A picture of a grocery cart overflowing with fruits and vegetables sparked outrage three years ago after seemingly contradicting Kroger’s stated ideals.
In the subreddit r/kroger, a Redditor shared the image in question with the caption, “Zero Hunger, Zero Waste,” referencing the company’s environmental and social-impact plan aimed at ending food waste and food insecurity.
As the supermarket giant points out, 38% of food produced in the U.S. goes to waste despite the fact that one in eight Americans struggles to feed themselves, but the food in the cart appears to be heading for the dumpster.
“You catch on fast; the program is a total joke. Do you not realize how much food the store throws out?” another Redditor said.
“And they won’t give any of it to the employees,” someone else wrote.
Regulations may have been a factor in this case, as Kroger is among the grocers that have made donations when perishable items were at risk of surpassing safe temperatures, but some commenters raised concerns that composting wasn’t an option.
“Maximum waste. They mark down little, and there is NO compost at my north Texas store,” one person wrote.
As the World Wide Fund for Nature noted, “Wasted food generates the equivalent of 32.6 million cars’ worth” of planet-warming pollution, contributing to dangerously hot global temperatures and an unbalanced ecosystem that has raised concerns about future food security.
Yet composting food that is unsafe to eat can make a dent in the problem, including reducing or preventing the production of methane, a heat-trapping gas that is 28 times stronger than carbon dioxide.
While one Redditor indicated that composting was thankfully coming to their home store soon, others shared their frustrations with some of the processes.
“Yeah, our district only donates once a week on Friday,” one Redditor said. “Consistency is Kroger’s Achilles’ heel.”
“They would not allow us to put markdowns in the regular shelf spot, because ‘it makes us look not fresh,’” another person wrote. “They would never sell quick enough in [their small designated spot].”
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