Grocery stores and restaurants throw away an enormous amount of edible food every day. While we are all aware of the problem on some level, it becomes much more stark when you see a photo of a giant dumpster filled with perfectly good donuts.
One Redditor shared such a picture on the r/mildlyinfuriating subreddit, leading many fellow Redditors to chime in on how infuriating it is (even more than mildly) to see hundreds of donuts on their way to a landfill.
“The whole reason I quit one of my many jobs,” wrote one commenter. “They made pizza and if no one ate it they threw it away and the workers couldn’t keep it or eat it for their lunch breaks. [It] was atrocious how much food was being wasted.”
The United States wastes more food than any other country. An estimated 40 million tons of food, which is 30-40% of the country’s entire food supply, is thrown away every year. That food goes on to make up 22% of the total garbage in landfills.
Grocery stores accounted for around five million tons of that food waste in 2021, throwing away perfectly good produce and other edible goods every day, with 1.55 million tons ending up in landfills.
And once the food gets to the landfills, the damage isn’t finished yet. There, it releases planet-warming gases like methane and carbon dioxide as it breaks down, contributing significantly to the overheating of our planet.
In addition to all that, 34 million people — including nine million children — in the U.S. are currently food insecure.
As one Redditor commented, “This is what GREED looks like … sad world we have created.”
“Scarcity is artificial in the modern world,” wrote another commenter. “We absolutely have enough, but not if we’re throwing food away on this scale.”
“It bothers me to my core,” another added.
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