- Doug Rauch, the former president of Trader Joe’s is making a big splash in the restaurant industry. During his stint at Trader Joe’s, he oversaw a program called “Food Church” which provided expired Trader Joe’s items for $2 to people looking for a good deal on perfectly fine food. Doug Rauch is now expanding that idea into a restaurant concept in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
- The restaurant, called the Daily Table, is a hybrid of a traditional dining experience crossed with a grocery store. The shop is promising to utilize the untold amount of food Americans throw away each year that is, in fact, still perfectly fine for consumption.
- In an interview with NPR Doug Rauch discusses his vision for the Daily Table:
“It’s the idea about how to bring affordable nutrition to the underserved in our cities. It basically tries to utilize this 40 percent of this food that is wasted. This is, to a large degree, either excess, overstocked, wholesome food that’s thrown out by grocers, etc. … at the end of the day because of the sell-by dates. Or [it’s from] growers that have product that’s nutritionally sound, perfectly good, but cosmetically blemished or not quite up for prime time. [So we] bring this food down into a retail environment where it can become affordable nutrition.”
- The store will offer healthy and delicious meals that “can compete in price with the burgers and fries sold at fast food chains like McDonald’s”. In a recent NRDC report, it was discovered that food labels confuse consumers; and as a result, 160 billion – yes billion – pounds of food are wasted in the United States each year.
- Food waste is a global problem that is in the early stages of gaining more recognition. We recently reported on the impact food labeling has on this phenomenon, and it appears that entrepreneurs and social activists are also seeing the impact of this trend in food waste.
- There are a wide variety of deep help stigmas and misconceptions about the food we purchase and store which is driving this waste trend. In an information society, like we live in today, there should be more people like Doug Rauch who are fighting the status-quo and showing people what is truly “expired” or not. Quite simply there needs to be more education on this issue to the public. As the trend towards sustainability and social consciousness grows, expect to see a change in the way consumers look at the food they buy.