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Employee shares aftermath photo of office party: 'This also wasn't the first time'

"I'm not sure they even made the connection."

"I'm not sure they even made the connection."

Photo Credit: iStock

Every year on April 22, people celebrate Earth Day. Some celebrate by doing something for the planet, like fighting for alternatives to single-use plastic. The Biden administration invested in a solar program. Other organizations make misguided efforts that do more harm than good.

What happened?

An employee recently posted on Reddit about their workplace Earth Day party and its aftermath. "Food left over after the 'Earth Day' party at my work," they said, sharing a photo of the serving table.

"I'm not sure they even made the connection."
Photo Credit: Reddit

The jumble of food appears to be the remains of a charcuterie spread, all set out directly on the tablecloth. There are fruits and berries of all kinds, many types of cheese, salami, olives, jars of jam and spread, and tons of bread and crackers. Judging by the mess, the food has definitely been picked through, but it looks like a third to half of the food is still there, uneaten.

"These parties are put on by the landlord of the building," the original poster explained in a comment. "I'm not sure they even made the connection between Earth Day and environmentalism. They also gave out invasive plants. This also wasn't the first time they laid out food in a pile like that, so I think it is just a weird trend rather than trying to reduce waste. They did, of course, have disposable plates for attendees to scoop the food onto."

Why does wasted food matter?

Food waste is something we should avoid as much as possible in our own kitchens. And when businesses start throwing food out in bulk, that's a bigger problem.

First, there's easily hundreds of dollars' worth of leftover food in the picture, and the original poster said this isn't the first time. The company could use that money on something more beneficial to the employees, like bonuses or improving the office.

Second, all that wasted food represents gallons of water, acres of land, hours of labor, and tons of air pollution from shipping — all for nothing. If businesses were less wasteful, our food industry could be smaller, and we'd put less strain on the Earth's natural resources.

Is the company doing anything about this?

According to the original poster, no provisions were made for taking any of the food home, although they said they'd try the next time.

🗣️ What's the most common reason you end up throwing away food?

🔘 Bought more than I could eat 🛒

🔘 Went bad sooner than I expected 👎

🔘 Forgot it was in the fridge 😞

🔘 Didn't want leftovers 🥡

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

As for this time, they said, "I wrapped up some cookies in a napkin and I saved some fruit in the disposable cup they served my beer in, but that was all I had space for. And of course I put as much in my mouth as I could! I'm really hoping the custodial staff took some of it home."

What's being done about food waste more broadly?

There are companies making headway against food waste. Detroit pizzeria PizzaPlex plans its entire menu around eliminating food waste, and apps like Too Good To Go help businesses find buyers before food goes bad.

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