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Employee shares upsetting photos of wasted food after company refuses to donate it: 'This should absolutely be illegal'

"This infuriates me severely."

"This infuriates me severely."

Photo Credit: iStock

Hungry to discuss the amount of food wasted at their workplace, an employee took to the r/mildlyinfuriating subreddit to share photos and their thoughts on the issue. 

What's happening? 

A frustrated employee recently posted photos on Reddit of the copious amount of food wasted at their work. 

"The Food Waste my Workplace throw away everyday, Part II," they wrote above a series of photos of the cornucopia of food as it made its way from trays to trash bags.

"This infuriates me severely."
Photo Credit: Reddit
"This infuriates me severely."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"All this stuff is enough for a buffet that charges you $30 per person and [is] open 24/7," the OP wrote.

"This infuriates me severely," commented a fellow Redditor. 

"This should absolutely be illegal," agreed another. 

"Contact a charity. They would love to distribute that to the homeless," added one more, to which the OP responded, "yeah, it's kind of private corporate owned. Giving the food to charity without getting paid is like Number One crime in their book." 

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Why is the waste upsetting? 

Food waste is a growing global concern. About 1.4 billion tons of food are wasted annually, which is around one-third of all food. Meanwhile, over 2 billion people struggle to put food on the table. 

Food is the most prevalent item in landfills, accounting for 22% of trash. As it breaks down in the landfills, it pumps out loads of methane, a planet-warming gas 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. 

Plastic waste — like that created by putting all of that food into trash bags before sending it to the landfill — is also an enormous problem. About 40 million tons of plastic waste are tossed out annually in the United States alone. 

Once in landfills, it breaks down into microplastics, tiny pieces of plastics that wreak havoc on ecosystems and have been found everywhere, from in the clouds to the stomachs of animals to human hearts and lungs

What could the company do about this? 

While the company is not named, the OP mentioned that it is where you would go to have a finger reattached, suggesting that it is a hospital. 

The issue of food waste is complex, especially for businesses, as food must be deemed safe for human consumption before it can be donated to anyone. However, there are ways around it — as showcased by Kroger's and Trader Joe's, for two. 

"The Bill Emerson Food Donation Act establishes Federal protection from civil and criminal liability for persons involved in the donation and distribution of food and grocery products to needy individuals when certain criteria are met," a user commented, shedding light on another workaround. 

Indeed, the act, known as the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, protects businesses wishing to donate food. If a business still doesn't want to donate items, as the OP made clear theirs did not, another user asked why they don't compost it, as composting is also a great way to keep food out of landfills.  

What can be done more broadly to help? 

We can be advocates for change at work, like this employee, and hold businesses accountable for their harmful actions. 

We can also cut our contributions to food and plastic waste by focusing on our food practices and reducing our reliance on single-use plastics

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