What’s for dinner?
Our man Adam Weissman, well-known NYC animal activist and all-round revolutionary, was featured in an article in yesterday’s London Independent. The appropriately named Liz Scarff joined Adam and a bunch of other freegans for a bit of dumpster diving, scooping up the stuff that our consumerist society and wasteful restaurants throw away.
Last time I saw Adam I thought he looked painfully thin, so I hope he isn’t just relying on what he finds at the bottom of a trash can. And we need him around: he led a memorable Fur Free Friday and combined Buy Nothing! day in Manhattan a few years ago, with the inimitable Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping leading the congregation. Adam gave a great talk about the connection between animal rights and social justice and we marched down Fifth Avenue and protested outside Fendi’s and other purveyors of pelts and railed against a world that has turned everything into a commodity and everyone into a consumer.
And then we went off to lunch.
UPDATE, June 20, 2006:
The following is a response from Adam Weissman to this post.
Thanks for the kind words about my work, but I’m afraid you have the wrong idea on urban foraging. We gather food not by rummaging scraps at the bottom of garbage cans. Rather, we harvest copious quantities of surplus goods discarded by perpetually overstocking retailers. Sometime stores throw away goods literally on the day they are delivered to stores rather than bothering to create shelf space by throwing out the still-good older items. I am able to obtain far, far more food by this method than I ever could through purchasing. And I’m able to regularly consume the sort of high-end organic produce I could never afford otherwise.
If you find this all hard to believe, I encourage you to join us for our activities this week and see for yourself (see below).
In your piece, you mention the considerable amount of weight I lost some time ago, but this had nothing to do with being freegan. Rather it was a direct result of eliminating junk food from my diet and exercising more. Tangentially, from what I’ve read, high nutrient, low calorie diets have the strongest scientific evidence behind them to suggest that they extend longevity. Because we have a problem with anorexia in our culture, we confuse low calorie diets (healthy) with low nutrient diets (unhealthy) and assume that people who aren’t carrying around a lot of mass are unhealthy, when often just the opposite is the case. People don’t need to consume a lot of calories to obtain adequate nutrition, especially if they take supplements and eat a diet high in dark, green leafy vegetables and low in nutrient sparse grains and oils. I’d be happy to refer you to many articles that back these contentions if you are interested.
In my own case, I checked recently, and the lowest weight I reached, 115 pounds, falls well within the acceptable BMI range for my height, and is not classified as underweight.
The irony of all this is that as a direct result of my level of business from the over 200 freegan media requests we’ve gotten in the last two years, coupled with the fact that as a result I end up spending a lot of time gathering food for the benefit of media, I’ve actually put on a considerable amount of unwanted weight—about 25 pounds.
Wednesday, June 21st, Freegan Meeting and Trash Tour After, we will explore the area’s wasted food and other goods. The meeting is NOT open to media, but media reps may attend the trash tour. When & Where? Meet at 7:30pm at Happy Time deli on the east side of 5th Ave. btwn. 35th & 36th Sts. To just come for the trash tour meet us at 9:30pm in front of the grocery on the west side of 3rd Ave. btwn. 38th & 39th Sts.
Friday, June 23rd, Freegan Feast! Why Let Good Food Go to Waste? The United States wastes 100 billion pounds of food every year, even though 4.4 million people in the United States are hungry and with little consideration of the ecological impacts of disposing of wasted food or of producing it in the first place. But if you don’t believe good food is going to waste, come see for yourself! Join Freegan.info for to prepare and eat a delicious community dinner, made entirely of fresh foods thrown away by retail stores! Media will be attending this event. When & Where? 5:30 PM, 20 East 42nd Street between 5th and Madison Avenues (call Janet at (347) 724-6954 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP).
For announcements of human, animal, and earth liberation actions in New York City, send a blank email message to email@example.com.
Wetlands Activism Collective, PO Box 344, New York, NY 10108
Phone: (201) 928-2831 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org