Food & Drink

Have yourself a Dumpster Thanksgiving!

A TJ's Dumpster haul (bag included).

Thanksgiving’s upon us, and we can practically taste the stale-bread stuffing and just-expired eggnog. You too can learn how to turn refuse into a festive holiday meal by joining the Freegans of NYC tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 25), for their guided tour of borough’s most fruitful bins. You’ll collect some forsaken feastables and learn the best ways and means of salvaging trash treasures. Ever seen those darkly-dressed, bicycled people loitering in front of Trader Joe’s around closing? That could be you!

Not all Freegans look the Dumpster-diving part (some are quite well-dressed, indeed, coming from work and all). But all take the ideals of frugal living and elevate them to a life-philosophy. Followers of the faith refuse to spend money (either on anything or just on food) in protest of consumerism, current means of production, or simply out of necessity.

The group’s mystery tour finally will reveal just how Freegans manage to come up with everything from gourmet sandwiches and sushi to the staples of bread and milk (expiration date, schmexpiration date). Don’t worry, the experts do know how to safeguard against the dreaded parasite or two. The tour guides themselves go out every night of the week to warehouses, stores, restaurants and even private homes, to collect what often is a truly motley meal. Whether you’re on the hunt for some free Christmas gifts or for a Thanksgiving side, just make sure to bring some gloves.

Meet: Wednesday, 9 p.m. at Court St. and Montague St., in front of the TD Bank. More info here.


  1. Tim Donnelly

    oh man. Freegan/TJ’s relations have been at an all-time low in recent weeks. I hear cops were called last week because trash was strewn everywhere. This probably won’t ease the cause. But then I saw the four bags full of just-expiring meat we threw out today and kinda understand what it’s all about.

  2. hannah

    somewhere between dumpster diving and $25 thanksgiving meals, if you’re looking for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, the Court Order (deli) has been advertising a full turkey dinner with stuffing and sides for $7.95. It’s on Court Street bet Joralemon and Livingston. Otherwise the Thanksgiving Sandwich at Lenny’s gets all your thanksgiving basics, I recommend getting a roll as bread will fall apart into a mess.

  3. Beyhan


    Are you a passionate participant in the Freegan movement? Would you jump at the chance to model the principles of waste reclamation and minimization in a public forum? Are you excited about the opportunity to bring greater exposure to the Freegan alternative strategies for living, in the hopes of educating more Americans on its benefits?

    If so, we want to hear from you!

    A new television docuseries is seeking Freegans – both groups and individuals – to let us into their lives and shine a light on the Freegan lifestyle! We are looking for outgoing, expressive and dynamic people who are open to sharing their beliefs and showing the nation what this unique movement is all about. If you are interested in learning more about this exciting opportunity to teach others about the advantages of voluntary simplicity, please contact us!

    For more information and to speak with a Casting Producer, please email [email protected] with your name, location, and a brief summary of your story. We look forward to hearing from you!

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