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Walmart employee shares photo that reveals significant problem within the industry: 'Not surprised'

"Most people don't rotate candy, or most anything sadly."

"Most people don’t rotate candy, or most anything sadly."

Photo Credit: iStock

While the new year tends to have us thinking more about what we're eating, it might be a surprise to know that uneaten food in America is very much on the rise.

A photo recently posted to the r/Walmart subreddit showcases just a glimpse of the issue, which impacts big-box stores around the world. 

An apparent Walmart employee posted a picture of a cardboard box full of chocolate bars with a caption saying, "All of our expired candy from 1 register."

"Most people don't rotate candy, or most anything sadly."
Photo Credit: Reddit

Considering there are typically 30 registers at Walmart supercenters, per RetailWire, and 4,622 stores in the United States, according to data company ScrapeHero, it's not hard to imagine the bigger problem this photo represents — especially when considering they are far from the only store perpetuating food waste.  

Unfortunately, this kind of waste is common in chain retail giants like Walmart, Target, and Kroger, which purchase food in such enormous quantities that it regularly ends up in the dumpster in equally enormous quantities.

The world wastes about 2.5 billion pounds of food each year, according to Recycle Track Systems. However, America throws away more food than any other country in the world. According to one report by CNBC, 40% of the food in the United States goes uneaten — that's about 325 pounds of waste per person.

About 80% of Americans throw away perfectly good food simply because they misunderstand food labels, per Recycle Track Systems. On top of that, quality assurance dates used by brands on our food are not federally regulated

When food is thrown away, it makes its way to our landfills. In fact, food takes up the largest amount of landfill space. According to the World Wildlife Federation, the production of wasted food in the U.S. is equivalent to the toxic gases of 32.6 million cars.

This is all happening while 44 million people in this country are food insecure, according to Feeding America. There's clearly a disproportionate allocation of resources and groups like FeedHV, Goodr, and other companies are trying to fix it.

One box of candy is a microcosm of America's enormous food waste issue. Just another example of how little things add up.   

Another Walmart Employee commented, "Not surprised … Most people don't rotate candy, or most anything sadly, and the candies that have shelf caps of 48-60 and cost $3-5 a bar are the worst at it." 

"Mark it down," someone suggested. 

The good news is that there are already many existing solutions to this problem; we just need to implement them on a larger scale.

Apps like Too Good To Go and FlashFood let customers browse deals on bundles of soon-to-expire goods from home using their phones and schedule pickup times with local businesses, benefiting both parties and slashing food waste, too. 

The company Eat Soon allows stores to identify food items that are close to their expiration date, drawing attention to them via special in-store displays and providing shoppers with discounts as a reward for buying food that's almost past its sell-by date. 

When it comes to the issue of systemic food waste, particularly at big-box stores, every solution can make a huge difference. 

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