Earlier this month, the long-anticipated reboot of ABC's "Supermarket Sweep" with Leslie Jones premiered. Watching contestants race to grab groceries, we couldn't help but wonder — is all that food real? And if it is, where the heck does it all go when the episode is over?
Last year, the network announced it was reviving the hit '90s game show, which first aired on ABC from 1965 to 1967. Since then, fans have been champing at the bit for the modern version to air with former "Saturday Night Live" star and Emmy Award-nominated comedian Leslie Jones as its host. Since the first episode debuted on Oct. 18, viewers have been able to once again watch contestants sweep their way through a grocery store teeming with all the fresh produce, meats, cheeses and non-perishables a shopper could want.
Clearly it hasn't yet been hit with a second round of pandemic panic shopping.
For those who didn't grow up glued to game shows, "Supermarket Sweep," which was originally created by Al Howard, features a host asking contestants a series of trivia questions to compete for time. The teams then have to race around a fully stocked grocery store with shopping carts to collect high-dollar goods within their allotted time. The team with the most amount of valuable items in their cart wins the $100,000 prize.
According to an ABC press release, the grocery store where the series is filmed is a real one, built "from the ground up" for the purpose of entertainment. The shelves are stocked with real food and "big-ticket items" for competitors to toss in their carts.
But at the end of the hour-long show, what happens to all the food, particularly perishables like meats, produce and dairy items?
"Supermarket Sweep" admirers will be pleased to know the excess goods all go to a good cause. Filmed in Los Angeles, a spokesperson for the network provided a statement to TODAY Food outlining the charities where it donated the food.
"A total of 95 pallets of perishable and non-perishable foods were donated to local charities, of which included The LA Food Bank, Food Finders, Food Cycle LA, The LA Mission and Downtown Woman's Shelter — to name a few," the spokesperson told TODAY.
And don't forget about things like pet food and treats. The network considers furry friends as well when cleaning up shop, especially when it has extra meat that may not be edible for people but is perfectly fine for carnivorous animals.
"In addition, local wildlife organizations such as The Rancho Wildlife Foundation received the majority of our meats and a local pet welfare organization, The Rescue Train, received a large assortment of pet food and supplies," the spokesperson added.
As to how much food was donated versus how much was reused (like non-perishable items), the spokesperson was unable to reply immediately.
But, when asked what the most popular food on the show was, they replied: "Frozen turkeys ... almost every team grabbed one every episode."
Looks like everyone's got their mind on Turkey Day, no matter the time of year.