California's greenie 'food waste' law hits the reality wall
In their never-ending quest to remake and remodel California into a greenie socialist paradise, the "tsentral" planners running California have once again blundered like boobs, failing to anticipate the unintended consequences of their feel-good "food waste" law.
The law, which went into effect this year, forbids restaurants and groceries, no matter where the heck they are, from discarding unused food and legally binds them to donate it to food banks instead. No word from the report on whether the items are old or expired or unfit for human consumption. We'll just have to take the greenie word for it that it's all a good thing.
But as usual, there are problems they didn't expect from all this virtue-signaling in the name of saving the Earth.
According to Reuters:
CHICO, Calif., April 8 (Reuters) — A California law requiring grocery stores and restaurants to donate leftover food has been hard for local food banks and small towns to implement due to climbing fuel costs and uncertainty over who pays for food recovery.
The effort to reduce methane emissions from discarded food sent to landfills while feeding hungry people has been slow to take off, illustrating the difficulty of curbing food waste on a large scale.
The California law, which took effect in January, mandates that national retailers such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Kroger (KR.N) as well as small grocery and convenience stores, donate unsold food, redirecting anything edible from landfills and composting anything inedible. It tasks cities and counties with formulating local plans, with a statewide goal of recovering 20% of edible food by 2025.
While other states restrict food going into landfills, California is the first to require food be donated for human consumption. The effort aligns with federal goals to slash food waste in half by 2030.
The report states that just the cost of driving around and picking up unused food in rural areas is a monster money-eater in the era of Joe Biden's "I did that" gasoline costs, piled on top of California's huge fuel mandates and taxes that were all in place earlier. Gas in California is now pushing $7 a gallon in urban areas such as San Diego and it is about a dollar lower in the back boonies of the state. Seems the one-size-fits-all approach these greenie virtue-signalers favor doesn't work all that well in sparsely populated eastern parts of the state.
Here's a summary with a quote from a local in one of the rural areas:
Implementing the new rules has been especially challenging in rural California. As the North State Food Bank prepared for an influx of newly-mandated donations, the daunting costs of picking up food across 8,000 square miles (5 million acres/20,720 square kilometers) in six northern California counties became clear.
"I can't send the truck all over town, picking up leftover sandwiches," said Tom Dearmore, director of community services at the Butte County Community Action Agency, which houses the food bank.
"The more we have to spend on fuel, the less food we can buy. It's pretty cut and dry."
Most food banks will buy in bulk for suppliers rather than depend on random donations from pretty much anyone in varying amounts, in pretty much any condition. Processing such donations, having to inspect each and every one for edibility and expiration date without knowing much about the sourcing, or the storage, or the potential insect infestation risk, after all, is pretty labor-intensive. It's more efficient for the food banks to buy in bulk and have the quality control in place right there — and they can serve more people that way, too.
Now the lefties in Sacramento want them to drive all over the massive rural counties in the backwoods of the state on narrow rural roads and pick up uneaten sandwiches. I guarantee you that law is not being heeded to the extent they think it's being heeded — bad laws with unenforceable mandates and high uncompensated costs tend to find workarounds or else just get ignored. That in turn reduces respect for all of the laws.
Did the clowns running Sacramento ever consider even once the fact that picking up unused food was going to require humongous use of fossil fuels just to transport it to a distribution center? You know, emissions-emanating energy that they so claim to abhor in the name of global warming? They don't think about these things; they think food comes from a food bank and energy deployed for its distribution is the work of bad oil companies.
In this regard, they are the same lefties who think electrical cars get their energy from electricity stations as if no gas and coal were ever used in creating the electricity that these pricey virtue-signaling cars consume. They are the same lefties who think illegal aliens can be offered unlimited benefit packages with no "magnet" effect that will balloon the costs. They are the same lefties who chased Elon Musk out of the state with one of them yelling the F-word after him as that rare investment in the wokester state moved on to Texas. They are the same lefties who imagined they were sticking it to giant corporations with their "gig work" law and ended up throwing tens of thousands out of work — the law is now a pockmarked mess of exemptions because it was so badly designed. They are the same lefties who think homelessness can be fixed by building "tiny houses" for the homeless, and that these things won't have the unintended effect of ending up fire hazards, which happened. They virtue-signal everything. They consider nothing.
Now they've created another problem for the rural parts of the state, which, no surprise, has seen more than 500 establishments applying for exemptions to this bad law. That's some well designed law they've got, given the number of calls for exemptions, but it's par for the course.
These back counties vote red, same as the Oregon back counties.
The locals know this stuff. The coastal lefties just virtue-signal and continue to vote blue, like Tom and Daisy Buchanan, never caring about the messes they make for others and just retreating into their money.
It's disgusting. But perhaps it will help to get the word out. The coastal elites setting one virtue-signaling law after another are hitting a wall — the reality wall, and not for the first time.
Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.