Costco Orders a Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In Landfill Rather Than Donated To The Poor

200px-Costco_Wholesale.svg250px-PeanutButterPoverty and hunger continue to be a major problem across the country. However, in a decision that baffles and outrages many, Costco has decided that it will not allow millions of dollars worth of peanut butter to be given away. Instead, the company has ordered that the food be dumped in a New Mexico landfill.

250px-WysypiskoThe almost one million jars of peanut butter were produced by Sunland Inc shortly before a salmonella outbreak in 2012 the forced the company into bankruptcy. However, this peanut butter is not tainted. Accordingly, there was a request to allow the food to be donated to food banks or even sold to companies serving institutional agencies like prisons. The food has been stored in a warehouse since the shutdown and Costco had initially agreed to a sale at low cost as ordered by the bankruptcy trustee. Then however the company suddenly backed out and said that it would not accept any other course than dumping the food in a landfill.

The food is worth almost $3 million and involves 950,000 jars – or about 25 tons.

It is highly disturbing that a company would waste 25 tons of food rather than allow food banks to use the food to reduce hunger among families across the country.

Such decisions are often treated as simpler by corporate executives, though the company now faces a public relations backlash.

Chrysler has faced the same backlash when it told the South Puget Sound Community College that it had to crush a rare original Dodge Viper that had been used to teach students on mechanics. It was one of 93 such cars donated to educational institutions and considered collector’s items by car aficionados. The cars would be worth $250,000 in a museum — money that could go to education if they school did not need the vehicle for lessons. The company however dismissed the objections and said that it never said that schools could keep the vehicles:

Approximately 10 years ago, Chrysler Group donated a number of Dodge Viper vehicles to various trade schools for educational purposes. As part of the donation process, it is standard procedure — and stipulated in our agreements — that whenever vehicles are donated to institutions for education purposes that they are to be destroyed when they are no longer needed for their intended educational purposes.

Once again, I am mystified by the sheer waste of the decision. Any liability issues can be addressed by contractual restrictions and waivers — and no sale options. Why destroy these vehicles being used by schools for students to learn a trade? Costco and Chrysler clearly have the right to make such decisions but the logic (and more importantly the humanity) of the decisions escapes me.

64 thoughts on “Costco Orders a Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In Landfill Rather Than Donated To The Poor”

  1. See Nick….. You admitted that you stalk….. Whatever else could this mean….

    on 1, April 3, 2014 at 2:24 amNick Spinelli
    One of the ways I would help my clients prove they were being stalked was just like this, lay the bait and they take it.

    You bait people…. Is this the purpose of this blog…. Then respond after you have started something….. And then you’re the one being stalked…. That’s a little paranoid even for you….

  2. One of the ways I would help my clients prove they were being stalked was just like this, lay the bait and they take it.

  3. I couldn’t agree more that a lot of taxes are wasted and miss spent. I do not know a single person who is against the idea of helping the hungry. But I know lots of people who are incensed by how much money is wasted on the food stamp program. Take the VA hospital, for example, which delivers health care to patients in the same way that a food bank delivers groceries to the hungry. The first, taxpayer to patient. The second, donor to the hungry. In other words, there is no for-profit middleman taking a huge share of the pie, living the high life, gating himself in an affluent community, working the system while those who are truly hungry have to share half a pie. If the VA hospital were run in the same way that the food stamp program is run, that is, turning the entire VA budget over to insurance companies and healthcare providers directly, very rapidly greed and inflation would dilute the system, and to maintain the same level of health care, the costs would escalate tenfold. Now, who doesn’t think that it would be a good idea for the government to set up food pantries, in the way it sets up healthcare clinics for veterans, that for the same amount of money that is spent on food stamps today, 10 times the food could be delivered for no extra cost. Or put another way, the same food delivered via food stamps today, could be delivered for a fraction of the cost. Sure, some food executives might end up having to go to the pantry themselves, but who doesn’t think that’s a good idea? Everything about our democratic society has been overrun by profit and greed. Anyone who believes that more taxes will not translate into more profit and greed, is either on the take himself or is severely misguided.

  4. Robin:

    I hope that you can comment more here as your opinions contribute to the debate here. One thing that I might offer is that most of the people who visit this website do not comment and instead just read. So if it seems like it might be fruitless to write articles here because there are those who don’t agree, understand that many people read what you have to say and can benefit from differing perspectives

    For myself there is no person here I have completely agreed with as there is no person I have completely disagreed with on the various issues discussed here.

    Remember that all who contribue their opinions in an articulate and respectful manner are equal as individuals here and elsewhere.


  5. roflmao at those who think the people who have food stamps ARENT SUFFERING. its pitiful for so many to be so inhumane.. its also hilarious for the people to still not see the truth of what is happening even though it has been told to you over and over.. this is nothing more then a push for ww3…. just as the cutting of food stamps or did all of the so called news aficiandos miss the articles where supermarkets and food warehouses have had to cut back on the hours of all workers because the cut in food stamps has diminshed demands for food? or maybe they are as usual using selective memory to justify their own bs lives fraught with lies? its more the likely the latter.. since WE ALL KNOW TAXES PAY FOR NOTHING BUT MILITARY WEAPONS OF WHICH IS NOW BEING USED AGAINST YOU…. its a guarantee that those same people lipping off about foodstamps and welfare have never and they never will question why THE USA PAYS ISRAEL 4 billions a year for a holocaust that didnt happen here on american soil…… YES I SAID IT. ITS PUT IN YOUR FACES EVERYDAY but hey ignore that so that you can continue to spread the lies about blacks who are the welfare kings and queens… meanwhile ignoring the facts that there is a certain group who are supposed to be the chosen ones that are the real kings and queens of welfare the information is out there… there is even a whole sect of them that refuse to work. just grow up get married get on welfare and birthed children year after year until they are to old to do it anymore and then its their kids turn…. don’t worry after this post i will have no more to say. for years when i came here reading the posts then found the nerves to start posting myself i ASSUMED i had finally found a group of people who know and understand. the last year has taught me that boy oh boy was i wrong…. about it all…those who are real left a while ago time for me to do the same.. GOOD THING UNLIKE THE REAL POSTERS BEFORE ME I WONT BE MISSED..


      I would miss you. I have always appreciated your independent way of looking at issues. Sometimes we are on the same side of an issue, but other times we have been on different sides, but that is what makes dialogue meaningful and challenging. Such can be frustrating at times, but I would hope you reconsider sharing your thoughts with us.

  6. Jeff, Precisely. Costco did what they had to do in this litigious culture of ours.

  7. Darren, the law wouldn’t protect them since they are aware there could be problems with the product.

  8. amunre, Thanks for the info. My sister works @ a food bank in the northeast and Costco is a big supporter. As I said, this smells like a Donald Segretti dirty trick, if you’re up on your Nixon history.

  9. I dont work for Costco but I do vol. work at a food pantry in rural Jefferson County Mo outside St Louis I cannot speak for Costco as a whole but we get a hugh amount of donated food from our Costcos locally…

  10. To be fair, it would have been tough to find a matching donation of milk.

  11. There is one aspect of this that most fail to realize. Corporations, like politicians, have reporters in their back pockets. Sometimes it’s quasi legit[giving info for scoops], sometimes it’s good ol’ fashioned money under the table. One must ALWAYS ask themselves when reading stories like this. Who has something to gain? Why, Sam’s Club does! Do you think the Walton’s might have a reporter or two in their back pockets. ALWAYS be skeptical when it comes to reporting, ALWAYS!

  12. “A state is better governed which has few laws, and those laws strictly observed”
    — Rene Descartes

    Shakespeare’s exact line ”The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” was stated by Dick the Butcher in ”Henry VI,” Part II, act IV, Scene II, …

  13. “produced… shortly before a salmonella outbreak in 2012…”

    personally, I think we’ve had LOTS of proof in the past of how bad things have to get before the authorities will do anything. I wouldn’t trust a single jar of the product of that plant for MONTHS before the shutdown not to have actually been grossly contaminated!

    Maybe somebody at Costco had reservations too. The linked article said “after extensive testing” … Costco changed their minds about the donation. no details about what exactly the testing showed, except for the “leaky” peanut oil…

  14. I’m sure our good neighbor Costco has/will make up for this by “paying forward” in many other ways. Like Nick S stated above, to release this stuff Costco would be sitting ducks. You know, the “ambulance chasing” trial lawyers here in the Seattle area have even made watching television a very unpleasant affair with their commercials… sadly preying on the viewers with relentless abandon. On the local stations which broadcast the old shows it’s the only ads shown now-a-days. Those “feel good” shows are now so sullied by the ad content I can’t watch them. The article didn’t say so but I’m assuming Costco’s name was all over the labels of this product, that’s why they were even involved.

  15. nick spinelli

    Dredd, How non PC of you to make fun of people w/ lisps. Of course, your “favorite” Winston Churchill had one. Whenever I say libertarian, it is small ‘l’ and we libertarians believe more choice, more freedom. I would be pleased w/ a dozen or so choices.
    Wisps? Not! Wongo!

    That claim is so “will o the wisp” bro.

    Anyone in our culture who hides behind a word is hiding behind a cup.

    Our basic language is doublespeak.

    Created just to thwart ball busters bursters.

    Like coffee cups, which hold anything liquid but claim to be “a coffee cup.”

    I am a solid, sir.

    Just American, no -ist, -ism, -arian, -an, -ic, or other agenda poured into the shape shifter “coffee” cups.

    I am SC (socially correct) to the bone.

    I care none for politically correct defect, I care only for the common good.

    And Winston you say?

    He believed so much in Armageddon that the almost made it happen.

    There is a “Winston” living today who could very well make it happen.

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