IGA dumpster divers shock with fresh food haul amid price rises

A money-conscious Australian man has shocked the internet with the huge amount of fresh fruit and vegetables he found on a single dumpster-diving trip at an IGA supermarket in Canberra.

Armed with headlamps, TikToker Luca Corby filmed himself and two friends heading towards a garbage bin behind a store saying, "Food is expensive at the moment, so let's go dumpster diving."

In a now viral video captioned "Anywaysss f**k big corporations", Corby and his friends proceeded to rummage through the bins, expressing disbelief at the amount of fresh produce they found.

TikToker Luca Corby with friends in headlamps; hands holding fresh ginger and asparagus from IGA
TikToker Luca Corby filmed himself and two friends rummaging through a dumpster behind an IGA store to reveal how much food is being wasted. TikTok/@weinerfingerss

"This is probably $20 worth of ginger. Ginger is expensive," Corby says in the clip, holding the produce in his hands.

"Look at this lettuce. It's literally fresh... There's a couple of dead leaves on the outside but the inside is all fresh."

The group's haul also included a bunch of potatoes, onions, carrots, leeks, mandarins, oranges, grapes, asparagus and rhubarb.

A week's worth of groceries

The next day, Corby said they had washed and put their rescued produce away in the fridge.

"Our fridge is stocked for the next week. Our groceries for this week were essentially free," Corby revealed. "It's crazy because we just went to a small supermarket, but you can imagine Coles and Woolworths would be throwing out so much stuff while families are struggling to buy fresh vegetables."

The video has since garnered over 127,000 likes and over 380 comments.

"Just want to add - the way we grow food could easily be more sustainable. We could invest in small farmers and local gardens," Corby added in the comments. "But at the end of day big corporations just want to make a profit, so it's up to us to get our neighbours and communities organised and take them on."

"Could not have said it better myself mate, just again the government stops these corporations from donating the food, if its eatable it should be donated," someone commented.

"So evil especially when the cost of living is so insane," another person commented.

"Ginger is like $70 a kilo omg," another person reacted.

"Binned lettuce? In this economy???" another wrote in disbelief.

"That's actually really sad to see. I really thought they had processes in place to send this food to places like FoodBank," someone else commented.

Yahoo News has reached out to IGA for comment but is yet to hear back at the time of publication.

Locked dumpsters

Some viewers however commented that while it is quite commendable to do this, not all dumpsters are unlocked like this one.

"A lot of supermarkets have their bins locked behind gates now, do you find this also?" one person asked.

"We use to do this in Alice Springs, but both Coles and Woolworths have a fully secured container crusher that is not accessible for public," one person commented.

"I worked at Krispy Kreme and they threw out EVERYTHING at the end of the day. Kept the dumpster locked away or chained up for this reason... so sad," another lamented.

Store workers react

"I worked at Coles and anything salvageable would go to a charity at the end of the day + the bins are in a locked room to avoid divers," one person commented.

"At my Woolies we save it all for a charity to come pick it up. Literally every day they come collect it. We only throw out the actual rotten stuff," one worker said, while another reacted, "We do the same at the independent greengrocer I work at. Or heavily discount the stock, or give it to staff. Only rot goes in the bin."

"I remember we threw out 6+ hot roast chickens at the end of the night. I collected them after my shift from the dumpster. They were still hot," related another.

Both Coles and Woolworths have initiatives in place to reduce food waste.

Coles donates unsold edible food to over a thousand community groups across Australia through their partnership with Second Bite, while Woolworths has a food rescue and recycling program to divert surplus food for hunger relief, animal stock feed and commercial composting.

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