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Why in the U.S.A do resturants & schools throw away food?

Old 11-26-05, 11:11 PM
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Why in the U.S.A do resturants & schools throw away food?

When I was in public school in the 1970's I remember the kids didn't like meat loaf and didn't want to eat it. But when they were in the lunch line the lunch lady said it had to go on your plate. So what always happened when our hour was over and we had to take our tray and throw it away. The kids would toss untouched food in the garbage. I remember the look on the lunch lady as she saw all this food go in the garbage.
And it's my understanding from talking to people that have worked in kitchens that at the end of the day the resturants today don't allow the employees to take left over food home. It is to go in the garbage.
Why doesn't some liberal do something about this!!
Why can't this food be shipped to the nearest homeless shelter?
We have all these hollywood stars concered about some murderer getting saved from the death penalty.
Why not do something about this?
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Old 11-26-05, 11:12 PM
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Unused food is taken to homeless shelters all the time. However the business/school has to agree to it.

Look up "Second Harvest".
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Old 11-26-05, 11:33 PM
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McDonalds throws out every screwed up order they have... you don't want to know how much food that adds up to. All the poor kids in the world could eat a big mac every day with how many get thrown out. The problem is, the liberals would declare the giving of Big Macs as cruelty. Poor kids.
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Old 11-26-05, 11:36 PM
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some of it has to do with health code regulations
once it is served I don't think it can legally be reserved

that said, when I worked at pizza hut on buffet night, depending on the manager we'd take home the stuff on the buffet that had to be taken off for being out for 20 minutes
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Old 11-27-05, 03:01 AM
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I briefly worked for a local BBQ chain--my first job at 16. I was a "closer" and every night, all of the leftover food was offered to me and the other employees at half price. Chicken, beef, sides, and desserts like whole pies were basically called out like "Do you want this pie for $2.00?" Each item was pretty much held up directly over a trash can, and if there were no takers, then it was dropped in the trash.
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Old 11-27-05, 03:50 AM
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I worked for a catering company when I was in high school and college -- we did barbecues for large groups of people (company picnics, graduation parties, etc.) Our extra food was bagged up in doggie bags and the person in charge of the picnic was offered the option to either donate it to a local shelter or allow the guests to take it home.

But in general, there are health issues to donating food that's already been served to someone.
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Old 11-27-05, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by wm lopez
Why doesn't some liberal do something about this!!
Why can't this food be shipped to the nearest homeless shelter?
We have all these hollywood stars concered about some murderer getting saved from the death penalty.
Why not do something about this?
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Old 11-27-05, 07:15 AM
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Yeah I've always heard the main reason many don't donate was due to Potential Lawsuits that could arise.

Lawyers and the Sue happy bastards they serve...
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Old 11-27-05, 10:04 AM
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Many places do donate the food. The health concerns are real, esp. meat in that you can't let it sit unrefrigerated.
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Old 11-27-05, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Lawyers and the Sue happy bastards they serve...
I think you need to calm down. There are very real issues involved with donating leftover food. This isn't purely a legal issue.
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Old 11-27-05, 10:18 AM
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You're really grasping at straws to use this to bash liberals. But hey, if blind hatred of a political ideology is your game...YOU WIN!
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Old 11-27-05, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by wm lopez
Why doesn't some liberal do something about this!!
Why can't this food be shipped to the nearest homeless shelter?
We have all these hollywood stars concered about some murderer getting saved from the death penalty.
Why not do something about this?
And you just keep goose-stepping along...
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Old 11-27-05, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wm lopez
Why doesn't some liberal do something about this!!
Why can't this food be shipped to the nearest homeless shelter?
We have all these hollywood stars concered about some murderer getting saved from the death penalty.
Why not do something about this?
Not only are you trying to bash liberals, but you're also bashing conservatives by implying that they wouldn't care enough about the wasted food and homeless people to do anything about it
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Old 11-27-05, 12:22 PM
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I thought wm lopez was a hardcore liberal.
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Old 11-27-05, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by heimerSWT
and if there were no takers, then it was dropped in the trash.
Why didn't they just give it away if it was going in the trash anyway?? It makes no sense.
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Old 11-27-05, 03:50 PM
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They don't give it to employees because to do so would encourage them to make more food than the restaurant will be serving so they get free food to take home.
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Old 11-27-05, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Brain Stew
I think you need to calm down.
Heh, don't ever tell me to calm down....it sickens me. I'm not your child, dog, or woman. Go play Daddy/Master with them.

There are very real issues involved with donating leftover food. This isn't purely a legal issue.
Who's denying that? But still, the fear of being sued over some bullshit is an issue in this topic and probably why many would rather feed the rats and roaches in the garbage than the Human Garbage who'll sue your ass off for "trying to do the right thing".
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Old 11-27-05, 07:25 PM
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McDonalds throws away all food because a wiseass manager could order 50 big mac's cooked 10 minutes before closing and then take them home to a party as 'uneaten'. Since all food removed from the premesis is a fireable offence, no funny business occurs.

As for giving it away to the homeless, if a respectable/dependable company would pick it up, im sure they would give it away, BUT no restaraunt wants a crowd of homeless people outside thier store late at night waiting for the handout, scaring all the customers away
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Old 11-27-05, 07:28 PM
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Basically I think it comes down to "because they can". It's sad to think that we live in a society where it's preferable to throw food away rather than give it away, but unfortunately we do.

If you know that the store is going to give away food 15 minutes before the store closes, then why would you bother turning up 30 minutes before closure and pay for it? In the end, it comes down to the fact that if enough people hold out, then the store might as well not sell stuff prior to 30 minutes before closing.

Some places do take the approach that leftover food (as long as it is a "usable" condition) will go to places like shelters, etc. but that's really something that's done on a case by case basis.

As I said - I think it's an extremely sad reflection on our society that we do waste so much when people are starving in the world (and in our own neighbourhood), but it's a problem with the supply/demand/profit model we use.
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Old 11-27-05, 07:45 PM
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I understand that there are people starving in the world, but there's no way a leftover Big Mac is finding it's way to Africa in time to eat it. That's really a seperate issue.

The local homeless population is definately related to the topic, and there are a lot of systems in place to get them food. I don't think any of Seattle's shelters have had a real food shortage in recent years (except getting enough turkeys donated for Thanksgiving perhaps). The great thing is, it's thanks to private store owners, donations, and hard workers at the shelters... not government buying the food (at least as far as I've seen)
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Old 11-27-05, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
I understand that there are people starving in the world, but there's no way a leftover Big Mac is finding it's way to Africa in time to eat it. That's really a seperate issue.
To some extent it is related. The actual burger can't find its way to Africa, but our model is based on overproduction. A restaurant is far better to have too much food (and throw stuff away) rather than have too little food (and turn people away).

Supply chains produce too much, because if they didn't - and demand exceeded supply, then it would mean that customers might not come back.

Sure, business owners try to minimise waste (it's cost without profit), but they still want a little waste built in "just in case". Those leftover burgers, pizzas, sides etc. take away from resources as a whole, but are counted as a cost of business. When you look at the larger picture, those are resources (cows, wheat, etc) could have gone to Africa.

I'm not saying that we can fix it, just explaining that I think that part of the reason "why" is due to the economic model that we use.
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Old 11-27-05, 08:54 PM
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Restaurants don't give away food because a restaurant's job is to SELL food. If they started giving away food they'd go out of business. Because all that does is give people an incentive NOT to buy food from a restaurant. They would just wait for night time for when they throw out all the food or just give it away.

I remember a friend of mine worked at a big bookstore and she said they used to throw out all the magazines at the end of the month or give them away to a homeless shelter. Employees could never take them home and they couldn't be sold because that would destroy business.

Same thing goes for a drugstore I used to work in. Employees could never take home damaged goods or food especially because they would just cut something open by "accident" so they could eat it.
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Old 11-27-05, 09:53 PM
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I read where about half of all food in America ends up thrown away. That sounded way too high, but I hadn't thought about the school lunches, etc. Could be, but it still sounds high.
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Old 11-27-05, 10:00 PM
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I used the liberals as an example because they are always protesting about something.
Where as conservatives seem to protest only if it concerns sex or religion.
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Old 11-27-05, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by naughty jonny
When you look at the larger picture, those are resources (cows, wheat, etc) could have gone to Africa.
How so? Are you telling me there is a finite limit to the number of cows on this planet? Africa could raise cattle just as easily as we do... if they had the resources. The problem with sending cows over there is then we'd have nations of starving people AND starving cows. So we send the wheat too... how do they continue to harvest and grow wheat without water?

The point being, it's not a question of Americans overconsuming and wasting food that could have gone elsewhere. It's a matter of improving the infrastructure of these nations to a point where they can produce and sustain themselves.

The way I see it, throwing away food only has an impact on a local level, unless people are throwing away canned goods and things already headed for poorer nations, which they are not. I'm certainly open to correction on that point though and would be interested in hearing other views.
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