Most of us are probably aware of the global food waste problem, but a shocking photo shared by one Reddit user shows just how bad it’s gotten.
The original poster, who worked in a grocery store, posted a picture of what looks like hundreds of loaves of bread headed for the trash bin. The post quickly gained traction online, garnering over 53,000 upvotes and 2,000 comments.
As expected, many commenters were appalled and disgusted by the amount of food the grocery store threw out instead of donating to charities.
One Reddit user commented, “Are these really spoiled? There’s gotta be a way to repurpose them safely and sell them again. That should be incentive enough for a company.”
Another user said, “I know enough people that would still buy it for 50% or more off.”
Luckily, the grocery store the original poster worked at seemed to take that advice. In a later comment, the Redditor said they started putting discounted bread in the front of the store so it wouldn’t go to waste. That alone helped them sell nearly $300 of bread per day that would’ve been discarded.
While this offers a great solution to food waste, many stores have policies that prevent them from selling nearly or recently expired items. To avoid liability in case someone gets sick, or out of a concern around devaluing their products somehow, they would rather toss anything questionable instead of donating or selling it at a discount.
However, some grocery chains do donate food as long as it’s still safe to eat. With massive donation totals like when the power goes out without backup generators, it’s possible to contract with an organization like Food Rescue US and avoid any liability using waivers.
For instance, a Kroger in North Little Rock, Arkansas, donated 76,833 pounds of food to local food banks after its power went out during a storm. A Trader Joe’s in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, also gave away over $2,800 worth of groceries to customers in the store when its refrigerators stopped working.
It’s unclear what supermarket the original poster worked at and the policies it has on donating food, but still, it’s difficult to accept all that bread going in the dumpster when so many face food insecurity.
A heartbreaking comment by one Redditor read, “Omg that makes me sick to my stomach! I always run out of money before the month is over for food for my kids and I..We would be so happy to have any of that bread.”
Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.