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Dumpster Dinners: An Ethnography of Freeganism by Victoria C. More

2 Pages 564 Words February 2020

This profile essay, written by Victoria C. More, is about a group of freegans who are concerned about the wastefulness of consumer society. As a student at Illinois State University, Victoria, together with three other young adult freegans dumpster dive, for food and products behind local businesses of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. This study explores where and why freegans exist, the process of turning garbage into groceries, why perfectly good supermarkets become garbage in the first place, and what can be learned from the freegan way of life.
Victoria’s main purpose is to surprise readers with a new take on Freeganism as a familiar subject. She portrays herself as a participant-observer who places herself in the scene of dumpster diving to prove us the wastefulness of food. Victoria’s work as a dumpster diver is illustrated in one of the passages where she introduces her first dive experience: Half-way into my first dive I was hooked. Initially I was shocked that we were pulling all of this nearly- perfect food out of a dumpster.
The descriptive language helps me as a reader to create vivid images and have a sense of smell and taste. Naming and detailing strategies are constantly used throughout the essay, like: dumpsters look grim, smell unpleasant, rotten apples, wilted lettuce, moldy orange, 28 zucchinis, 10 bell peppers etc. To present information, she uses the strategy of paraphrasing, for example: Some like Conrad’s mother for example, insists that dumpsters are dirty and diseased, and express concern for the welfare of the dumpster divers. She uses conventional academic methods to present the narrative of her experience dumpster diving and shows the symbolic transformation of garbage into groceries. Victoria touches on different topics until the advent of waste and "throw away" of food. The issue starts with consumers who purchase only items that look perfect and won't spend their money on produce that has a blemish. ...

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