A TikToker known for her dumpster diving videos aimed to expose that Whole Foods has a knack for wastefulness.
Creator @dumpsterdivingfreegan went investigating after an alleged former Whole Foods employee @decepticonmmunist posted a video showing the many pricey baked goods she was told to throw out.
The dumpster diver’s bio says she’s “exposing the waste in (American flag emoji).” After looking in Whole Foods’ trash, she comes out with a trash bag brimming with food. (It’s unclear whether all the food was thrown out together or if the TikToker had to rummage.)
The viral video has more than 70,000 views and 13,000 likes on the platform. Most of the 500+ comments are people enraged or disappointed by Whole Foods’ alleged wastefulness.
Once home @dumpsterdivingfreegan lays her finds on the table. In total, there are nearly 100 unopened loaves of breads, packages of pita bread, and bags of bagels—enough for multiple families. Though not shown in the video, she says she found cases of olive oil, brand new baby food, and toilet paper, among other rescued items.
“And the worst part is, none of this stuff was expired,” @dumpsterdivingfreegan says. “Everything that I found was atleast two days before its best by date and could have easily been donated, frozen or given to people who needed it.”
The TikToker shows a close up of one item’s best by date, which is the same date of this article’s publication.
In a positive turn, she says 90% of the items she collected were eligible for donation to her local food bank.
“And I know for FACT that Whole Foods CAN do SO MUCH BETTER!!! I hope this blows up and gets on Twitter or something cuz this isn’t right,” commented @decepticonmmunist, who inspired the video.
“Exactly! They have the ABILITY to do SO much good! The fact I found over $1,000 worth of items in ONE dumpster is NOT right,” replied @dumpsterdivingfreegan.
Some food establishments are reportedly known to be wasteful when there’s a choice between throwing food away and partnering with a local organization to get the items to people who could use them. Common excuses are reportedly that the food won’t be accepted or that the company fears lawsuit. But donations are perfectly acceptable and encouraged, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the government agency responsible for regulating food.
According to the USDA website, donating food “diverts food waste from landfills and puts food on the table for families in need.” And as long as donations are made in “good faith,” do-gooders like @dumpsterdivingfreegan and organizations are legally protected.
User @dumpsterdivingfreegan did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via TikTok comment, nor did Whole Foods, which was contacted via email.
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