Based on a recent report issued by Harvard and the National Resources Defense Council, billions of pounds of food is thrown away every year due the muddiness inherent in current food expiration date labeling practices, which are sorely in need of clarification.
As a result, the report claims forty percent of the food we produce in this country never gets eaten — nearly half of our food is wasted in refrigerators, pantries, grocery stores and farms.
But Trader Joe’s Ex-President, Doug Rauch told NPR he has come up with a creative solution to use food slightly past its sell-by date that would normally end up in the trash.
Rauch is opening a new market early next year in Dorchester, Massachusetts that will prepare and repackage the food at deeply discounted prices.
The project is called the Daily Table.
Rauch plans to bring affordable nutrition to the underserved by redistributing surplus food thrown out by grocers because of the sell-by dates, and use produce from growers that are cosmetically blemished.
Rauch has designed what he calls a hybrid between a grocery store and a restaurant, that will prepare, cook, and serve food in a manner he describes as “speed-scratch cooking,” at prices that compete with fast food.
In support of his business model, Rauch claims a leading, best regarded national food industry brand currently recovers the food within their stores, cooks it and serves it on their hot trays the next day.
That’s the stuff that we’re going to be talking about, he says. “We’re talking about taking and recovering food. Most of what we offer will be fruits and vegetables that have a use-by date on it that’ll be several days out.”
Rauch said he will be selling mostly fruits and vegetables, and freshly prepared product that’s not brand-driven to underserved areas in the inner-cities.
Rauch doesn’t regard his Daily Table project as the only solution. “There are wonderful innovative ideas out there –but I certainly think it is part of and is an innovative approach to trying to find our way to a solution.”