The Truth Behind The Leftover Food On Supermarket Sweep

For the cynic, the reboot of the classic food show "Supermarket Sweep" may prompt eyebrow raising. After all, the premise of the show is that the contestants can canter around a supermarket for their ingredients, which requires a store full of ingredients for the contestants to pass over. As opposed to the more curated food selection of the Technical Challenge in the "Great British Bake Off," the food unused constitutes a feast that could go to waste.

This, however, is untrue. A spokesperson for ABC contacted TODAY to explain how the show handles its more perishable goods: "A total of 95 pallets of perishable and non-perishable foods were donated to local charities, of which included The LA Food Bank, Food Finders, Food Cycle LA, The LA Mission, and Downtown Woman's Shelter — to name a few." Additionally, pet food goes to a local organization called The Rescue Train and extra meat that people may not be able to eat goes to The Rancho Wildlife Foundation. So, cynics can rest their facial muscles for the moment.

Supermarket Sweep wasn't always so sustainable

"Supermarket Sweep" appears to have taken a note from "Guy's Grocery Games" as the original run of the show was nowhere near as sustainable as this.

Looking back on his project to build the set for "Guy's Grocery Games" in an interview with Reality Blurred, Scott Storey compared that project to his time working on the original "Supermarket Sweep." The difference between the shows was that "Guy's Grocery Games" was intended to function similarly to a grocery store, albeit an unusual one, while "Supermarket Sweep" had no pretensions beyond being a set.

That would be fine except they stocked the set with real food as fake food was more expensive. "So the production company would just buy real meat," Storey recalled. "It would sit there, unrefrigerated, for a week, and then after taping they would just throw it all away. It was the most rank, disgusting — the contestants would always grab it, because it's a roast, it's $24! And it was like rotting flesh," Storey told Reality Blurred.

Obviously, with food rotting during the production cycle, it's evident that regularly sending slightly aged food to food banks was not on the show's agenda at the time. "Guy's Grocery Games," which cycles through its foods every week, probably prompted the idea to cycle the food similarly on "Supermarket Sweep." That and the literal rotting flesh.