Expired Food Store Set to Open Next Year

Because most food is still edible after its "sell by" date

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More than 90% — ninety percent! — of Americans throw out food prematurely, as TIME reported last week. Basically, consumers are confused by phrasing like “use by” and “sell by” and so, to be safe, they end up tossing perfectly good produce, snacks and more. In reality, food dating really just indicates when an item is at its peak freshness, not when it becomes inedible.

All of this got Doug Rauch, the former president of the Trader Joe’s supermarket chain, thinking about a potential solution. And now, it seems he might have found one: 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, NPR reports.

(MORE: How Two German-Owned Sister Supermarket Brands Became Hot Trendsetters)

“It’s the idea about how to bring affordable nutrition to the underserved in our cities,” Rauch told NPR. “It basically tries to utilize this 40 percent of this food that is wasted.” He explained that the Daily Table’s setup 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.”

The basic concept of repurposing expired food isn’t new. Food banks, for example, have been doing it for years. But the idea here is to make this nutritional food an affordable, quick and easy option to people who might otherwise spend their lunch money at McDonald’s. And of course, it’s about implementing a longer-term solution to the growing problem of wasted food 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.”

MORE: Is Your Food Expired? Don’t Be So Quick to Toss It 

6 comments
anneanne
anneanne

this is obscene! if the products are expired they should be given away for free! this is discusting ! 

ReashelleBlackburn
ReashelleBlackburn

Where I live stores sprung up in the early '90s that have been selling boxes, cans, and such that were close to or passed their date. The prices are ridiculously cheap, example one had non-expired tortillas 10 for a dollar. That was whole packages of good tortillas, we bought a lot and threw the ones that would wait in the freezer. We call them crash, bent, and dents.

kevinyi79
kevinyi79

open one in englewood of chicago.  they want to open wholefoods, next to the old aldi's.  but they need a trader joes and DAILY TABLE first!!!

bojimbo26
bojimbo26

Dear Time , please get rid of the poxy advert .

HeatherMonchikCarey
HeatherMonchikCarey

I think this is FANTASTIC idea and one that is sorely needed!  The amount of food that goes in the garbage is outstanding.  I feel I do my part by having a large compost pile and a dozen chickens who love food scraps, but still, I am not sure who came up with unreasonable sell by dates in the first place, but they are in for some competition.

crowlevw
crowlevw

@anneanne but they aren't "allowed" to be given away. Perfectly good food gets trashed every minute. I work at a school and watch crates and crates of fresh fruit,milk and snacks get trashed. In many places, it's a huge liability and/or illegal to accept food like this. My coworkers and I have been trying to get around the legality of  this for months so that we can do something "productive" with all this food. Simply giving it away is not as easy as it seems (sadly). This Daily Table idea doesn't strike me as a disgusting money-making scheme---but rather, a win-win solution to a disgusting problem.