Monday, October 8, 2012

The Turnover Tragedy

I really hate to see waste, especially when it comes to something as dear to my heart as food. Many supermarkets, grocery stores, and businesses throw out large amounts of food on a daily basis. I think it's a shame to see food wasted when there are so many hungry people who would gladly accept it. I know many stores donate their day-old bread and other foods to homeless shelters or food banks, but they still end up throwing away a lot of food that is beyond the expiration date due to liability concerns.

I have always been a picky eater and am sensitive to eating food once it is beyond its prime. I frequently turn my nose up to and decline perishable food items if I suspect they might be tainted or unsafe to eat. That being said, I have no problem eating foods that are a little past the expiration date, especially if they are canned or dry goods. It's kind of a no-brainer. I know to pass on the green hamburger in the back of the fridge with the white cotton like coat growing on top of it, but if some packaged and processed food is a little past the "best by" date, then who cares? I hope that doesn't make me sound like I'm a food hoarder or a dumpster diver.
Not me, but I could be that guy's stunt double.
One of my saddest and most recent food wasting memories happened when I was eating at Arby's. I placed my order for a couple items off the dollar menu and, while I was waiting, a new teenage employee had just finished icing a tray of warm cherry turnovers. As he was loading them under the heat lamp with the tongs, one of them slipped out and fell several inches onto the clean stainless steel counter top below and it smudged a little of the icing on top. He picked it up and did the unthinkable.

Without hesitating, he tossed the perfectly good turnover into the garbage, as time stood still and I cried out in anguish, "NOOOOOO" in slow motion. As the turnover sank into the bottom of the trash can, I sank to my knees then collapsed into the fetal position and sobbed uncontrollably. Yes, they really are that good.

I guess it's a good thing employees are trained to discard food that doesn't meet quality standards, but it's not like it fell on the floor. He just smeared a little frosting. Note to Arby's: If you expect me to ring that bell when I leave, then I expect you to offer me any of the less than perfect-looking turnovers your new employees may have screwed up before you discard them.


Kal said...

Can't there be a special bag that they throw the 'imperfect' turnovers into that I can pick up at the end of the day? I am willing to work with these people.

mCat said...

LOL - I wonder if that had happened in the back where no one saw if it wouldn't have survived. At least to the teenagers own mouth, which is far better than the bottom of a trash can.

I feel the same way about a dropped skittle. Unless there is something attached to it, there really is no expiration date on them.

Dr Zibbs said...

I'm with you but I also rarely finish what is on my plate.

larainydays said...

That is the saddest story I've read this week.