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Trader Joe's Ex-President To Turn Expired Food Into Cheap Meals

Green Lifestyle  (tags: green, greenliving, greenproducts, food, safety, foods afety, reducing food waste, Sustainabililty, protection, eco-friendly, shopping )

- 1706 days ago -
Here's some food for thought: One-third of the world's food goes to waste every year. In the U.S., about 40 percent of our food gets thrown out. It's happening on the farm, at the grocery store and in our own homes.

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AWAY AWHILE Cal M (1067)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 6:53 am
Not sure if I like this idea--food poisoning stats are alarmingly high too. Much of this is preventable as well. How long after the expire date produce would be sold at TJ's would be a tricky thing I think.

Sue H (7)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 8:55 am
Good effort but I'm not sure how altruistic TJs is being. Turning what would be profit loss into cash.

Sheila D (28)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 9:14 am
I find it amazing how much food is wasted. This is a wonderful idea. We have become so tuned in to the dates on our food products that most people don't realize the food is still good, and, unless it's been contaminated by someone or something, it will be good to eat for days, if not weeks after the "expiration" date. He's not talking about using food that's obviously bad, plus it will all be cooked. I hope it catches on.
Just as a side note: I know people who used to dumpster dive and found all kinds of edible food that had been thrown away because of the expiration date. One woman, in particular, lived to be 89, so obviously wasn't poisoned by eating this food. Now all the dumpsters are locked.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 11:13 am

Amy Fisher (11)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 11:22 am
I think it's a good idea. As long as the food is still edible and is eaten right away, there should be no problem with it.

Arielle S (313)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 11:28 am
Hurrah!! There is a movie called "Dive" which deals with the food wasted every day in this country. The documentary is done by Jeremy Seifert, same man who is doing GMO OMG. He dumpster dives at Trader Joe's and fills his new freezer with food.... good, still tasty food. When the excess and waste gets to him, he tries to get the stores, including Trader Joe's to donate the food to food banks. There is always a danger of getting sick from food from anywhere anytime - just because the food has an expiration date does not mean it is bad to eat after that date. Often an entire bag of apples gets thrown out only because there is one blemished apple in the bunch. If only half of what gets thrown away now is used.... wow.

. (0)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 12:00 pm
If Trader Joes wants to to actually go something positive, they would work with local food banks to donate their food, instead of squeezing every penny they can get.

. (0)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 12:02 pm
Very creative. Thanks for sharing, Cal.

Jamie Clemons (282)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 12:56 pm
A lot of stuff is perfectly good for a very very long time after its' "freshness" date has expired. A lot of the expiration dates mean absolutely nothing.

S S (0)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 1:36 pm
Thank you.

Syd H (0)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 1:42 pm
Food suppliers know that an item they give a "use by" date to, will be perfectly safe to eat as much as one or two weeks after that date. But they want to cover themselves against any possible legal problems if someone gets sick, so they put a much earlier "use by" date on the product.
The only foods I am wary of if out of date, are cooked sliced meats and pork and poultry products.
I have personally eaten cakes and biscuits 3 months beyond the "use by" date and have used tinned meats, fruit, vegetables, soup and other items that have been over a year beyond the "use by" date, with no ill effects.
I use very little sugar and tea and currently have some of both in the cupboard that are over two years old.
The oldest food products I have ever eaten were contained in ex US Army one day ration packs which I bought a load of when doing a lot of camping in the mid 1970s. They had been manufactured in the 1950's and the tins of food were still good, as was the pack of cigarettes they each contained.

Colleen L (3)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 2:11 pm
Too bad he can't turn "good food" into "Cheap meals." Using food that are near or at the expiration date, concerns me. Thanks Cal

Don Schwarz (5)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 2:26 pm
Thanks, Cal, for alerting us. Noted.

Jeremy S (3)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 4:19 pm
This is a slippery slope, I'm afraid, leading to expired food that is very, very spoiled being sold as perfectly okay. Yes, this is presented as an eat-at-your-own-risk scenario, but even so, Trader Joe's should be thoroughly ashamed!

As Allan Y said, they ought to donate food instead of selling it, for one thing, and for a second thing, as Colleen L, said, they ought to use food that doesn't have the risk of leading to food poisoning! It's a noble cause, feeding the hungry, but it needs to be regulated more; leaving it up to a business that just wants to make a profit by selling out-of-date items alarms me. In one sense, it's far better than simply throwing it away, but the possible health hazards may outweigh the benefits.

Sheila S (50)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 6:05 pm
I've got mixed emotions about this. On one hand, there's a huge difference between the "Best if Used By..." date and the "Must Sell by...." date - especially with dairy products. PA State Laws prohibit the sale of food items beyond expiration date for safety purposes. Restaurants here contribute unused food to a "repurpose food bank" that actively distributes. Someone has to look out for the beneficiary - as others have mentioned. As to making a profit on out of date foods... shame on him!

Dotti L (85)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 8:05 pm
Oh, Cal. I would like to think that T.J.'s intentions are good, but I am doubtful. I do most of my shopping there as I do not like to cook. They have many Vegetarian options. Their fresh fruits and vegetables are great. I would rather see the food donated within a reasonable time.

Aurea Aurea Walker (226)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 9:28 pm
Cal, thank you for posting this great article. However, most of the food stats on food borne illness's are for food within the sell dates. Mr. Rauch is to be commended for this GREAT IDEA! I do not care IF his idea is for financial remuneration or not! When 1 in 5 children has gone to bed hungry tonight and will wake up and be hungry tomorrow, Mr. Rauch's idea will have a huge impact on the hunger in America's inner cities which have a plethora of fast "food" joints and very little healthy inexpensive food alternatives. Plus our wonderful thuguglican trash baggers just passed the huge financial food stamp program. At this rate in 2 to 3 years what will it be 1 in 3 children being hungry? Sincerely hope that other food companies follow this truly innovative idea throught the country so that not only hungry children, but every single person in need is helped out by this unique idea. Hopefully, even the homeless will benefit from this new concept and they can stop having to depend on dumpster diving for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Mr. Rauch may you be a beacon of light for the rest! Hope it spreads like wildfire!

pam w (139)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 10:20 pm

Past Member (0)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 3:23 am
I'm not certain Cal, they talk about the leeway in the dates, plus most food poisoning is from cross contamination. I frequently eat food a day or two past the expiration date, especially when it's frozen. I imagine the most complicated part of the process is once again in the distribution.

Gloria p (304)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 5:37 am
I like his attitude. I love to shop at Trader Joe's.

Winn A (179)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 8:13 am

Kathleen R (138)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 1:39 pm
noted & read

Past Member (0)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 4:30 pm
i don't know

Melania P (122)
Friday September 27, 2013, 6:01 pm
Hope it works!!
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