Freegan and freeganism

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Freegan and freeganism are words that were added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015. We will examine the definitions of the terms freegan and freeganism, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Freegans practice freeganism, which is the practice of saving resources by retrieving and using food and other goods that have been discarded. Freegans practice freeganism in order to save money, but also to recycle and counteract wastefulness. Freeganism may be considered counter-cultural, and as such, is frowned on by some people. While the idea of freeganism is rooted in the hippie movement of the 1960s, the term seems to have been coined in the 1990s, when antiglobalization movements came to the fore. Freegan is a portmanteau of the words free and vegan, and freeganism is a portmanteau of the words free and veganism.  A portmanteau is a word that is composed by blending the sounds and meanings of two different words. Freeganism is no longer limited to those following vegan diets.


For many young freegans, this can mean asking supermarkets for their discarded food, which is often left in bins. (The Guardian)

They’re scrappy scavengers who frequent grocery store alleyways, restaurant dumpsters, un-cleared food court tables, and anywhere else that yields a free meal and keeps freegan cash out of Big Food coffers—which kind of explains why the USDA and EPA aren’t terribly impressed. (The Pacific Standard)

Freeganism can truly change the way you look at life, he believes, but doesn’t preclude you from being a successful business person. (Forbes Magazine)

Mr Stuart went on to practise freeganism – rummaging for food in supermarket bins – while campaigning against food wastage. (The Straits Times)