One deli employee posted on Reddit to vent about their employer’s wasteful priorities.
Their post is part of a growing trend in which workers have called out businesses for creating excess food waste. These posts have appeared across social media, including in subreddits like r/antiwork and r/Anticonsumption.
In this case, the Redditor said they worked at a deli attached to a Chevron gas station.
“They can’t pay a living wage, but I’ll waste hundreds on food waste,” the worker complained.
Their image showed a trash can inside the deli. It was full of individually packaged, ready-to-eat sandwiches. Nothing was visibly wrong with any of the food.
It’s not uncommon for businesses to get rid of food that’s past its “best by” date. However, this date doesn’t indicate when the food spoils or becomes unsafe. Instead, it simply indicates when the food is at its freshest, which is an issue of quality, not safety.
Tossing perfectly edible food in the trash is a slap in the face to the many people struggling and going hungry across the country — sometimes including the very employees of the business itself. A large portion of the food could still be donated to local shelters, sent home with employees, or even sold at a discount.
Besides denying this food to hungry people, businesses that throw away this much are needlessly wasting the resources used to grow, assemble, and transport the food. They’re increasing the heat-trapping gas in the planet’s atmosphere from the food and shipping industries, and taking up space in landfills with food that could otherwise be used for compost.
Not to mention that these situations can cause companies to raise prices in order to cover the loss, which blows back on the consumer.
“Last year these same sandwiches were $1.75; now they’re $6.25. I’m not even kidding either,” the original poster said in a comment.
Other users were tired of seeing this pattern.
“I got fired from a convenience store about a decade ago for handing out sandwiches to homeless people instead of trashing the food like I was supposed to,” one commenter wrote. “The manager always over-ordered, we pulled them the day before the use-by date, and the next morning drove around the city handing out lunch to the homeless.”
Luckily, there are answers. Organizations like Do Good Foods help many food retailers get rid of their excess product — without the risk of getting an employee fired.
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