By Heidi Glaus
St. Louis (KSDK) -- Have you ever wondered what happens to all the food pulled from grocery store shelves? NewsChannel 5 viewer Gary did, so NewsChannel 5's Heidi Glaus went to Whole Foods to find out the answer to this week's Hey Heidi! segment.
Before you go though the checkout line, the Whole Foods grocery team has gone through the isles line by line.
"We want to make sure there is no product on the shelf that is at the sell by date so we pull it a week in advance," explains Marcia Whelan, the marketing team leader.
Some of it ends up in a big container that will be picked up by a food pantry. They do the same thing with dog food.
"And about once a month, we accumulate this pet food and it goes to Bi-State Pet Food Pantry," Whelan says.
Other stuff, like produce is used a couple of different ways.
"For instance, we might have a container of strawberries. We might notice in that container there are a couple of berries that are bruised, so we can't sell that container any more, but most of the berries are still good, so what we'll do is remove the bruised berries and use the rest of the berries to utilize in our cut fruit program," Whelan goes on to say.
The good berries could also end up in the bakery department or in a recipe the prepared foods team is whipping up. Of course, the bad berries will be composted.
"The only thing we're not able to compost at the end of the day are our beef bones. They don't break down readily enough to be put into the composting," Whelan says.
The bottom line is, at Whole Foods Market, hardly anything goes to waste even though new shipments come in daily.
"We've been able to reduce our food waste to close to nothing," Whelan says.
And that's something to take note of.
If you have a question for a Hey Heidi segment, email Heidi Glaus at email@example.com.