Organic Consumers Association

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Whole Foods and Trader Joe's Throwing Out Millions of Pounds of Edible Food

For related articles and more information please visit the OCA's Resource Center for All Things Organic and our page on  the Buy Local Movement.


Wal Mart is the largest purchaser of organic food in the U.S. surpassing likelier suspects, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. And the retail giant has one-upped them again by enacting a company-wide donation policy on short-dated or mildly damaged foods while the top two natural food chains let perfectly edible products rot in dumpsters and landfills.

Filmmaker Jeremy Seifert directed the multi-award winning documentary, DIVE!, about the more than 95 billion pounds of edible food ending up in America's landfills each year.

After realizing his own local area grocery stores, mainly Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, were regularly pitching perfectly edible food in their dumpsters, he set out to see if he could feed his family with this reclaimed food and document it for a film project. What he found was not only could he feed his family, but there was enough food to feed the millions of hungry people in Los Angeles county, and millions more around the country.

In DIVE! Seifert makes repeated attempts to help Trader Joe's and Whole Foods adopt a policy that prevents food from ending up in their dumpsters and instead allocated to area food banks, homeless shelters and soup kitchens. To date, neither organization has made any commitment and both continue to throw away millions of pounds of food; a costly expense for taxpayers and the environment, all while homeless, veterans, children and millions of unemployed go hungry.

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