The internet is currently furious with Whole Foods after a viral video showed just how much edible food the chain throws away on a day-to-day basis.
It started when TikTok user dumpsterdivingfreegan posted a video showing them going through a Whole Foods dumpster. “Dumpster diving at Whole Foods is nothing like I’ve ever seen before,” says the voiceover as the camera pans over massive amounts of food, most of which bears the distinctive Whole Foods logo.
The voiceover explains that whenever the creator dives in that dumpster, they find cases of organic food that has been thrown out way before its best buy date, including meat, meat substitutes, and prepared produce. In fact, the creator estimates that the amount of food they found could easily feed an entire community, even noting that they left plenty of stuff behind.
The video quickly got over 300,000 likes and went viral on Twitter. Many people were shocked by the scale of the waste on display. Many quoted the video with stories of their own time working in Whole Foods and other stores. Noting that this waste is not uncommon and it is, in fact, a regular corporate practice.
According to one user, the company told them they couldn’t give the waste food away because: “they’ll be liable if someone gets sick.” However, the user points out that “waiver of liability is a thing,” before adding “the amount of pizza, bread & produce that gets thrown out is insane.”
One user says they were fired from Whole Foods for taking home unsold bagels or muffins. They explained that “they also threw away approximately 8 pizzas every night and told the hot foods department they’d get fired if they ate some without paying first.”
Other dumpster divers also commented on the situation. Explaining that they find that this amount of waste is commonplace up and down the country. Some even said they’ve found some branches of the store that waste way more food every day. Many shared stories about raiding Whole Foods dumpsters for food, showing how this has been an issue for a long time.
However, some users predict that this video’s viral spread will have the opposite effect. Some posters presume that Whole Foods will simply lock their dumpsters rather than take action to reduce food waste at their stores.
Many point out that Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017, with many arguing that this is another exploitative business practice that the controversial company has the resources to stop. “Jeff Bezos pledged $10 billion to “fight climate change,” but massive waste is a company policy,” argues one user.
While some users point out that Whole Foods‘ original founders John Mackey and Renee Lawson, started with “real concerns about sustainability + food waste,” before concluding that “their 1980 selves would be ashamed to see how their store turned out.”