Providing Affordable Food While Fighting Food Waste in the U. S.

Do you ever buy and/or use food that is past its “best by” or “use by” date?  I have and I do because I know that those dates are suggestions and have nothing to do with safety.  If the food looks good, smells good, and tastes good, then it is almost always good if it has been stored properly. For example, this morning I ate some perfectly good yogurt with granola that had a “best by” date of December 30, 2013.  If I were going to get sick, I’d be sick by now.

Most stores toss food that has passed its “best by” date into the trash while we have so many people hungry in this country.  According to several sources, about 40% of the food produced in the United States is thrown away each year! Often, stores are afraid to donate the food they are going to toss for fear of a law suit if someone should get sick (over use of law suits is a topic for another day). Harrison Jacobs of Business Insider writes about these issues in his article Boston’s Store for Expired Food Is Looking Like A Better And Better Idea.

One man is standing up to contemporary thinking and has opened a grocery store to sell food that is still good and safe to eat but has passed these non-mandated dates. Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, is opening the Daily Table to sell edible food only tossed because of dates attached to the food items.  In addition, food will be cooked and served in these stores also.

I think this is a pretty awesome idea myself. What do you think?

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Filed under Being Thrifty, Food

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