In a now-popular Reddit post, users expressed their frustration over an image showing the trash-bound daily leftovers from a Publix supermarket location.
The original poster claimed that Publix throws away this much food every night, and many were shocked that it wasn’t donated or given to employees.
“The amount of food thrown away in every entity … is ASTONISHING!!!” one commenter wrote.
Many commenters agreed, blaming the store for its excessive alleged waste. Meanwhile, other users offered insights into why grocery stores might discard excess food.
“If food is bad and someone gets sick, the company is liable, [and] if employees know they can take the extra food home, they will make extra to take home,” another user pointed out.
Despite the reasoning for why the food ended up in the trash, the shoppers agreed that our food system has an issue: excess food waste.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “one-third of available and edible food goes uneaten through loss or waste in the United States.” Moreover, Feeding America reports that 34 million people in the United States don’t have enough to eat.
Food waste also contributes to the overheating of our planet. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food is the single largest kind of solid waste emitting air pollution from landfills.
Some companies, like Feeding America and Do Good Foods, are tackling this issue head-on. Feeding America partners with food banks, food pantries, and local food programs to ensure the food is safe and then delivers it.
Do Good Foods takes another approach — upcycling surplus grocery food by repurposing it into animal feed.
Reddit commenters chimed in with solutions, while others questioned why employees simply couldn’t take the food home.
“Never understood why food that is going in the trash can’t be taken by an employee,” one user added.
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