Grocery stores and restaurants discard an astounding quantity of edible food daily. Although we acknowledge the issue to some extent, its severity becomes strikingly evident when confronted with an image of a massive dumpster filled with perfectly good donuts.

Recently, a Reddit user shared such a photo on the r/mildlyinfuriating subreddit, prompting numerous fellow Redditors to express their frustration (which exceeded mere mild irritation) at the sight of hundreds of donuts destined for a landfill.

Commenting on the post, one person shared their reason for quitting a job: “They would discard uneaten pizza, preventing employees from taking it for lunch breaks. The amount of wasted food was appalling.”

The United States leads the world in food wastage. An estimated 40 million tons of food, accounting for 30-40% of the country’s entire food supply, is discarded annually. This discarded food constitutes 22% of the total waste found in landfills.

In 2021, grocery stores contributed approximately five million tons to this food waste, needlessly disposing of fresh produce and other consumable items each day. Sadly, 1.55 million tons of this waste ended up in landfills.

Even after reaching landfills, the environmental impact of discarded food persists. As it decomposes, it releases greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide, significantly contributing to global warming.

Furthermore, in the United States alone, 34 million individuals, including nine million children, currently face food insecurity.

Reflecting on this issue, one Redditor remarked, “This is a manifestation of greed… It’s a sad world we’ve created.”

Another commenter stated, “In the modern world, scarcity is artificially created. We undeniably have enough resources, but wasting food on such a large scale prevents their efficient distribution.”

A third individual suggested, “It should be mandatory by federal law in all 50 states for businesses to donate all surplus food that is still edible and within the expiration date to charities of their choice.”

These sentiments deeply resonate with many others who recognize the significance of this problem.

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