Waste in the Grocery Aisle

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Food Waste

Our society is struggling to keep up with the rising financial demands; housing market down, stock market is down, unemployment rates are rising, and interest rates are increasing.  An alarming number of our citizens are having problems putting food on the table, many are looking to government funded programs to help them provide meals for their families, such as welfare and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  These are wonderful benefits given out to individuals and families with low to no income that need a little extra help to supply healthy meals for their loved ones.

With so many struggling, it is sad to see how much food is wasted yearly.  We all could do much better in our own homes to more efficiently consume the foods we bring into our kitchens.  Knowing the proper ways to store each item (such as storing fruits and vegetables and how to best keep meats) and what items are best to buy in bulk is a great ways to start.

Throwing Away Foods at the Grocery Store

It’s sad to hear how much food is actually thrown away at grocery stores daily. In fact, according to the California Integrate Waste Management Board, approximately 65% of all store waste is food items, which results in almost 3,000 pounds of food thrown out per employee every year!

Why So Much Waste

There are various reasons for the stores throwing out so much:

– Perishable items start to decay or turn- such as bananas browning.
– Items on the shelf need to rotate in, which means some foods need to be taken out.
– Refrigerated items need to be replaced with new products.
– Recalls.
– Damaged packaging.

This waste is planned for in every grocery store’s budget.

Donating the Food

There are some programs both national and local- that work with various grocery stores on making use of some of this “waste”. Most of the food thrown out is still good to consume, and why not use that for those less fortunate.

Unfortunately, not all grocery stores participate and even those that do, don’t donate all items. These store will only give out meats that still have non-expired sell by dates, dented cans and cakes. They stay away from donated fruits and vegetable- those items most needed to keep the less fortunate healthy.

The reason that most stores steer away from donating their usable waste is liability concerns. They are worried that something they donated might get someone sick. But the benefit to these donations would far outweigh any risk. In fact there was a bill passed by Bill Clinton- Bill Emerson Federal Good Samaritan Food Donation Act in 1996- that would clear any donations by a retail store from criminal liablity should a person get ill from a food donation.

So my guess is the real concern is a PR issue. Store are worried that any complaint, illness or negative situation involved in a donation could affect their bottom line.

If you are looking for ways to donate or even just ways to save more at your local grocery store- check out Grocery Coupon Network today.

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