If you’ve noticed grocery prices on the rise, you may be shocked to hear about the free, edible food right around the corner: in the dumpster.
A Reddit user in r/DumpsterDiving shared a picture of a haul from an Aldi dumpster, which included several pounds of fresh produce, cartons of eggs, packaged sausages, premade salad kits, dairy products, and cans of seltzer.
“Weather finally cooling but grocery store waste not so much,” they noted above the photo.
Users expressed their surprise at the bounty of almost-wasted food, while the original poster made sure to mention the additional effort that goes into salvaging these groceries.
“This chain wraps most everything, often tosses because one item in the package is ‘bad.’ It doesn’t look this nice when I find it,” the original poster mentioned.
An estimated 30% of the food in American grocery stores ends up being thrown away as retail stores generate about 16 billion pounds of food waste each year.
Foods deemed unsellable by grocers due to packaging defects can easily be donated to food banks. As one Redditor suggested, stores may be able to coordinate with local food banks to arrange donation pickups. The user also linked to an article by the USDA on the Good Samaritan Act, which provides protection for people who make good-faith donations of food and grocery products to nonprofits that feed the hungry.
Without anyone drawing attention to these sources of waste, stores will continue to toss products that are still fit for consumption.
The original poster also added that they “composted anything that was past being edible.”
This post is a great reminder of the multitude of easy ways we can use food products that have been carelessly thrown away.
If dumpster diving isn’t your style, donating extra goods to food banks and nonprofits is an excellent option for reducing food waste and benefiting those in need. Composting certain foods and products can also lessen waste in landfills, reduce pollution, and benefit the planet.
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