To say that America has a product waste problem would be an understatement, especially when it comes to food. Some 30-40% of edible US goods are thrown away every single year, most of them perfectly safe to consume. There are plenty of reasons why this occurs: one could use a blanket statement and chalk it up to Capitalism in general.
If one wanted to get more granular, they could highlight the fact that some businesses are not participating in local pantry pick-up programs, or lament the fact that a fear of litigation/intrinsically assuming responsibility for any harm caused by eating "free" products may dampen people's enthusiasm for giving out free food to those who need it.
And a recent TikTok that went viral has brought up all of those concerns, along with the added sentiment of an individual who just felt like they were ripped off.
Manuel Olivera was visiting a pastry shop at Porto's Bakery & Cafe in Buena Park, Calif. where he was charged $83.09 for a bunch of baked goods.
Shortly after buying all of the delicious treats, he saw store workers straight up throwing away items in plain view of the customers, putting a wet blanket on his shopping experience.
Firstly: it makes the value of the product you're buying seem...well...nonexistent as you're watching a person you just purchased it from literally throw it in the garbage.
"How would you feel as a customer? I felt ripped off!" Manuel wrote.
However, it appeared that many other TikTokers on the platform didn't share the same opinion. A number of folks called the TikToker "entitled" just because he saw the same goods he just bought summarily disposed of right in front of his face.
There were some who said that there could be other reasons that the employees threw out the pastries like perhaps they were stale or not fit for sale. Although great bakers are a lot like chemists in that their goods must be perfectly balanced/heated and cooled to attain their respective ideal textures and flavor profiles, errant cookies/cannolis/whatever-it-is-you're-baking can occur.
Others who stated that they worked in the foodservice/restaurant industry said that many food products are periodically tossed because, after a certain amount of time, they're unsafe to consume, or may run the risk of that.
Another individual who said that they worked at this specific location claimed that the products that were being tossed contained meat in them and had been on site since 5 o'clock in the morning. However, the TikToker stated that the same kind of products he purchased were being tossed out only moments later.
He argued that the bakery could've given him extra portions instead of just throwing them away in front of him and reiterated that it made him feel like what he purchased was essentially worthless.
Do you agree with the TikToker? How would you feel if you bought some donuts at 10 pm, only to witness a person take the same kind of donuts you just bought out of the same tray throw them in the trash? Do you think the employees should've asked him if he wanted them? Or should they have just waited until all of the customers left before putting them on a one-way train to Garbageville?