Food waste costs the United States hundreds of billions of dollars annually and countless resources.
One jarring food waste example came to light when a Domino’s employee shared a behind-the-scenes photo on Reddit that showed the pizza chain’s thriftlessness.
“Just threw away 23 trays of expired dough,” the poster wrote. “What a waste.”
Pizza Hut may have a similar problem, as an employee recently documented a cart of food set for the trash, stating it was indicative of a few days’ food waste.
In 2021, the U.S. produced 80 million tons of food that ended up in the garbage, nearly one-third of the national supply, according to ReFED. It cost the country $310 billion, while recycled and donated food was worth $134 billion.
The nonprofit, dedicated to ending food loss and waste, also reported that one in 10 Americans, including many children, are food insecure.
“But much of what is considered ‘waste’ isn’t that at all — it’s perfectly edible and could be going to help those in need,” ReFED states.
Another issue with uneaten food is its impact on the climate and natural resources, as its production accounts for 22% of all freshwater use in the U.S.
“The impacts of surplus food and food waste on our climate and environment are enormous, since food that is never eaten still requires resources to grow, harvest, transport, cool, cook, or otherwise prepare,” according to ReFED. “Around the world, food waste has been recognized as an urgent issue requiring immediate action — the United Nations, U.S. government, European Parliament, global business coalitions such as the Consumer Goods Forum, and more have all set goals to cut food loss and waste in half by 2025 or 2030.”
Domino’s said it generated about 35,500 tons of food and packaging waste in 2021 and that 39% of the waste was recycled. The company’s supply chain center in Connecticut features a pilot program to convert food waste into renewable energy with Vanguard Renewables.
One said: “Who [over-ordered] by 23 trays long enough for this to happen?”
While another user shared a similar story, writing, “We had to chuck away a similar amount the other day. Our walk-in broke down in the last hour of service so we had to put all our dough in the restaurant next door’s fridge unit. Theirs wasn’t cold enough, so all the dough got ruined.”
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