Lv 5
JPP asked in Food & DrinkOther - Food & Drink · 9 months ago

Why is there so much food waste?

Restaurants, grocery stores, other locations and god only know how many other people toss so much good/edible food that it is beyond being beyond ridiculous.

Everyone in the world would have more than enough food to stuff themselves daily, also meaning that food banks would most likely be brimming with food that would be far ore easily assessable/available to people (Assuming food banks even existed in said scenario where there were little to no unnecessary food waste).

11 Answers

  • 9 months ago
    Favourite answer

    One word...."Liability".  Food items have expiration dates/times.  I worked in a place where you mad up lots of food in advance to prepare for the lunch and dinner rush.  Everything put in the food warmer was labeled and had to be sold quickly.  Sometimes we would get several school buses that would clean us out in the blink of an eye.  You hurry and get more food out but then you find yourself with a warmer full of food that nobody purchased.  We also had someone come in and order 5 large pizzas but never came back to get them.  

    Every day we filled trash cans with food, but the manager wouldn't allow employees to take it home or give it away.  The reason he gave was because an employee took left over food home, the whole family got sick from food poisoning and they sued the place.  

    Nursing homes, schools, homeless shelters, etc. around here won't accept food donations for the same reason.  50 hamburgers that have been in the warmer for several hours might still be fine to eat but they are no longer fresh so they can't be sold and the homeless shelter next door won't take them.   I can't eat one myself because if I get sick I can sue the place.  We did get a free meal during the "off" times while we were working and a 50% discount on food we took home.  We had a family gathering and the manager gave me a 50% discount on 4 whole fried chickens, but I had to take it home fresh from the fryer.  

  • 9 months ago

    It all boils down to the consumer not wanting/willing to eat food that is not picture-perfect or the absolute freshest in the marketplace. I agree with you~ there is way too much food thrown away. 40% of marketable food is garbaged every year in North America. That is 4 out of every 10 food items. Disgusting to think that we do this while there are people on this planet dying of starvation every single minute of every day.

  • 9 months ago

    PIt's a sign of the times. We have excessive amounts of everything and while there are services who compost, donate, re-sell or whatever there is obviously not enough. That is another industry in itself.

  • 9 months ago

    The food industry is constrained by laws to protect consumers from illness, ie., expiration dates, proper labeling, etc. The issue is that many foods are edible well after the expiration dates and are still disposed of and are required to be. Legislation should allow stipulations where foodstuffs beyond expiration dates could be given to whomever requests it based on need, and eligibility. This is probably why it hasn’t happened yet.

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  • .
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    Disgusting isn't it? You want to see what they waste in the supermarkets in our town, a full kip load every week, sometime over into another one. All goes to land fill.

  • Clive
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    For the very obvious reason that nobody can be totally sure how much they will sell.  You'd be upset if a restaurant said a dish was off because they'd sold out of it, or if a grocery store doesn't have what you want because they didn't order enough.  It has to be educated guesswork   If we had to order all our food well in advance it might be different, but this would have to be a LONG time in advance for fruit and vegetables - think of how long they take to grow.

    And then there is the problem that so many people think dates on food packages are some kind of divine law.  They aren't, they're only guidance, but people will throw perfectly good food out just because it's past the date.

    And people don't make shopping lists, and buy more than they can use.  Because of the way I was brought up, that always feels like a defeat and like throwing money away.  My parents remember WWII food rationing in the UK so that's what THEIR parents said - when you are limited in the amount you can buy, you'd better eat it all up!  It's a family joke that Dad often said "eat it up, out the way", but it's a point - a lot of work has gone into producing it, so don't waste it.

    I especially feel that with meat.  That animal died so I could live, so I want to respect it by not buying and cooking a bigger portion than I know I will eat.  And make use of all of it - I like kidneys, but they're harder to find because people now don't like offal so much.  But if you can find them, they're cheap because they aren't popular.  And liver is lovely if cooked well.  This would all only go to waste if we didn't eat them.

    And then there are supermarkets who say that customers only want nice-looking produce so there is a lot they will reject.  I'm just reminded of this because of a trip to Morrison's today.  They sell some vegetables marked as "wonky" - not perfect but still edible, a bit cheaper, and if you need to cut them up, who will notice you made dinner using a bag of wonky carrots?

    One last point that occurs to me as Christmas is coming up is our supermarkets always seem to order too much of all the traditional ingredients of a British Christmas lunch.  (Which is rather our equivalent of Thanksgiving - it's the big eating holiday with turkey.)  They're always selling off cheap excess parsnips and Brussels sprouts afterwards.  Which I make use of by making big batches of stew to freeze for warming meals over the rest of the winter.

    So there are a lot of reasons for it, but I think I try my bit towards not wasting food.

  • John
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    My wife and I went to a banquet in a hotel - at a convention. They served pork loin and it was 3 pieces the size of a large pork chop.  It was a LOT of meat, far too much. And I believe around 400 guests. I asked the waiter if they had a food giveaway program and he said no. You could guess maybe a half a ton of food was discarded that night. Yes, a real tragedy. Here in San Francisco there ARE such programs for those who subscribe to them. Lately I heard of one European country who made it unlawful to discard edible food - I forget the details. And there is another vendor who sells blemished fruit exclusively. And food banks live on that stuff. So yes, it's a problem that is far from solved. There are folks who are on it, though.

  • 9 months ago

    For grocery stores, they can sell the blemish food without throwing it away by selling it cheaper. Suppose there are apples, some with blemishes and others have no blemishes. If you’re the consumer aren’t you going to pick the no blemish apples if you’re going to pay the same price whether it’s perfect or not. If grocery stores give you a discount on the blemish apples, you’re more likely to buy the blemish apples. That’s one way to reduce waste. 

    Same with restaurants. Chefs want perfect food since it gives the best taste. But what if they use blemish foods but cut the price. More people would order the cheaper version especially if it’s something that they normally can’t afford. How many more people would eat at Nobu if the price was 25% cheaper if blemished foods were used. 

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    It's more complicated than that though, isn't it? People work to grow, harvest, package, transport and sell that food part so that they have money to buy food for their own families. If we all sat back and waited for excess food, would we actually have an excess? What would motivate anyone to produce it?

  • 9 months ago

    the worlds corrupt mane the rich get richer the poor get poorer

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