A video posted on TikTok sparked outrage with its content. Shared by TikTok user TheGreeneBeans (@thegreenebeans), the video shows what appeared to be dozens of shopping carts full of food sitting outside of a Target, apparently in preparation for the food to be thrown away.
“I can’t believe Target let all this food go to waste,” the poster wrote. The video shows many cartons of eggs, frozen pizzas, and yogurt in the foreground, with many other types of food in the background.
@thegreenebeans 🥺🥺🥺 #target #targetfinds #targetfails #foodbank #fooddonation #dinnertime #dinnerideas #fyp #familiesinneed #community #communityservice #mamaof4 #tiktokmom #mamasoftiktok #foryoupage ♬ OMG – White Gangster
Responding to a commenter, they wrote, “I just found out it was actually a power outage.”
Many commenters were quick to jump in with the insight that if a store’s refrigerators and freezers stop working and temperatures rise above a certain level, the store is required to throw away all the food to avoid liability issues.
“If you think only Target [does] this, you aren’t ready to hear the rest of the stores that do this also,” one user commented.
“So many stores had this happen this year so why do they not have a backup generator system,” wrote another.
The problem of food waste in the United States is massive.
According to the USDA, more than one-third of all available food in America goes uneaten due to loss or waste. Not only is this a tragedy considering how many people need that food — 34 million people, including 9 million children, face hunger in the U.S., according to Feeding America — but it is also terrible for the environment. When food is thrown away, it is transported to a landfill where it breaks down and releases heat-trapping gases that contribute to the continued overheating of our planet.
Although some laws, like one in New York, require stores to donate excess food to charities instead of throwing it away, the food must be “safe for consumption,” which likely excludes cases when the refrigerators and freezers break down — even though, as TheGreeneBeans pointed out, some of this food was still frozen when it was transported outside to be disposed of.
“They should have called the food bank for immediate pickup,” they wrote. “Especially for the stuff that was still frozen.”
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