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130,000 meals for Olympic staffers thrown away in 1 month

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More Olympic absurdity. Why not give them to homeless people instead of throwing them out. The mind boggles at the insanity of the Olympics

39 ( +41 / -2 )

I sometimes see homeless people digging through the garbage behind the McDonald's near my place. Such a waste of food. I'm not religious but do a little christian charity and donate the food to those who need it instead of throwing it away.

34 ( +35 / -1 )

Why not let the volunteers go to restaurants or bring their own brown bag meals?

I've taken part in seminars and other events in Japan where the organizers roll out hundreds of bentos for the participants at lunchtime. I say, "no thanks, I'm taking a proper break, going out for something better and fresher." Piles of wasted food and styrofoam afterward, usually.

This incident should underscore another unsustainable Japanese practice that needs to be taken off the menu. A theme of these Games is sustainability, right?

9 ( +16 / -7 )

They rather throw the food out for the roaches than poor homeless people of Japan.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

Depending on the venue, there are days when there is almost no surplus food, and there is a tendency for improvement," said Masanori Takaya, a spokesman for the committee. "It's difficult to make it completely zero, but we will continue to work on managing order volume."

This is one reason why you dont let bureaucrats decide how to handle food processing issues like this.

"Tendency for improvement"??? Dude, you and everyone else on the "committee" should be fired!

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Why not let the volunteers go to restaurants or bring their own brown bag meals?

Not really feasible when the volunteers are in venues that do not have anywhere that serves food area. I just share that from my own personal experiences.

Personally speaking a better way of handling it would have been to utilize food trucks or set up tents or facilities that would be able to prepare the meals on site as needed.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

More Olympic absurdity. Why not give them to homeless people instead of throwing them out. The mind boggles at the insanity of the Olympics

There are a host of reasons why this is not possible, unless they brought the homeless to the locations where the food or meals were being served.

Due to laws regarding food handling and prepared meals here, they can not give them away after they reached their expiration time.

I have friends who manage conveniences stores down here, and it's the same thing, they literally have to toss out baskets full of prepared food daily, because they are past the expiration time. Some days it is REALLY extreme, and they have asked me on countless occasions, "Hey you want something?" And I gladly take it.

But they could get into serious trouble if it were found out, and they always make sure that I dont take the food anywhere in the store where there is camera coverage.

The Olympics is the same, and probably much stricter.

The organizing committee screwed this aspect up BIG time! I am willing to bet they never consulted with any one who actually has experience in dealing with an issue like this.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Due to laws regarding food handling and prepared meals here, they can not give them away after they reached their expiration time.

That's true, they might get criticized if they throw away food but they won't get any punishment for that.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

That's true, they might get criticized if they throw away food but they won't get any punishment for that.

Actually they would potentially face "punishment" if by some infinitesimal chance that someone who ate the food after the expiration time got sick, or worse hospitalized, or in the most extreme, (0.00001%) chance died.

It would be an even worse PR nightmare, and the police and public prosecutors would get involved.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Not really feasible when the volunteers are in venues that do not have anywhere that serves food area.

That's what "meal breaks" are for. Central Tokyo is stacked with food places, especially Harajuku-Yoyogi where the National Stadium is.

In my experience, availability of food was never a factor for organizers to roll out hundreds of bentos, only a portion of which would be eaten.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

These free bentos always have the box half filled with boring Japanese sticky white rice. No taste rice. Boring. No thanks.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Taxpayers money at work! Thank you for having such a wonderful Olympics!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Food waste is a global problem not an olympic one. This particular incident just happened to make the J news...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Designer: "Why not give them to homeless people instead of throwing them out."

Because they threw the homeless out before the Games.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

@Yubaru

A very long time ago I worked in a shop in London and the food that was going out of date was chucked in a sack and a charity came and collected it each night to give out at a soup kitchen. This worked very well and could easily be done in Japan. It would have to be properly organised and demand would need to be enough so Tokyo shops could easily do it.

I find quite a lot of food items are badly priced and some items never sell until the reduced lables are put on. I often wonder why the shops don't charge less at the begining. My local supermarket sells lamb and no one ever buys it until the 30% less sticker is on it. I used to be able to look at the dates and judge when to visit the shop for the 50% less sticker. Sadly someone else was also doing the same so it was always a gamble which of us got the timing right.

As for the wastage from IOC I just wonder why they ordered so many in the first place and why they could just not reduce the order before it was made.

As for the global problem of food wastage I never really know why people waste any food. I buy what I need and I never throw anything away. I can see why a shop has to stock to keep shelves full but it is also up to shop staff to keep wastage down. Not easy with some items but is part of the job. In the shop I worked it was part of the performance related pay to keep wastage below a certain level. Not that I am an advocate performance related pay but it did work in that instance.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

They rather throw the food out for the roaches than poor homeless people of Japan.

There are fewer than 4K homeless in all of Japan according to a count said to be reasonably reliable by a foreign academic who studies this issue.

Even without considering the difficulty of safely distributing the bento during July weather, how do you locate the homeless that might want the bento?

I regularly cycle along the Arakawa. If you look closely you can see DIY shelters made by the homeless. This is probably true for other rivers.

Where is the labor to transport and distribute bento to these homeless going assuming they actually want the bento (which you cannot know until you find and ask them)?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

A very long time ago I worked in a shop in London 

Your answer is right here, London, not Japan. No matter how you think about it, or how it does well there, it wont work here. This is the land of people who want the "freshest" and "newest"

AC Japan has had to start running public service announcements almost begging people to purchase items that are close to their expiration date, because people, generally speaking, turn their noses up at it.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

sigh……more ignorance and less common sense going around, day by day.

it a wonder how this society can even function on a daily basis.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Give the food away to the homeless...

Remember, this is Japan where EVERYTHING is unnecessarily overcomplicated and inundated with rules and interfering bureaucratic nonsense.

Which means it's probably forbidden to give food away unless you go through a very lengthy application and approval process.

Hence throwing it away is easier. Welcome to Japan :)

5 ( +7 / -2 )

expired food has to be thrown out but they could have composted it or make it into fuel. Does Tokyo have a Green Bin program?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a waste! So much for the "Eco-Olympics". And, they were up in arms and angry some athletes were jumping on their cardboard "eco" beds?! SIGH .....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If I were homeless I would not accept dated food and used chopsticks.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

At one Tokyo hotel, an overseas event management company ordered 250 expensive bento boxes each night for a series of evening satellite symposia, despite being warned by the local staff that few attendees would stay for the late meeting.

Average attendance during the week was 23! Even after the first one, they refused to reduce the order.

To its credit, in a rare gesture, the hotel offered the boxes to all of the staff, and to take them home for their friends and family, but still around 180 boxes each day were discarded.

This happens all the time, but usually everything not consumed goes into the garbage,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

food waste should be a crime in any form but this is truly criminal!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2021/03/05/the-enormous-scale-of-global-food-waste-infographic/amp/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This incident should underscore another unsustainable Japanese practice that needs to be taken off the menu.

I've heard that pig farms will often take unused food. Its often frozen, processed, and then fed to the piggies at a later date. Sure, probably cheaper just to throw it all out, but we're talking about an Olympic committee that made its athletes sleep on cardboard beds. Come on Japan, lets do better.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Health code makes it sadly nearly impossible to reallocate wasted food in a lot of developed countries like Japan and US.

There needs to be a better way for this very situation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Monkey's not gonna feed itself Follow those Dineros. You got "Health coders" like your neighborhood ... National Restaurant Association (the lesser-known NRA) is just one of roughly 6,300 IRS-classified food trade associations that are part of a deep and powerful ecosystem of influence-peddling—a Big Food swamp.

https://feedthetruth.org/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If I were homeless I would not accept dated food and used chopsticks.

Would you accept the muffin-tops?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What a waste.

Somehow i get the feeling there's more to this management of the food order volume issue .

Was it really incompetent or mismanagement ?

Iam sceptical due to the large number of meals wasted.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

OLympics+Paraolympics, everything related to it will finally end on 5th September.

No need to talk much about it what to do with these unused Olympic bento-boxes. After a few days this issue about food related to Olympics is over anyway.

The topic about what to do with uneaten food in Japan is however interesting.

I don't know if there is any commercial collection service operating related to thrown away food in supermarkets, convenience stores etc. in Japan.

Many supermarkets in Japan try to sell unsold food for half price starting about 3 hours before closing late night.

In Japan I think the only way to use leftover food is maybe to process it to farm animal food or organic fertiliser.

How is the problem about unsold food resolved outside of Japan?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many supermarkets in Japan try to sell unsold food for half price starting about 3 hours before closing late night.

At 7pm, in England, I’m picking up food at 30% of the full price.

The remainder of the unsold discounted food is is then taken to a charity the following morning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This incident should underscore another unsustainable Japanese practice that needs to be taken off the menu.

Wasted food is not a Japan thing. This type of thing happens at restaurants and events worldwide.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Also Japan at any given opportunity: SDGs!!!11!!! Sustainability!!!!!1!!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's what "meal breaks" are for. Central Tokyo is stacked with food places, especially Harajuku-Yoyogi where the National Stadium is.

Right, consider the event. It has been noted that volunteers do not have all that much time for breaks, and besides that just who is going to pay for the transportation back and forth to the venues from the locations you mentioned here. Not to mention they have only 30 to 45 minutes or an hour at best! Never make it "there" and "back" in time!

It's REALLY easy to say, but if you have ever been involved in any large scale events, (I have, numerous times) what you suggest is impossible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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