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Free Food

2007-04-29 10:00British Council

Food For Free

In search of food

Miles and Fergus have turned their foraging expertise into financial gain and formed a business. They spend up to 40 hours per week scouring their local countryside in search of food. Most of what they pick ends up in top London restaurants, such as Jamie Oliver's Fifteen. This can be anything from chanterelle mushrooms to alexanders. Fergus exists on foraging. All his food needs come from what he has hand picked. He has even eaten badger and squirrel.

Seasonal selection

Kathryn, 27, from Derbyshire enjoys foraging. She is a member of Countrylovers. Through them she finds out what is in season and then goes out to find it. 'I don't have a garden so for me it means I can bring the outdoors indoors. I don't always eat my finds, sometimes I just like looking at things and use them decoratively.'

What to pick in the next few months

What a waste!

Known as 'urban foraging', freegans find food in rubbish bins. A freegan collects this food to make a statement about our wasteful society. Tristam has eaten freegan food for 10 years and has never been ill. He told the BBC: 'It's just like going shopping; only you don't have to queue. I do it a couple of times a week and get pretty much everything I need. What I'm trying to say is that it takes someone like me who can afford to buy this food, to get it out of the bin, to show that the food is perfectly okay to eat. You don't have to be desperate to be eating it, and it shouldn't be here in the first place'.

What's on the menu tonight?

Ash and Ross are freegans living in London. They visit markets after closing time and the bins of supermarkets during the night. The amount of food that they find is astonishing. One evening they found 200 frozen chickens and an entire bin full of Brussels sprouts. What they don't need, they share with others. All food found is washed before consumption.

For the uninitiated, Dumpster Diving groups have formed in London to encourage people to go out in groups. So it's hello to late night rummaging and bye bye to grocery bills!

Nelly May 2007

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