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one who eats food that has been thrown away; one who gathers surplus food that would otherwise be discarded; an anti-consumerist
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


A person who regularly gathers and eats food that businesses have thrown out.

[Blend of free and vegan.]

free′gan·ism n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a person who, through opposition to capitalism and consumerism, attempts to live without buying consumer goods, recycling discarded goods instead
[C20: from free + (ve)gan]
ˈfreeganism n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
All food intercepted is processed, quality controlled and distributed through the project's cafes, a Sharehouse and a Freegan box scheme, all with the ambition to #FeedBelliesNotBins.
The young, New York City-based photographer has long been drawn to issues pertaining to our food system, but she points to one experience in particular as inspiration for this project: an assignment with a freegan (someone who salvages wasted food and other goods in order to minimize their impact on the environment) who was rescuing food and laying it out on the streets of New York City, speaking with people about the food as they walked by.
Barnard then dives into a case study of the activities surrounding freegan. info, a website that served as an organising hub for anti-capitalist activists in New York City and whose name is derived from the words free and vegan.
A low point during her time as a freegan (an anti-capitalist who dumpster dives for unopened food) changed the trajectory of her life forever.
A Freegan buffet awaited made with out-of-date food salvaged from supermarket bins.
Some of the alluring examples from Maxwell 2006 are freegan (coined after vegan), blooks (potentially a blend from blog and book to designate these blogs turned into books.
Freegan, first recorded in The Sunday Times newspaper in 1997 to describe a person who eats discarded food, typically from supermarket refuse, for ethical reasons, also enters the OED.
Some of the other words added included freegan - someone who eats discarded food - and ecotown - a new town designed to have minimum impact on environment.