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Employee shares photo of dumpster filled with food outside warehouse: 'Chances are that the power was out too long'

"Where I am, folks would have been there to get it out of the dumpster."

"Where I am, folks would have been there to get it out of the dumpster."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Food waste is a frustrating phenomenon in modern businesses. Sometimes, it's entirely voluntary, such as when restaurants fail to plan and make more of a dish than they can sell. At other times, unexpected circumstances may seem to make waste inevitable. 

Either way, business owners still have options besides throwing food out, and unfortunately, they often fail to take them.

What happened?

One Redditor, an employee of the food delivery company Gopuff, recently posted their workplace experience in r/GoPuff

"Where I am, folks would have been there to get it out of the dumpster."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"Fridge and freezer went out = dumpster almost full of food," they said.

They attached a picture of the incident, which shows an incredible combination of frozen pizza, milk, orange juice, fries, frozen berries, eggs, yogurt, lemonade, Uncrustables, fresh veggies, and so much more, all jumbled together in a huge dumpster.

It's hard to imagine that all of that food spoiled the instant the fridge and freezer went off, and other stores, like Kroger's and Trader Joe's, have avoided food waste in similar situations. However, as one commenter pointed out, it can be difficult to determine what's safe to eat or give away.

"There's a lot more that goes into verifying whether something can be donated or not," said the user. "Chances are that the power was out too long for most of it to maintain a safe temperature."

Why does it matter if Gopuff throws away food?

Throwing away food means denying a hungry person in the community a meal they could otherwise have eaten. Many people, hoping to save money or just reduce waste, would happily dumpster dive for the treasure trove of food being thrown out here.

"Where I am, folks would have been there to get it out of the dumpster; people are always eating out of the trash!" said one commenter.

Even if the food wasn't safe to eat anymore, it could have been recycled into animal feed or compost.

All of this food hitting the trash also means that the resources used to make it are going to waste, and the air pollution created to process and transport it is also for nothing. The more food we throw out, the more our food industry has to grow to keep up, and the greater the strain on the environment.

What is Gopuff doing for the environment?

In other circumstances, Gopuff does donate surplus food. According to the company's website, it donated over 500,000 pounds of food from April 2021 to March 2022. It also worked with Too Good To Go to sell bags of discounted food to prevent waste.

What can I do to eliminate food waste?

Composting in your own home can help you reuse food scraps and turn them into fertilizer for a garden. You can also take note of which items tend to go bad before you get to them and buy them less often or make a conscious effort to use them more. 

Look up ways to spice up your leftovers to create a new meal, and also make sure you're storing food correctly to keep it fresh as long as possible.

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