It's no secret that America has a somewhat disgusting relationship with food when it comes to waste. 40% of all our edible products are thrown in the garbage and what makes this statistic all the more alarming is the fact that some 38 million Americans are labeled as "food insecure," meaning they aren't really sure where or how they're going to get their next meal.
There are a lot of different viewpoints as to why this is the case. Some folks blame Capitalism at its core as the reason why so many people go hungry and why so many food products go to waste, as businesses would rather throw something in the garbage than give it to someone in need in the hopes of not "devaluing" what their product is.
It's why luxury brands go out of their way in order to burn and destroy unsold merchandise, so "the poors" aren't seen ambling about with their goods and effectively shattering the mystique of exclusivity that they created.
But a viral TikTok from a Starbucks customer seems to suggest that the "problem" actually goes deeper than just a question of maintaining supply and demand.
The clip is a simple one, posted by a user who uploads clips under the handle @yestrdaynvrmatterd. In the video she's holding a croissant in a Starbucks bag with a text overlay that reads: "The lady in line before us couldn't afford her croissant so they gave it to me for free. Amerikkka is so backwards. She probably needed it more than me."
A debate ensued in the comments with several people who argued on behalf of the Starbucks location, stating that if they gave the free croissant to the customer who had ordered one but couldn't afford it, then other customers would see that and expect free pastries and wig out if they, too said they couldn't afford one and didn't get it for free.
Others said that if the customer couldn't afford the croissant then they should've just stayed home and not gone out to eat, but there were some commenters who sympathized with the woman and agreed with the TikToker.
Many wondered why the Barista behind the counter was able to give the free baked good to the TikToker and not the customer and then there were commenters who rejected the idea that the Starbucks shopper couldn't afford the croissant and that they maybe could've miscalculated how much cash they had on them at the time.
However there were some who pointed out that if the commenter in question was so worried about the customer not getting the croissant then why didn't then follow the person outside and offer them the pasty themselves?
How do you think the situation should've been handled? Do you believe it would set a negative "freeloading" precedent if the barista gave the croissant to a customer who didn't have the money for it at the time? Or was the fact that they ended up giving it to the TikToker evidence enough that this "freeloading" mentality doesn't apply?