loblaws boycott

Loblaws in Toronto among latest retail locations slammed for food waste

A Toronto resident who has become quite well known for saving money by dumpster diving behind stores around the city is calling out Loblaws after her latest outing this week, spawning a discussion about food waste from large supermarkets.

Julia Pak, who has been posting online about the things she's come across while rummaging through garbage bins for months now, shared a photo of all the items she spotted in the trash at her local Loblaws on Wednesday, the day before thousands of consumers nationwide started their month-long boycott of the grocer.

"A view inside a Loblaws dumpster," Pak wrote in the community Facebook group Weird Toronto yesterday afternoon.

loblaws toronto

The post in a local community Facebook group shows tons of food in the trash behind a Toronot Loblaws location. Weird Toronto/Facebook.

Shown among a bunch of yogurt pots that Pak said were technically expired are unopened containers of margarine, eggs, sprouted tofu, dips, cheese and cheese sauce, milk and other dairy beverages, individual ice cream sandwiches, and more, with many of the items marked down to 50 per cent off due to impending best before dates.

"The coffee creamers were dated 29th and yes I took one and drank some — still fine. All of the ice cream was still frozen," Pak wrote. "Just showing you guys who are boycotting what's in their dumpsters."

Given the timing of the post and the displeasure people have had with Loblaws, other Canadian grocery store giants and food prices in general lately, the post has garnered hundreds of reactions and comments in a day's time.

Many are thanking Pak for showcasing all of the product that Loblaws and other stores throw out while people are struggling to afford basic purchases, while others have some policy suggestions.

"The government should make these big stores have a full discount aisle/freezer sections with food that is nearing the best before dates that are heavily discounted. So much waste," one person wrote.

loblaws toronto

Hundreds jumped in to comment on and otherwise react to the dumpster find. Weird Toronto/Facebook.

"A lot of the food is good but dairy worries me. You can get pretty sick off old dairy. But there has GOT to be a use for it. Animal feed, fertilizer. Something. You would think that even selling it to a processing plant for a loss would be better for business than tossing it," another added.

Still, another noted that this is an example of "such waste while people can't afford to grocery shop for their families' needs... point is, they should be on top of expiry and sell it in advance of throwing it out. Shame on them."

It does seem that most of the items depicted in this case were expired and thus potentially unsafe or not advisable to sell, though the federal government's website states that it is not technically illegal to sell food past its best-before date in Canada.

In response to criticism of its disposal of product in the past, Loblaws told blogTO about its waste reduction efforts, which include working with co-operatives like ZooShare, which combines food waste with manure from the animals at the Toronto Zoo to create the renewable power source biogas.

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