Daily Table, a not-for-profit grocery store, opened Thursday in Dorchester, a working-class neighborhood in Boston, featuring cheap, yet healthy foods that traditional grocers are unwilling to sell because of arbitrary 'use by' dates. The store is the brainchild of Doug Rauch, the former president of Trader Joe's, after seeing tons of perfectly good food tossed out because the items were close to or had surpassed their listed sell-by dates.
Daily Table's food stock is mostly donated by food wholesalers and markets after it didn't sell or was surplus, NPR reported. Other items are acquired through the Greater Boston Food Bank, and the store is one of that agency's approved organizations, according to the Boston Globe. The food is sold at cost or for a slight mark-up, though customers should expect prices to fluctuate daily based on availability and donations. "As you can see right here we've got a pile of bananas at 29 cents a pound," Rauch told WBUR. "They're Chiquita bananas, there's no little black spots on them. Those probably have another three or four days before you start to go, 'Oh, banana bread!'"
Americans trash 133 billion lbs (60 billion kg) of food ‒ mostly meat (including poultry and fish), vegetables and dairy products ‒ each year, according to a February 2014 report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). About 10 percent of that comes from retail food waste, either by grocery stores or restaurants.
"If just 15 percent less food was wasted, America could actually cut hunger in half," Ben Simon of the Food Recovery Network told RT's Alexey Yaroshevsky in February. Yet, according to Feeding America, a national nonprofit network of food banks, 49 million people in the US ‒ or one in six Americans ‒ live in "food insecure" households, and processed meals and fast food are often much cheaper than fresh produce and other nutritious items.