from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A person who salvages and consumes food that has been thrown away, especially one who wishes to protect the environment and challenge consumerism via waste reduction.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Blend of free and vegan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Blend of free and vegan


  • Tristram Stuart-a journalist, campaigner, and "freegan" - is the guide on a journey along the food chain.

    BMJ Recent Articles

  • Some adhere to a so-called freegan diet: any food that's free.

    Into the Wild With Yoga

  • As it turns out, being a freegan is a lonely existence.

    Freegan Ride

  • Well, we're going to ask a so - called freegan in our 10: 00 a.m. Eastern hour.

    CNN Transcript Nov 24, 2007

  • For those new to the term (free + vegan), a freegan is a person who has decided to boycott capitalist society by severely curtailing consumption of resources through reusing, recycling and Dumpster diving.

    Freegan Ride

  • Of the remaining words on the Telegraph list, some (such as freegan, griefer, and nonversation) have their own entries in Merriam-Webster's

  • St. Michael's college students 'film showcases' freegan 'lifestyle -

  • The leader of the left-anarchists is also a "freegan," which means he eats garbage from dumpsters.

    Reason Magazine - Hit & Run

  • The "freegan" lifestyle (less charitably called "dumpster diving") is one end of a spectrum of such possibilities.

    Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

  • She was a freegan, meaning she didn't pay for anything unless absolutely necessary.

    Personal Finance Advice


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  • Free + Vegan - could be one who will eat vegan food IF it is free, or one who is Vegan but prefers finding free food (I ran across the term amongst some hippies in college and never really got clarification on this point). See also opportunivore, trustafarian and drainbow.

    April 11, 2007

  • I had always thought that it was the latter definition.

    May 7, 2007

  • NYT article, June 21, 2007:

    "...the term derives from vegans, the vegetarians who forsake all animal products, as many freegans also do...Freegans are scavengers of the developed world, living off consumer waste in an effort to minimize their support of corporations and their impact on the planet, and to distance themselves from what they see as out-of-control consumerism."

    June 21, 2007

  • "America the Over-Stored," by Daniel Gross, Newsweek, Feb. 25, 2008:

    "Working 60 hours per week and chasing job promotion 'for the sake of buying the latest crap off the Sharper Image store shelf is no way to live,' says Adam Weissman, spokesperson for (Hey, dude, one might say the same about diving into Dumpsters in search of day-old bread and discarded futons.)"

    Disclaimer: I'm storing this piece on my PWNED!! list because I like it as an example of funny writing, not because it reflects my opinion one way or another.

    February 29, 2008

  • "People are strange."

    Jim Morrison

    March 1, 2008

  • "Freeganism is a somewhat ill-defined activity that is best thought of as a subset of the larger anti-capitalist and environmental protest movements. Its origins go back to the Sixties and the embrace of alternative, anti-consumerist lifestyles, though Stuart claims that there is also a powerful inspiration for it in the Gandhian idea of non-violent action. In the US especially, freegans are often called dumpster divers, though many freegans insist that the practice of extracting food from dustbins represents only one strand of what they do; other freegan practices include co-operative living, squatting and freecyling, or matching things that people want to get rid of with things other people need."

    - William Skidelsky, The freegans' creed: waste not, want not,, 19 July 2009.

    July 20, 2009