Brickbat: You Gonna Eat That?


Food waste
Mariusika11 /

Officials in Austin, Texas, have banned restaurants and other businesses selling food from throwing away any uneaten food. Food businesses must now compost such waste or donate it as food for animals or people.

NEXT: Socialism Destroys

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Dump it on campus

  2. You can’t donate uneaten food to the homeless without putting yourself at risk of being sued if something goes wrong. And composting food means having to install a composting bin. Good luck with that without annoying your neighbors.

    The Austin, TX, officials don’t know what they’re doing. Austin is a lovely city with great restaurants. Recently-settled tech companies are bringing lots of workerd who need places to eat. This idiotic measure will only serve to increase costs unnecessarily for businesses the city needs the most.

    1. They are do-gooding moralist busybodies who are also terribly ignorant.

      Lord save us from all such

  3. In the olden days food scraps were often donated to people that townsfolk thought needed taught a lesson, in the form of projectiles.

    1. The practice needs to be revived and directed towards politicians (both camps)!

  4. This is the State in a nutshell:

    In half municipalities, you are forbidden from donating you food to the hungry and are required to throw away all uneaten food.

    In the other half, you are forbidden from throwing away food and are required to feed the hungry.

    Whatever is not forbidden is mandatory and it doesn’t matter which is which, as long as the state has its boot on your neck.

    1. Won’t food waste compost itself in the landfill?

  5. Does this mandate shield businesses from lawsuits if the food they are mandated to give away makes a person or an animal sick?

    Probably not, unless the owner is a cop that is.

    1. Certainly not. However, if you donate it to a shelter that feeds the homeless, and that shelter feeds them and they get sick you’re probably pretty safe.

      When I was younger I delivered for Pizza Hut, and we were supposed to donate all untouched pizza to a local “feed the homeless” mission. Because they got food from so many different places, it would be impossible to say “THIS RESTAURANT MADE ME SICK”.

      Also, how many homeless do you know that have the mental faculty, and economic capacity, and life stability to engage an attorney to sue a restaurant because of their free meal?

      1. If an ambulance chaser can see a way to make a buck off if it, the client does not have to have that much mental faculty.

        1. Mental Faculty describes the staff at Berkeley.

      2. I’m sure there are plenty of lawyers willing to take such cases on a contingency basis. Especially if they could screw over their client and take the lion’s share of the settlement.

  6. I’ve seen many FB memes that point out how much still-good food gets thrown away by supermarkets and restaurants due to “greed.” I shocked at least one friend by pointing out it’s usually a government regulation that mandates the waste, not greed. (Why would greed push one to throw away sellable food anyway?)

    I suspect many people could be turned away from statism if only the blame for stupid ideas could be correctly ascribed.

    1. I suspect many people could be turned away from statism if only the blame for stupid ideas could be correctly ascribed.

      I don’t think so. Only because most people are convinced that government is fueled by good intentions.

      I say this because I’ve seen people totally change their mind on things similar to what you described. When they think business is the culprit they think it’s awful, but once they find out that business is taking orders from government it suddenly becomes excused.

      1. Imagine, instead, if the nightly news over and over again correctly described government’s role in all the news they reported. Suppose that you were news director and had a cooperative staff, and actually reported government’s role in every piece of news.

        “Police today took 13 minutes to respond to a burglary which left one homeowner dead.”

        “Three restaurants were shut down today because a health inspector did not get the bribes he expected.”

        It wuldn’t matter that other news outlets reported as usual. You’d get people’s attention pretty quickly. They would flood city hall with complaints. Of course, this will never happen. The proggies at news station would rather slander free markets than point out the real crooks in government. Government has far too much power and would retaliate instantly.

        But just imagine it for a minute. It would make a huge difference in how people think of government.

    2. The stupidity of ideas is judged not on merit, but on the source. When the source is government, the idea isn’t stupid anymore because government wouldn’t tell people to do something if there wasn’t a good reason.

  7. ? What about food leftovers on the customer’s plates? Can they get away with selling it to pig farmers, or can they just throw it out? Food leftovers (from large institutions, not small family farms) going to pigs is against the law in many places, from way-overblown disease-transmission fears, I think.

    If food leftovers (from dirty plates) can be thrown into the regular trash, then the question becomes almost theological or hair-splitting… At what point in the dining experience does the food turn into dirt? If food-dirt on plates has to be recycled instead of rinsed off and down the drain, how many molecules thick does the food-dirt layer need to be, before it has to be recycled? Take your expired foods, put them on a giant plate, pay a customer a few dollars once per day to stop by and wave a fork over it, THEN it has turned into dirt, and may be thrown into the regular trash, or down the drain via garbage disposal, is what I would suggest as a bypass, if needed!

    Well an obviously-needed refinement to the above bypass, is do not PAY your customer(s) to wave their forks over your throw-away foods; give them a half-priced regular meal instead! Because as soon as you PAY someone a dollar, you have to verify that they are not illegal humans, that they are paying their child support, have health insurance with yada-yada coverage, and endless other mandates! But you could still give them a reduced-price meal w/o so much hassle, for now at least…

    1. Clearly the letter and intent of this law is to require all patrons to eat everything on their plate, or go to jail.
      Thus there will be no uneaten food.

      1. OK then! How can you have any pudding, if you don’t eat your meat?!?!?!

  8. The city’s Universal Recycling Ordinance also requires businesses to provide employees with training on organic waste diversion

    “Universal Recycling Ordinance” and “organic waste diversion” are nice band names.

    Think of the JOBS in developing, providing, and enforcing this training!

  9. What are the limits to feel-good do-gooderisms? Can Austin (at the behest of vegans) mandate that if the food goes to animals, that only pets (ooops, “companion animals”) and working breeds qualify? Egg-chickens and dairy cows are OUT because we abuse them by eating THEIR animal products, right? And meat animals are WAAAAY out of bounds, of course!

    And then too, how do we make sure that the food-derived compost does NOT end up in the landfill? Lot-by-lot tracking of the compost, right? Employment security for Government Almighty weasels, out the wazzoo!!!!

  10. What’s magic about *uneaten* food?

    Excrement is chock full of useful probiotics that are sorely underutilized.

    Chewed gum can be recycled or at least used as weather-stripping.

    The list goes on and on ….

    1. Those taco things from Jack in the Box can be used to shingle roofs.

    2. Yes, and Government Almighty knows how many men are flushing used condoms down the toilet (or throwing them out of their cars into the street), while others are paid to donate their sperm! Oh, the senseless waste!

  11. We do this at my house and it’s simple. You just have two trash cans and dump the food into one of them. I don’t have a garbage disposal so we would be scrapping our plates into the trash can either way. You’re wasting awesome compost and needlessly filling up space in landfills if you don’t separate it out. I bet the restaurants could even find someone to take their food garbage. I’m against forcing people to do this though.

  12. Presumably they’ll hire a composting contractor, who’ll do great biz because of this mandate, while cutting into the biz of the carter to the landfill. Restaurant waste going into landfills is probably far less than home food waste.

    1. As it turns out, the city council members have a corporation that collects potential compost from food establishments – –

  13. Austin rapidly become San Fransisco. News at eleven.

  14. Does the law specify where the composting should happen? Because the Austin city hall has a large open concrete area in front that would make a good place for restaurants to dump their rotting garbage, excuse me, “compost.”

  15. Said composting to take place on the front yards of the city council members?

    I remember a disk jockey telling people to take their trash to the mayors house during a garbage worker’s strike. Strike ended the next day.

  16. I agree!!! You can discuss with other side. That’s how you learn and expand your view points.…..urple.html

  17. I essentially started three weeks past and that i makes $385 benefit $135 to $a hundred and fifty consistently simply by working at the internet from domestic. I made ina long term! “a great deal obliged to you for giving American explicit this remarkable opportunity to earn more money from domestic. This in addition coins has adjusted my lifestyles in such quite a few manners by which, supply you!”. go to this website online domestic media tech tab for extra element thank you .

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.