I've seen plenty of food pulled from the back of places like Whole Foods that was in just as good of shape as the stuff on the shelves. A ton of "dumpstered" food ends up in co-ops or goes to homeless shelters and the like.
Had I known that back when I was in college and broke I would have been eating more than ramen or pasta every single night.
Im addicted to Oddwalla juices now (2 for $5 at the grocer) and have been debating making a dumpster check to see if they are sitting in there. A little dismayed by the fact the bottle says "EXTREMEMLY PERISHABLE, KEEP REFRIGERATED"
That Odwalla shit is still fine. it gets picked up and kept in the trucks then they trash it at the end of the day when the temp is usually down and its still cold in the evenings so there all good. They also trash the Odwalla bars a lot to last time i went up i scored 4 full boxes of the bars.
last month i bought an Odwalla across the street at this deli and noticed half way through that it had been expired for about 4 days. That night i just happen to go up to the factory and was pulling out shit that didn't expire for a week or 2.