Post-Earthquake Food Waste

Community Health and Wellness Local Business Op-Ed Preparedness

Op-Ed contributed by Sammy Taylor


10 to 30 pounds of bacon or processed meats
1 to 5 pounds cheese
1 to 3 sacks of produce scraps
1 sack roast chicken parts
1 to 2 sacks of bread products
1 to 2 sacks dairy products, mainly yogurt, cottage cheese or milk
1 sack processed foods – prepared sandwiches and entrees
½ sack dented or outdated cans of food
Several waxed boxes suitable for fire starters
Balls of shrink wrap recyclable through Valley Community for Recycling Solutions

This was my usual weekly reclaim from a local grocery dumpster before employee bullies and a lock thwarted us.

What a shame! When I mentioned this waste to a representative of the local food bank, I was told that Costco – the owners of Three Bears chain – never donates food. They are not the only wastrels.

A life-long Alaskan told me that after the 1964 quake, power was out for days. Local groceries gave away their dairy and fresh produce to avoid the waste. Our recent quake was followed by extra waste in dumpsters this time because no one cares enough to avoid the waste. No giving this time!!

I’m told that companies don’t donate food anymore because of the liability. That’s just an excuse! There is federal law (the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 2008) which protects both the donator (like Three Bears) and distributors (like a food bank) from liability.

There is no excuse for the wanton waste of food. This is food grown in the soil of our home planet, harvested by people, transported at considerable expense across hundreds – or in Alaska’s case, thousands – of miles to be trashed at the end. That is certainly the picture of disrespect for everyone involved.

So now we can say, plain and simple, groceries that throw away food so nobody gets it are just plain stingy.

The views and opinions of op-ed contributors do not necessarily reflect those of The Big Lake Times, and all comments are the property of the contributor/author.

7 thoughts on “Post-Earthquake Food Waste

    1. The Big Lake Times does not usually monitor or correct op-ed submissions by the Community except in extreme conditions.

      Thank you for the correction.

  1. From a reader:

    From: Chris foust
    Subject: Three bears Dumpster

    Message Body:
    I got caught Dumpster diving after the earthquake. I said something about donating. He said there was 200,000 dollars worth the food in the big lake Dumpster. Times that by three, not to mention the other stores. Easily a MILLION DOLLARS worth the food got TOSSED. STUPID!??. Go to any local food bank and your lucky to get a couple days worth the food. If it was a private citizen, they would be charged with wanton waste!!

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