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Whole Fools


Published on March 21st, 2009

Gothamist has an article up about a man who was recently fired from Whole Foods for eating a sandwich that was intended for the trash. Many branches of Whole Foods compact their trash, and the compactors are inside their loading bays. I.e., they actively guard their trash and clearly want to make it dangerous to eat from it.

What’s interesting about this case is their argument that¬†Ralph Reese, the employee they fired, was attempting to steal the sandwich. As you can read on our site, items thrown in the trash are considered a part of the commons. The issue has been decided upon by the Supreme Court. Persons have no reasonable expectation their trash won’t be looked through or taken before the garbage collectors ¬†haul it to the landfill. And the sandwich had already been thrown away. It became fair game as soon as that decision was made.

Whole Foods is basically making the argument that maintaining their authoritarian corporate culture and increasing the ranks of the unemployed  is more important to them than either reducing the devastating effects of food waste or feeding the hungry.


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