23 Jul, 2012 @ 12:00
1 min read

Spanish ‘freeganism’ movement converts trash into dinner

comida basura

By Rund Abdelfatah

WITH supermarkets closed and rubbish bins lining the streets, their work begins.

Sifting through discoloured containers, members of Comida Basura pull out fruits, vegetables, pastas and cereals, gradually assembling
a feast.

These bin dwellers live by the motto ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’, working on an ideal of anti-consumerism and antiwaste.

“The aim is to try to promote moderate, responsible consumption. We don’t have unlimited resources  and we have to share with those who need it more,” said group member Miguel Carreno.

With nearly 22 per cent of the population currently living below the poverty line, the average person in Spain continues to waste 163 kg of food each year.

In response, the movement has expanded its efforts to include an element of community service, converting the recovered food items into a communal meal.

While most of their activity is concentrated in Madrid, they hope to spread to cities throughout the region.

As their chosen struggle becomes an imposed reality for many in Spain today, the movement gains momentum.

Though inspired by the ‘freeganism’ movement in the U.S., the Comida Basura has assumed a uniquely Spanish persona, geared towards the issues that plague Spain.

And with a long road to recovery ahead, the group may be a saving grace for many in the months to come.


  1. Just wondering what our good friend “Bruji” would say after reading this, and whether he would still be so keen to close the Frontier with Gibraltar and add all those thousands of frontier workers to the list of the unemployed.

    I really feel bad about the situation Spain finds itself in because its always the less fortunate in societies that bear the brunt of bad governance.

    The very least the supermarkets could do is donate their (past their best) sale items to these people, rather throw them in the bins and having these poor unfortunate human beings having to demean themselves sifting through the rubbish.

  2. Agreed with INTHENAME. Good idea and easy for Food stores to implement by placing discarded meat, poultry and packaged fruit/vegetables on trays adjacent to Bins. That left after 1-2 days, goes into the Bin for removal. To avoid “legal problems” IF someone claims to gotten ill having eaten such discarded “spoiled” GARBAGE items, a sign must be posted on food GARBAGE Trays DISclaiming any liability for such disposed GARBAGE on Trays.

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