Dumpster Diving: The Cheapest Way to Eat While Traveling

Food can become a considerable expense if you are a backpacker exploring the world with a limited budget. If this is your style of travel, you might consider becoming a “freegan.”

A freegan is a vegetarian who eats for free. And how does one eat for free? Dumpster diving, of course.

The freegan movement is a relatively new one, despite its roots stretching back to the very first bum who pulled something out of the trash, gave it a sniff, and then wolfed it down. Today’s freegans are a little more cultured and refined, according to Erika Hayasaki, who recently studied their lifestyle for a Los Angeles Times feature article. She claims that most of the dumpster divers “are often college-educated people from middle-class families” who are simply rebelling against capitalism and waste. Or, for the purpose of this post, just looking for a meal while thumbing their way to Dublin.I slightly get the point. I certainly spent some time in my youth digging through grocery store dumpsters in search of melons to throw off of tall buildings. The amount of food that these places throw away is staggering and I was always amazed at how fresh some of the items looked. They never looked fresh enough to actually put in my mouth, but I can certainly see how others might want to do that–be it a statement against consumerism or simply to save a buck.

For those of you considering freeganism to supplement your hunger during your budget travel jaunts, you might want to check out Meetup.com–a site that offers dumpster-diving tours in Seattle, Houston, LA, and England. And, if you’re really serious about this, Hayasaki also suggests Freegankitchen.com, a recipe site that promises “gourmet meals from the dumpster.” Mmmmm…