Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, is introducing Daily Table, a new perishable foods project aimed at tackling the overwhelming problem of food waste. He is determined to repackage perfectly edible produce just past its sell-by date that ends up in the trash.
“Most of what we offer will be fruits and vegetables that have a use-by date on it that’ll be several days out,” says Rauch. Daily Table will open in early 2014 in Dorchester, MA preparing and repackaging food at deeply discounted prices.
The idea behind the project is to bring affordable nutrition to the underserved living in the inner-cities of America. Rauch suggests the format is a hybrid between a grocery store and a restaurant, primarily taking this repackaged food, prepping it, and cooking it for what he calls “speed-scratch cooking.”
This is in an attempt to offer this food at prices that compete with fast food. Despite the fact that the food is past its sell date, Rauch ensures the products are absolutely safe to eat.
“This is about trying to tackle a very large social challenge we have that is going to create a health care tsunami in cost if we don’t do something about it,” says Rauch. “I don’t regard Daily Table 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.”