WashPost Writer From Berkeley Glorifies Dumpster Diving

UPDATE: There's now audio up at Washington Post Radio of Greenwell talking about this "growing trend." See below the jump for more on that.

In today's Metro section of The Washington Post, staff writer Megan Greenwell took a sympathetic look at liberal suburban dumpster divers who call themselves "freegans.":

Prince Frederick, Md teen Bryan Meadows “considers himself a ‘freegan,’” Greenwell wrote, describing the term as “a melding of the words ‘free’ and ‘vegan’” because Meadows “tries not to contribute to what he sees as the exploitation of land, resources and animals wrought by commercial production.”

Greenwell, a Berkeley, Calif. native, later dumped the quotation marks around “freegan” as she continued her story.

“The number of freegans in the D.C. region is anybody’s guess, but the ranks appear to be growing,” Greenwell insisted, citing anecdotal evidence. The Post writer also blamed “disillusionment with the Bush administration’s environmental policies” that have “pushed some young people to everyday forms of protest.”

But Greenwell didn’t just cite everyday bored left-leaning suburban teens. She also turned to an editor from a liberal Christian magazine, Ryan Beiler of Washington, D.C.

What the Columbia University graduate left unmentioned was that three months earlier, Beiler wrote a virtual how-to guide for his magazine entitled “The Tao of Dumpster Diving.”

“Dumpster diving works best in pairs,” Beiler advised readers of his May 2006 article. “One person climbs into the dumpster or stands on the side, tossing aside bags of regular trash while searching for the mother lode – bags full of overstocks discarded en masse.”

On the aforementioned Washington Post Radio, Greenwell was asked "what's the coolest thing you found during your dumpster diving expeditions?"

Her reply: "Oh gosh, well, I'm a sucker for dark chocolate and I watched one guy pull out three tubs of dark chocolate-covered ginger at Trader Joe's..."

She did, however, admit to host Sam Litzinger that she did not partake of the plentiful bounty that the "freegans" she accompanied enjoyed.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters