A recent article from Forbes highlights how food loss and waste is treated as a tax deduction for grocery stores because the waste cuts into their profits. Meanwhile, whatever inefficiencies plague the system end up being paid for by shoppers, according to James McCann, the former CEO of grocery chains Tesco, Carrefour and Ahold USA. He says: “It’s billed into the price the consumer pays.” That’s a bad deal for consumers.
Each year, more than $400 billion worth of food is wasted in America. Meanwhile, according to food waste group ReFED, 2021 saw the highest investment in food waste “solutions” since the group started tracking the data, with more than $2 billion dollars invested – less than 1% of the annual cost of food waste. In order to reconcile the problem of massive food waste amid widespread hunger, tackle the environmental issues associated with food waste, and ensure consumers get a fair deal, there needs to be a lot more investment in food waste solutions and a lot less tax money going toward wasted food.