How an Activist Lived Off Food From His Yard

"I want to inspire [people] to question their food and then to change their diets." For a year, environmental activist Rob Greenfield lived off what he grew in his backyard — could you?

Simple and Sustainable Living

Greenfield survived for a full year without ever buying food or medicine. But he didn't live in the woods. He did it all in a backyard in Orlando. Greenfield wanted to prove that natural food is available all around us even in urban spaces. When he wasn't growing his own food, Greenfield foraged fruits and vegetables growing across the city or preserved them for the future. Greenfield says he used to have a regular life running a company in San Diego. But since 2013, he has been on a mission to prove that we can live well with much less.

“For the last year I’ve been growing and foraging 100% of my food. No grocery stores, no restaurants, no beer at a bar. All of my food has to either come from my garden, or that I foraged from nature. So, when I moved here, this abundant garden was just a lawn like that. Which could be going to the ocean to collect my own salt, going fishing or collecting fruit from trees. So, nature has been my garden, has been my pantry and it’s been my pharmacy,” Rob Greenfield tells Brut.

He crossed the U.S. on a bamboo bike during which time he never turned on a single light. He only washed himself in rivers, lakes, and leaking fire hydrants. He wore his own trash for 30 days. He dumpster dived to expose the thousands of dollars worth of food that are wasted every day. He says he is not in it for the money. His income in the year before this experiment was $5,000 based on data from National Geographic. And he's not trying to convince everyone to go off the grid. Instead, he says he wants people to think more carefully about where their food comes from.


11/16/2019 12:57 PM


  • Karen F.
    09/27/2020 20:10

    Thats how I was raised fruits and veges around our house.

  • Austin L.
    08/23/2020 01:15

    Know this, foraging food from dumpsters is very unhygienic as many other stuff are thrown in without bagging. Not everyone is as privilege as you to own a private property and picking fruits from neighbors' or public places is an offense. I'm not against of what you're doing but most do not have land to grow their own fruits or vegetables. We know not to waste water and food.

  • Nhel N.
    08/16/2020 11:08

    Thank you.

  • Asanda M.
    08/14/2020 08:44

    At least wash them before you eat them.....

  • Tim B.
    08/13/2020 22:47


  • Grace M.
    08/04/2020 21:08

    And how do you deal with the snake 🐍

  • Ashish P.
    07/26/2020 02:44

    We all do that whole life.Thats how we live.Growing own vegetables organic

  • Arul M.
    07/18/2020 11:05

    We can live well with much less! I like it

  • Nawwara L.
    07/13/2020 10:24


  • Kelly R.
    07/11/2020 13:41

    Love this guy you need to teach the World what you know and the world needs you

  • Francis M.
    07/11/2020 11:52

    So great.

  • Aroti B.
    07/09/2020 15:26


  • Kevin S.
    07/02/2020 03:43


  • Ray H.
    07/02/2020 01:06

    Great nutritional and environmental plan. 👍

  • Raymond E.
    07/01/2020 12:42

    We had to live mostly off the grid in the '30's and '40's.

  • Elizabeth N.
    06/29/2020 13:17

    It's ok until it becomes religion

  • Joanne R.
    06/28/2020 12:03

    No, and Rob had problems doing it too! He ate a lot of the same stuff over and over he talked about almost giving up.... but he did do it and congratulations to Rob

  • Abu S.
    06/27/2020 18:40

    look at this

  • Sheira Y.
    06/26/2020 21:12

    min drøm ! :D

  • Jullianna P.
    06/26/2020 20:35

    This is cool, but I'm allergic to plants, trees, grass etc. hahhaha

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