When Did We Stop Being Humans: Why Companies Opt to Discard Food Rather Than Save

Some people deserve a high-five. In the face. With a chair.


Food waste is a global problem with far-reaching consequences for the environment, hunger, and the economy. Surprisingly, many companies find it more profitable to throw away excess food instead of seeking ways to save or redistribute it. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this counterproductive approach and shed light on the hidden profits companies derive from food waste. By exploring the economic implications, operational efficiency, brand protection, and liability concerns associated with food waste, we can understand why companies prioritize disposal over conservation. Additionally, we will examine tax incentives, market control, and consumer demand as factors that contribute to this complex issue. Join us as we unravel the intricate web surrounding food waste and uncover how it affects not only our planet and hunger rates but also the profitability of businesses in the food industry.

Operational Efficiency and Costs

One of the main drivers behind the decision to discard excess food is operational efficiency. Companies meticulously plan their production and supply chain based on projected demand, but unexpected fluctuations can result in surplus inventory. By throwing away excess food, companies maintain a streamlined operation, reducing costs associated with storage, inventory management, and potential losses from spoilage or expiration.

Brand Protection and Quality Control

Maintaining brand reputation is paramount for companies in the food industry. Consistent quality is a key aspect of brand protection, and while some surplus food may still be edible, it may not meet the high-quality standards set by the company. To avoid potential customer dissatisfaction and protect their brand image, companies choose to discard the excess food rather than risk compromising their reputation.

Liability and Legal Concerns

Stringent regulations and guidelines govern food safety, placing the onus on companies to ensure compliance. Donating excess food introduces additional liability concerns as there is a risk of foodborne illnesses or legal implications if mishandled by the recipient organization. To mitigate potential legal liabilities and protect their interests, companies opt to discard excess food, alleviating concerns associated with donation and potential litigation.

Tax Incentives and Write-Offs

Surprisingly, companies can benefit financially from discarding excess food due to tax incentives and write-offs. In some countries, businesses can claim tax deductions or credits for donated food. However, the administrative efforts required to track and document donations can be complex and time-consuming. Consequently, throwing away excess food eliminates the need for these efforts, allowing companies to focus on their core operations while still benefiting from potential tax advantages.

Market Control and Consumer Demand

Managing supply to control market prices is a strategy employed by some companies. By discarding surplus food, companies reduce overall supply, potentially driving up prices. This approach is especially prevalent in industries involving perishable goods, allowing companies to exercise greater control over the market and maintain higher profit margins.

Food waste poses significant environmental, social, and economic challenges. While it may seem perplexing that companies prioritize discarding excess food over finding solutions to save or redistribute it, the reasons are rooted in operational efficiency, brand protection, liability concerns, tax incentives, and market control. However, it is essential to question our choices as a society. When did we stop being humans, caring for our planet and the well-being of our fellow humans above all else? By understanding the hidden profits derived from food waste, we can reflect on our priorities and work towards a more compassionate and sustainable future. Collaboration between businesses, governments, and consumers is crucial to developing innovative solutions that minimize food waste and create a food system that benefits both companies and society as a whole. Let us embrace our humanity and strive for a world where no food goes to waste, and no one goes hungry.

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