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
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  • 33


  • Anthony S.
    12/11/2019 15:47

    I have seen wild hogs eat the same way. And the hogs are tastey.

  • Joleen A.
    11/22/2019 14:54

    Yeah this is awesome

  • Arielle W.
    11/20/2019 19:00

    you could do this in Florida 🤓

  • Linh N.
    11/19/2019 13:36

    You really have good idea 😇

  • Adan C.
    11/19/2019 12:30


  • Brut
    11/18/2019 20:19

    Check out Brut's new YouTube channel for documentaries every Friday:

  • Manzer E.
    11/18/2019 11:58

    He is a great man.

  • Makayla M.
    11/17/2019 22:31

    whoa! 😍

  • Loida L.
    11/17/2019 21:08

    If we only have lots to plant some vegetables and trees ill do it too Rob Greenfield

  • Hodi E.
    11/17/2019 20:42

    Well on my climate good luck

  • Thatcher W.
    11/17/2019 10:27


  • Bhel d.
    11/17/2019 09:15

    Verry nice

  • Bhel d.
    11/17/2019 09:14

    Where are this place?

  • Sharmila P.
    11/17/2019 05:23

    Stay healthy

  • Fifrianto A.
    11/17/2019 02:21


  • John S.
    11/17/2019 01:15

    What no special license or anything. I can be left alone on my land and live happy

  • Caroline D.
    11/17/2019 01:14

    Hard work and happy and encouraging thinking! Love you for this! The day is coming. Farmers all.

  • Souleimane D.
    11/16/2019 23:46


  • Yulia A.
    11/16/2019 22:33

    Wow amazing,good idea

  • Michael W.
    11/16/2019 17:47

    its kool if you have a apocalypse, till then its just a weird guy eating the bushes in his backyard