Freegans Ask Trader Joe's to Stop Tossing Food into Dumpsters
Although they've received numerous write-ups in local and national media over the past five years, freegans--people who Dumpster dive as a life philosophy instead of out of necessity--have never really caught on an a bona fide movement. But that doesn't mean those hardy individuals won't stop trying! Now, a filmmaker with an obvious horse in this race--a documentary on dumpster diving--has launched a petition against Trader Joe's asking them (almost counterintuitively, it seems) not to toss out so much food into the trash.
Jeremy Seifert is a Los Angeles-area filmmaker whose Dive! The Film not only documents the freegan movement but also tackles the much-more-important question of food waste and hunger in this country. For reasons he never explains, Seifert is now targeting Trader Joe's as part of a campaign to convince grocery stores to not toss out their food--maybe because he thinks the Monrovia-based company is liberal because a bunch of hipsters shop there despite business practices regarding copying the products of others that would make Rockefeller seem like a socialist?
In a petition already signed by more than 30,000 people, Seifert asks Trader Joe's to commit to a "Zero Food Waste" policy. "Your reluctance to do so shows a disheartening lack of concern for people in need, hunger-related issues, the environment, and the local communities in which Trader Joe's are located," the petition reads, adding, "If Trader Joe's continues to refuse this policy, I will be forced to reconsider where I purchase my food." In an accompanying essay, Seifert (any relation to former San Francisco 49ers coach George?) talks about his experiences dumpster-diving at Trader Joe's, and urges them to donate soon-to-expired food to local charities and food banks."
"In many respects, Trader Joe's is better than many grocery chains out there, and that's part of the reason I'm starting my food waste campaign with them," Seifert says. "It seems appropriate to start with a company that people assume is already doing the right thing. Trader Joe's needs to take a leadership role on food waste."
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.