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National Public Radio reports thatDoug Rauch, the former president of Trader Joe's, is opening a new store in Dorchester, Massachusetts, called The Daily Table that is designed to prepare and sell food close to its expiration date at deep discount prices.

"It's the idea about how to bring affordable nutrition to the underserved in our cities," Rauch tells NPR. " 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 Daily Table, he says, is "kind of a hybrid between a grocery store and a restaurant, if you would, because primarily it's going to take this food in, prep it, cook it [for] what I call speed-scratch cooking. But the idea is to offer this at prices that compete with fast food ... 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. 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."
KC's View:
Since food waste is such a big problem and expiration dates are a demonstrably confusing factor for consumers, it sounds like Rauch has a good idea. As a consumer, I'd give it a shot.