When we ponder re-using, re-purposing,
most of us don’t think …
Note, I said, “most of us.”
“Most” doesn’t include Tufts University student Maximus Thaler, the freethinking founder of a “freegan” campus café called The Gleaner’s Kitchen.
What do I mean by “freegan”?
Well, freeganism is defined as the practice of reclaiming and eating produce/and or food that has been discarded.
You might know it by a more common term:
The food served by Thaler and his thrifty café cohorts is salvaged from dumpsters.
“According to multiple independent studies, almost half the food produced in the United States is thrown away. We believe this waste is flagrantly disrespectful to the environment and the millions of people in this country (including ourselves) who cannot afford healthy food,” Thaler explains. “Our response to this waste is to make use of it. At night, after the stores close, we go behind the back entrance, hop into a dumpster, and collect all the discarded produce we can. Every night, we bring back to our kitchen thousands of dollars’ worth of fresh food.”
Uninterested in profit, Thaler instead strives to turn waste into wealth by making fresh, wholesome meals from food that others thought was garbage. “Our ingredients come from dumpsters. We prepare them and give them away freely. There are no price tags. This is not a place of commerce, where you pay something to get something. Our aim is not to produce commodities, but to foster community.”
Originally, the Gleaner’s Café was housed in Thaler’s apartment, but with the help of a recent Kickstarter campaign, Thaler and his team raised $3,212 that will enable them to open up a real, live café where people can eat for free.