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Mar 1, 2013 03:18 PM

Urban Food Initiative's Dorchester store for quick-sale food

Mr. Rauch, retired head of Trader Joe's, was interviewed on WGBH radio today. He said that 40% of the food sold in America is thrown away. The coverage of the proposed store, which will sell prepared meals for reheating at home, as well as slightly-beyond-purchase date ingredients,
seems focussed mostly on overcoming the prejudice against foodstuffs that aren't perfect. I hope there will be more attention given to the environmental, nutritional, and fiscal benefits of more intensive efforts to eliminate the waste of usable food.

It was also noted that supermarkets get tax write-offs for donating food they can no longer sell, so in addition to limiting their bills from the carting companies, there's another financial incentive to donate.

People will ask why the food isn't just donated to shelters and other feeding programs. There can be complicated logistics to that - deliver? pick up? charity kitchens' ability to incorporate it into their menu?, etc.
Plus, there are many people who can't afford healthy supermarket food at full price, but do not qualify for government or private assistance.

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  1. i read about this in recent Globe piece. i think it's a great idea but i am imagining that, w/ regards to the cost of creating the take home foods, with their emphasis on healthy/not high fat-starch, they will have to buy most/all of their protein for making their entrees. I would imagine that the govt regs re meat,poultry,seafood would not see much of that expired product available to them from stores. But i bet he has that all figured out in his plans.

    3 Replies
    1. re: opinionatedchef

      the "sell by" dates on food labels are not the same as expiration dates.

      i think this looks so promising.

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        the "proteins" would not be "expired" as hotoynoodle points out they are "sell by" dates and perfectly fine for consumption. Great Concept!!

      2. I am 10000% in favor of this but also feel very strongly that there should be free cooking classes at the market.

        Especially since the market sells prepared foods, which makes it more important that folks can make good use of the raw farmers market stuff.

        1 Reply
        1. re: C. Hamster

          If I am remembering the radio interview correctly, he did say there would be classes available. Remember, though, that not all of the people this effort is intended to serve have access to kitchens (those being housed in motels, rooming houses, etc.).