By: Amanda Froelich,
Did you know more than 90% of Americans throw out food prematurely? Due to confusion of a food’s life span from such terms as ‘use by’ and ‘sell by’, perfectly good produce, snacks, and more are thrown out unnecessarily. In reality, however, food dating indicates when an item is at it’s peak freshness, not when it becomes inedible.
Because large scale food waste is a major problem, current statistic showing 40% of produced food going in the garbage, former president of Trader Joe’s supermarket chain, Doug Rauch, started thinking about a potential solution. His dedication to utilize ‘expired’ food formulated the following idea: a market that specializes in preparing and repackaging expired food and selling it at deeply discounted prices. He plans to launch this project, called the Daily Table, next year in Boston’s working -class Dorchester neighborhood. (Source: NPR)
“It’s the idea about how to bring affordable nutrition to the under served in our cities” Rauch told NPR. “It basically tries to utilize this 40 percent of food that is wasted”. The new business will be “kind of a hybrid between a grocery store and a restaurant if you would, because primarily it’s going to take this food in, prep it, cook it [for] what I call speed-scratch cooking”. Lower prices from the still-good food may also appeal to those needing to make budget cuts in the ever-growing food prices.
The basic concept of food re-purposing isn’t new. Food banks, for example, have been doing it for years. However, the idea with the Daily Table is to make the nutritional food an affordable, quick, and easy option for people who might otherwise spend their lunch money at McDonalds. And of course, it’s about implementing a longer-term solution to the growing problem of food waste across the U.S.
“This is about trying to tackle a very large social challenge we have,” Rauch told NPR, “that is going to create a health care tsunami in cost if we don’t do something about it.” Hopefully his shining example will urge others to follow suit in their own communities, working to create alternative solutions for the large scale food waste which has run rampant, but can be curbed with technological advance and creative pursuit.