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From Kiara

by on September 24, 2013

From Kiara

Interesting article on food.

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5 Comments
  1. Cristina Pretto permalink

    I absolutely love this idea. I watched a couple documentaries in the past about a new culture of people who dumpster dive outside high-end grocery stores. At first, everyone thinks it is disgusting and a hazard to people’s heath; however, once you observe the food they are eating, you wonder why you had not thought about it before. They throw out food that expired literally hours before. Also, the food that these grocery stores are throwing out are often really expensive retail (vegetables, meats, prepared foods, packaged foods). The most disturbing part of this is that it is socially deemed ‘trash’ so culturally it would not work. The idea that is presented in this article about Trader Joe’s fixes that. As a financially struggling college student, I would absolutely buy these discounted foods because, at the end of the day, it’s awesome food that is just barely beyond its prime.

  2. I found this article to be very interesting and applicable to my life in many ways. I tend to be guilty of the fact that when I see a “sell by” date on products, I adhere to them closely and dispose of the food. With reading this, it really opened up my eyes to the fact that I really do not need to follow these dates as strictly as I do because I am wasting food. I have worked in restaurants and it is appalling to see how much food goes to waste. Food is made in excess, and then ends up being thrown away. I have also volunteered in food banks and seen how places like this accept donated food from stores that will otherwise be thrown out. These two places are totally opposite in their views of food conservation (or lack thereof). I think that opening this hybrids market-restaurant would be a very good idea, especially in inner-city areas. It sounds as if it is a glorified food shelter. This definitely would open many doors for those that struggle economically to have a chance to eat nice meals, while unconsciously contributing to conservation efforts. Many individuals will clearly benefit from this. Also, many industries will benefit from since they do not have to throw out their products. I would be interested in seeing this store once it opens and see how successful it turns out to be.

  3. This is a very enlightening article. I grew up under the belief that once food reached its sell by date, it is either stale or rotten. It is sad to see that so much of this food ends up going to waste when it is still perfectly fine to eat. Generally, when I am at home, we get rid of very little food as we save the leftovers from dinner for lunch the next day, but I can only imagine how much food goes to waste at Kimball, Crossroads, etc. every day. This idea by the former president of Trader Joe’s is an excellent idea for saving food that would normally be thrown out. The still safe to eat food can be sold at cheaper prices which many people would likely purchase, despite being past the sell by date. This would also help to conserve other food that would eventually have been wasted. While this proposed market would likely be very successful, it is unlikely that it would threaten other food stores because the majority of the population would still prefer to get the freshest food possible. Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to preserve food that would otherwise be wasted and sell good quality food to those with less financial stability.

  4. This article is certainly refreshing; while many articles discuss the inconsideration of society towards the environment and contribution to degradation, this shows how one man is looking to make an improvement. Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, is innovative; certainly, most of us are guilty of wasting food. Considering how many people dispose of foods after the sell date, or how many people over purchase food, it would be beneficial to put this food to better use. In grocery stores, where there is a large quantity of food and thus a higher potential for more food to go bad, food should be used more efficiently. By using the food that is still safe to eat and transforming it into a more presentable and cheaper option, consumers who are typically unable to afford this luxury will now have access to it. Selling food at cheaper prices, while using the food that would’ve been wasted, not only benefits the lower-income consumers but also decreases the waste in society. Despite the fact the food is “past its due date,” consumers would have no idea otherwise because the food is prepared just as safely. I believe this is a very effective strategy. It demonstrates how a simple idea can make a huge contribution towards benefiting the environment and utilizing resources more efficiently. Additionally, this will raise awareness that the food we think has gone bad can still be safely eaten. Overall, I believe it is the original ideas, such as this, that continue to inspire society’s dedication towards greater conservation efforts.

  5. It is sad to think that one third of the world’s food goes to waste every year when people are dying of starvation day after day, but it is not too surprising when we look down at our own plates and at our own consumption in dining halls, restaurants, and at various events. Rauch’s idea to open a new market that will prepare and repackage food that is past its sell by date and sell the food at a deeply discounted price is very smart and resourceful. People in the inner-city may not have access to healthy foods or may not be able to afford fresh fruits and vegetables. Rauch’s plan would cause good nutrition to be accessible to more people. I never thought in depth about the fact that we can extend the “life” of products by changing the temperature of our refrigerators or by making sure we don’t leave products out on the counter for too long. This is an idea I am going to have to keep in mind more often. Rauch believes that underpricing won’t be too big of an issue because there are not typically any Trader Joe’s in an inner-city area, but I think it could become an issue if people from suburban areas who can afford to drive several towns over to shop at Trader Joe’s begin to shop at the discounted market because it is closer in location. This process of bringing fresh vegetables and fruit to people living in the inner-city reminds me of REC’s mission with the farmer’s markets. They may be targeting people who cannot afford fresh produce or do not have access to it, but that does not mean that they will not sell their goods to doctors, nurses etc. who work at the Family Health Center and may live in a more suburban area.

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