Redditors Are Shocked At The Amount Of Produce Walmart Supposedly Wastes

Food waste is a serious problem, especially in the U.S. where roughly a third of all food goes uneaten (via USDA). Not only does food waste harm the food insecure, but it's also bad news for the planet, too. Numerous studies show that an excess of food production and transport equals an increase in greenhouse gas emissions

Large grocery stores with vast perishable food departments are particularly susceptible to food waste. Case in point: Walmart. Walmart's food waste trends are pretty well documented, though there's always been debate about whether the company is warranted in throwing away food if it's nearing its "Best If Used By" date or is otherwise unlikely to sell. 

In a Reddit post from earlier this year, the scale of Walmart's food waste was brought to light via cell phone footage of a dump truck unloading the megastore's discarded produce into an outdoor facility. In the title of the post, the thread's author even suggested that some of the produce looked edible and that maybe Walmart just needed a gigantic juicer.

In response to the video, Redditors were in an instant uproar. "What a sickening waste of food!" one commenter posted. While outrage over food waste may be warranted, like many things on the internet, it turns out that there's more to the Walmart food waste saga than meets the eye.

What really happens to Walmart's discarded produce

As the original poster (OP) clarified in follow-up comments, all the fruits and vegetables dumped in the video came from four different Walmarts and were set to be composted at the composting facility where they work. (After all, the post was made in r/composting.) The OP went on to explain that the video was depicting a positive outcome for unwanted food that would be turned into rich, usable soil instead of more landfill mass.

Of course, for some people, seeing a dump truck's worth of uneaten produce still raises the question of what big grocery chains like Walmart could be doing better. At the very least, it turns out that the company's composting practice is in line with Walmart's larger goal to cut its food waste in half by 2030. In fact, Walmart's food waste reduction efforts have been long-established, and the company has even sponsored Food Waste Prevention Week in an effort to educate the public about avoiding food waste.

The takeaway? While a dump truck of zucchinis, tomatoes, and melons might not be the cornucopia Reddit wants to see, hopefully, it's part of a larger step toward sustainability for grocery stores as a whole.