Kickstarter Campaign Asks for Money to Start "Freegan" Cafe -- Serving Food from Dumpsters
Food that fuels the Gleaners' Kitchen -- entirely from the dumpsters of grocery stores.
Still from Kickstarter.com
"We believe food is a fundamental right and should be shared freely with all," he writes on a Kickstarter page created to raise money for a restaurant space out of which he hopes to open a freegan cafe called The Gleaners' Kitchen. Thaler says the 24-hour cafe will offer concerts, poetry readings, coffee, and ever-flowing lentil soup for the hungry.
If you check out the video above, you'll see that not only do they pull a lot of food from the dumpsters but most of does, in fact, look perfectly edible -- providing of course, you can get over the fact that it was previously sitting in the dumpster. Thaler says according to the National Resources Defense Council, supermarkets throw away an average of $2,300 worth of expired but edible food every night.
For about a year, he's been taking some of that food and cooking for himself and friends. But now he wants to take things up a notch by opening up cafe that will serve only food he and others find in dumpsters. It's part of a growing "freegan" movement of "people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources." These freegans believe in boycotting waste, money, and paying rent, among other things.
"We give away food because it is the meaningful way we've found to exchange value with one another," he says in a Kickstarter video.
He admits in the video that it's pretty ironic for a freegan to be asking for money, but he explains that they haven't yet found a way to "glean" a restaurant space and, therefore, need money (however, evil it may be) to pay rent and utilities. They've already well surpassed their original goal of $1,500 but have now set a stretch goal to get money to fix up their custom-made delivery bike.
In case you're wondering about the legality of this operation, the "Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act" protects them from liability, according to Thaler, a philosophy of science major.
So what do you think about the freegan movement? Weigh in through the comment section below.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.