Food waste at stores and restaurants has received a growing amount of attention online, as both employees and customers have started to document the expensive and environmentally damaging practices of businesses across the country.
The post appeared on a vent subreddit called r/mildlyinfuriating, which has seen its share of posts about wasteful businesses. This time, the original poster was there to complain about the way desserts were prepared at their workplace.
“This is how the bakers cut the brownies and leave the rest,” they said, attaching a photo.
In the image, a commercial-sized baking pan waits on the counter to be cleaned. You can tell it held iced brownies with a sprinkle of nuts on top — because there’s a thick ring of brownie still clinging to all four walls of the pan. The bakers have cut out the center and discarded the rest.
Altogether, it looks like about one-quarter of the total amount of brownie they prepared is still in the pan.
“They left the best part!!!” one commenter said.
Why is food waste a problem?
Throwing away good products is a common practice among modern businesses, but it has major drawbacks for everyone involved. It raises costs for the company, which has to pay more for supplies and labor. Those costs get passed on to customers in the form of higher prices for the merchandise that does sell.
Meanwhile, people who could have benefitted from the items have to go without. The trash clogs up landfills and produces heat-trapping methane gas, while trucks and trains produce that much more pollution carting away the discarded products and bringing in the replacements.
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Food waste in particular is difficult to tolerate when so many people in the world are going hungry. It’s bad enough when food is thrown out for being old — but in this case, what’s going in the trash is 100% fresh and edible, and some people even prefer it over what’s being sold.
Is the company doing anything about this?
According to comments from the original poster, their employer is sadly insistent that these brownie edges — and any other unused food — need to go in the trash.
“Can you cut the rest out and take it home?” asked one user.
“We have to throw away all food; they won’t even allow us to take scraps for our dogs,” the original poster replied.
What’s being done about food waste more broadly?
Thankfully, there are ways around that issue. Apps like Too Good To Go allow restaurants and stores to sell food that’s approaching its sell-by date for a discount. They can also turn food waste that isn’t safe for people into compost to grow fresh produce.
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