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Publix employee films shocking behind-the-scenes video in the grocery chain's trash room: 'Immensely disappointing'

"I often think about how much waste there is in grocery stores, a lot of in in the name of convenience."

Publix, Food waste

Photo Credit: u/Postnarcissim/ Reddit

A video posted recently on Reddit illustrates the wasteful practices of a Publix supermarket.

The 30-second video was posted this month in r/Publix, the subreddit dedicated to both employees and customers of the store. It was quickly shared on r/Anticonsumption, whose members were frustrated to see just how much good food was being thrown out.

In the video, an employee pulls item after item from a cart and flings them into a trash chute: bread, sandwiches, salads, and fried food, all fresh inside sealed packages. Around 90 items are included in the footage.

Several commenters mock the company's 2020 statement that it is "intolerant of waste." One user adds, "Spending all this money on supplies for these but can't give us better raises."

Food waste has become a widely discussed issue in recent years. Not only does it cost businesses money and raise prices for buyers, but it also means food that could be going to people in need is being thrown out or destroyed, leaving many people hungry. 

At the same time, stores and restaurants that waste food have to ship in more stock, which contributes to pollution.

Some businesses have changed their procedures to minimize waste, like the Detroit pizzeria tailoring its entire menu to local demand. At others, socially and environmentally-conscious employees take matters into their own hands by giving food away. But many stores and restaurants still throw out edible food every day.

To fight food waste and help shoppers save money, salvage markets sell food discarded from other stores. Apps like Flashfood and Too Good To Go connect users with grocery stores and restaurants offering deals on food that's close to its expiration date. 

For food that has already been thrown away, some recommend dumpster diving to salvage what's edible.

Commenters also point out that much of this food is being thrown away by employees who are themselves unable to make ends meet. 

"When I worked there forever ago, I was really struggling financially. I would have been thrilled to take some of that home," says one user.

"Not surprising, but immensely disappointing," another adds. "I often think about how much waste there is in grocery stores, a lot of in in the name of convenience."

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