • holly


    oh my god my tummy hurts now.

    but seriously, the sad thing of it is that she probably GOT those shoelaces to taste better than any food i cook which comes STRAIGHT from the grocery store.

    well, okay, not straight.

    but it NEVER touched a garbage can *before* i cooked it…

  • Amy


    What can I say other than EWWWW!

  • The MomBabe


    gross. seriously. gross.

  • Jo Beaufoix


    No. That is just wrong. I mean, I have nappies in my bin, and I used to put cat litter in there, and sometimes there are maggots. Nooooooo.
    And the doctor should know better. Bleurghhh.

  • Candace


    not something I should have read after just recovering from the stomach bug. gag. yuck.

  • Nadine


    That is disgusting!

  • wornoutwoman


    GROSSSSSSS! What’s wrong with some people?

  • Momminitoops!


    oh momo you crack-a-me-uppa. I love coupons but I will never be crazy enough to dumpster-dive. Well..MAYBE if I can get a SWEET outfit like Daniel’s…nah, never mind. Not worth it!
    Blog hopping! Snowed in and stir crazy!
    Momminitoops!

  • Anonymous


    think its a great idea… more people should be this we, of course sanitation should play, but when not… all for it, search craigs list, ask the stores… etc… em. the whole system is flawed…
    most of your comments are exactly what I’d expect, you all have been brainwashed, and that is the problem, the whole SYSTEM is flawed. that is the point, they are anti capitalist… period.

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