This was definitely one of the hardest things to get used to in the job of food demos. You probably don’t know this but doing demos requires you to be very wasteful. That really caught me off guard because I was always taught not to throw away food. Growing up the way we did, on a farm in a sharecropper's shack, food was a precious thing not to be wasted for any reason. It about killed me to dump good food into the trash at the end of the shift. I’m used to it now, which is probably awful to say, but after a year and a half these are the rules if you want to work there. I see new people we hire struggling with this idea now.
The main reason to throw food away is for sanitation reasons. Some food has to be refrigerated and we have coolers with ice to keep it fresh all day. Some of this can be returned if it’s not opened, but much has to get tossed and it can’t be returned and put into the coolers for sale again once we've had it out on the floor for demos. This is so wasteful. But one good thing is we're allowed to give unopened can products and dry goods to the homeless shelter. At least someone is getting the benefit of this food and it isn’t ending up in the landfill.
We try to salvage cooked food and give what we can to the guys on the loading dock when it’s possible. That way it doesn’t go to waste either and end up in the trash can. But we still have to throw away LOTS of food. I never realized this about the food industry. It seems so sad when there are so many hungry people out there in the world. You would certainly think there was a better way of doing things with all the other kinds of things we can do these days.