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Forums - General Discussion - What is stopping big retailers from donating their food rather than throwing it away?

CrazyGamer2017 said:
Capitalism is what is stopping them. Food is a commodity that must be sold, not given. I don't like it but this is the world we live in.

Of course food has to be paid for; seeds don't plant themselves, crops don't harvest themselves, food doesn't just fly to our local store shelves on their own. These things take labor and that labor has to be paid for.



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I’m not sure but I’ll give you an example. When I was 16 (20 years ago) I was an Assistant Manager at Burger King. One night I was closing up with the general manager and after I counted the inventory I bagged up the leftover food and was ready to take it him. The manager looks at me and says, “What are you doing with that waste?” I said I’m taking it home because there’s no reason for good food to go to waste. He stated that we have to throw it away because if we were allowed to take home leftovers then people would probably always make leftovers so they can get free food. Basically it came down to cost. I think that’s why we do it the way we do.



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the-pi-guy said:
thismeintiel said:

Really? Then why do so many remain poor and starve under socialist regimes?

 

Why people starve under capitalism: because of greed.

Why people starve under socialism: no incentive to do better.

thismeintiel said:

No, the problem is government, whether federal or local. Too many laws and regulations preventing companies from doing so. Even schools are not allowed to donate their food at the end of the day. Another concern is being sued. Sure, there may be so-called laws that protect companies, but that doesn't mean a judge will ere on the side of those laws, even though that's supposed to be their job. Even if the company eventually wins through appeal, it could cost them thousands per case in attorney fees. That's what sadly has resulted in this settlement society. Even if they plaintiff is in the wrong, it'll cost the company less just to pay them something to make them go away. 

People think there are laws preventing companies, but there aren't.  

Nope, it's never happened.  

"There is no available public record of anyone in the United States being sued...because of harms related to donated food."

“As long as no one has acted in a totally reckless or deliberately destructive manner, lawyers are not interested in sticking it to people who make sure the needy do not starve, Civita wrote in “Food Recovery, Donation, and the Law in Food Waste Across the Supply Chain: A Global Perspective on a US Problem.” “What is more, the very people who depend on donated food – the potential plaintiffs – hesitate to bite the hands that feed them.”"

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/restaurants-that-dont-donate-because-of-liability-are-just-making-excuses-experts-say_us_577d6f92e4b0344d514dd20f

Except there are laws that do hinder or prevent it. It's different in every state/county/city. Some allow donating expired food, if it is still good, while others ban it outright. Some have regulations on what can be donated and/or how it's handled. It all adds up to extra time/manpower/cost that just becomes too much of a hassle to some companies.

It doesn't really matter if no one has sued, yet. In this sue happy time, it only takes the threat of one for people to not even bother. And you get a judge who often sides with the "underdog" even if they are in the wrong. Of course, the key word there was public record. Who knows what lies within any that were sealed.

As for your first comment, yes, greed can lead to others starving. However, that is a human condition that has nothing to do with capatilism. If anything, it is capatilism that has raised so many out of poverty and starvation. And with so many doing so well, it is easier to find those who have the means to donate to those less fortunate.

In socialist societies, it is not the lack of incentive that leads to starvation, but a central government or dictator who oppressed their/his/her people to remain in power. Often their greed and poor policies are what leads to a lack of resources and/or food. 



Eagle367 said:
The dates on most food is bs anyways. Best before is just nonsense. The only thing where the actual expiry is of concern is on medicine. Other than that you could probably eat biscuits that were "expired" a month before and get and get away with it. I remember watching something that said the actual reason for best before is that people throw away the things they brought if it goes past that date and buy more so more profit. Its a science in how to manipulate people. The only real way to tell if food is bad if you can visibly see that it's bad or smell that it's bad or taste that it's bad. That's why most food looks and tastes fine after the best before date. All you have to do is keep the food in a collection and dry place because dampness and heat are the two biggest factors for spoilage. Yeah I think it costs money to donate the food they throw away. One eqya of doing it is to incentivise these chains by offering them tax cuts if they do it much like how they get tax cuts for donating to charities. As long as it's legitimate and not scamming people, that feels like the only way, or the government itself has collection centres which cost next to nothing to get to for chains. People say we don;t need government but these private chains will; eat us alive without anyone regulating them. They know how to manipulate us and maximize profits. They'll make slaves out of people before they realize it

“Best before” and “Expires on” aren’t the same thing though. “Best before” on biscuits doesn’t mean much. But don’t you dare drink milk after it’s “Expires on” date. I’ve made that mistake by accident. 



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FentonCrackshell said:
Eagle367 said:
The dates on most food is bs anyways. Best before is just nonsense. The only thing where the actual expiry is of concern is on medicine. Other than that you could probably eat biscuits that were "expired" a month before and get and get away with it. I remember watching something that said the actual reason for best before is that people throw away the things they brought if it goes past that date and buy more so more profit. Its a science in how to manipulate people. The only real way to tell if food is bad if you can visibly see that it's bad or smell that it's bad or taste that it's bad. That's why most food looks and tastes fine after the best before date. All you have to do is keep the food in a collection and dry place because dampness and heat are the two biggest factors for spoilage. Yeah I think it costs money to donate the food they throw away. One eqya of doing it is to incentivise these chains by offering them tax cuts if they do it much like how they get tax cuts for donating to charities. As long as it's legitimate and not scamming people, that feels like the only way, or the government itself has collection centres which cost next to nothing to get to for chains. People say we don;t need government but these private chains will; eat us alive without anyone regulating them. They know how to manipulate us and maximize profits. They'll make slaves out of people before they realize it

“Best before” and “Expires on” aren’t the same thing though. “Best before” on biscuits doesn’t mean much. But don’t you dare drink milk after it’s “Expires on” date. I’ve made that mistake by accident. 

I thought it was best by on milk, too. I've drank it a few days after that date before and it was fine. Definitely wouldn't risk a full week after, though. Lol. 



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I dunno about the logistics of donating waste food to the needy and all that, but there are some cool new ventures on the way to help reduce food waste in other ways:

https://www.cnet.com/news/karma-waste-food-dining-app-london-launch/



thismeintiel said:

1.) Except there are laws that do hinder or prevent it. It's different in every state/county/city. Some allow donating expired food, if it is still good, while others ban it outright. Some have regulations on what can be donated and/or how it's handled. It all adds up to extra time/manpower/cost that just becomes too much of a hassle to some companies.

2.)  It doesn't really matter if no one has sued, yet. In this sue happy time, it only takes the threat of one for people to not even bother. And you get a judge who often sides with the "underdog" even if they are in the wrong. Of course, the key word there was public record. Who knows what lies within any that were sealed.

3.)  As for your first comment, yes, greed can lead to others starving. However, that is a human condition that has nothing to do with capatilism. If anything, it is capatilism that has raised so many out of poverty and starvation. And with so many doing so well, it is easier to find those who have the means to donate to those less fortunate.

4.) In socialist societies, it is not the lack of incentive that leads to starvation, but a central government or dictator who oppressed their/his/her people to remain in power. Often their greed and poor policies are what leads to a lack of resources and/or food. 

1.)  The whole point of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Act is that it overrides state laws, so that all companies don't have to worry about individual states.  Unless you can cite an example of a local law that overrides the Bill Emerson Food Act, the liability concerns are only a belief and there are no actual laws that stop it from happening.  

2.)  Yes, all those food suits are getting sealed.  That's definitely what is happening.  

3.)  Capitalism does both.  It feeds people by motivating them, and creates a strong economy.  But Capitalism doesn't offer guarantees, which leads to people starving.  

4.)  There's different types of socialist governments.  Not all are the same.

thismeintiel said:

I thought it was best by on milk, too. I've drank it a few days after that date before and it was fine. Definitely wouldn't risk a full week after, though. Lol. 

It varies, a lot.  There are no national standards.  Even by the same company, you can have the same product branded different ways.  One milk might have "best by", the one right behind it might say "sell by".  That usually doesn't happen, but it can.  



thismeintiel said:
FentonCrackshell said:

“Best before” and “Expires on” aren’t the same thing though. “Best before” on biscuits doesn’t mean much. But don’t you dare drink milk after it’s “Expires on” date. I’ve made that mistake by accident. 

I thought it was best by on milk, too. I've drank it a few days after that date before and it was fine. Definitely wouldn't risk a full week after, though. Lol. 

Just checked the milk in my fridge and it’s only says a date and nothing else. Opening to interpretation lol. Try at your own risk. 



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FentonCrackshell said:
thismeintiel said:

I thought it was best by on milk, too. I've drank it a few days after that date before and it was fine. Definitely wouldn't risk a full week after, though. Lol. 

Just checked the milk in my fridge and it’s only says a date and nothing else. Opening to interpretation lol. Try at your own risk. 

Throw that sucker out a day early then. No point in risking that. Lol. 



When I worked at a grocery store, we would throw away groceries that had some defect, like a tiny hole in the packaging and such.
I can understand not giving those away because someone may have tampered with the food. As for things that got close to their expiration date, rather than throwing it away, we would usually mark it down to a cheaper price, and people bought those in droves.

As someone mentioned, if you're going to give food away, you don't want it to be aimed at potential customers. Something like homeless shelters seems harmless enough though.