So here's what happened.
Silly me. I had assumed that basically I was gonna dump the Jello boxes out on the service desk counter and then run back to the Jello aisle and grab 11 boxes of sugar-free Jello, bring them back to the service desk for verification and then walk out the door. I was wrong. At the service desk they told me they needed my receipt. Luckily I still had it in my purse because I hadn't entered the amount into my checkbook yet. Then they went through the process of writing up a defective tag FOR EACH BOX. Now Jello is not expensive to begin with, but the ones I bought were the Great Value brand and were $0.38 apiece. So finally we had a seperate tag on each box of Jello. And she's ringing up the total so she can hand me my money back. I guess they don't do exchanges anymore, only returns. I don't know. In the meantime, because all of this has been such a lengthy process I'm bored and begin making idle chit chat with the service desk clerk.
"I'm really sorry about this. I know returning Jello is a little unusual. I just grabbed the wrong kind accidentally."
"Oh that's okay, people return food all the time. We'll just throw these away with all the rest"
"We have to throw this Jello away. Ever since 9/11 we aren't allowed to re-shelve food items of any kind."
"Yep, it's all going in the trash."
"I could have thrown it away and saved myself these last 20 minutes. Heck, I would have eaten the Jello myself. I could have donated it to someone who has little kids. I know plenty of peope who would have eaten that. I can't believe it's getting thrown away."
"Yep, that's our policy. Here's your $4.67."
I pocketed the money and hung my head as I walked to the gelatin aisle to pick out 11 shiney new boxes of sugar-free Jello. I can't believe they throw all food returns away. There was absolutely nothing wrong with that Jello. I mean, I understand that food can be tampered with, but.... crazy. And I do realize that by returning it and getting my money back I didn't have to spend additional money to buy the right items. But still the whole thing just really bugged me. The $4.67 was not that big of a deal. I wish I would have given the regular Jello to someone. What a crazy policy.