Ex-Trader Joes CEO Wants To Put Expired Foods To UseGrocery stores get rid of an enormous amount of food on a daily basis. There are even those who feel the need to prevent homeless people from accessing these items by locking their garbage bins and even prosecuting people for theft. But there are also those who do their due diligence by donating these foods to shelters and half way homes.

But the former CEO of Trader Joes is taking it one step further.

Doug Rauch, the former president of Trader Joe’s who made millions of dollars marketing cheap but chic groceries across America, plans to sell meals prepared with food that is edible but has passed its sell-by date to low-income consumers in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood.

In what he calls his Urban Food Initiative, Rauch wants to take food  “waste” — perishables at, near, or past their expiration date that supermarkets throw out daily — and turn it into healthy meals priced like a McDonald’s Big Mac. He compared it to Goodwill selling used clothing and other items.

Second hand clothes? Second hand food?

“The number-one leading problem is affordable nutrition,” said Rauch, who worked for 31 years at the California-based Trader Joe’s grocery chain until he retired in 2008. “For the 50 million Americans who are food insecure, their solution is not a full stomach. It’s a healthy meal.”

The store would sell takeout items such as soups, salads, stews, casseroles, and wraps that are low in fat and high in nutrients, according to Rauch. The space would also feature a teaching kitchen where people can learn to cook quick, healthy meals. In addition, the shop would sell packaged chopped vegetables and offer milk at or past its sell-by date for as low as $1 a gallon — a price that makes it competitive with soda.

But not everyone is “down” with this cause.

Kiki Carter, 33, a stylist at Ketta’s Hair Salon and self-described neighborhood entrepreneur, reject the concept, saying Dorchester does not need food other people consider undesirable.

“We don’t want it,” Carter said of the proposed store. “Why would we?”

What do you think of the Urban Food Initiative?

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  1. I don’t understand why someone would be against this idea. No one is forcing you to eat it if you’re not into it. I like the idea of less food going to waste.

    • So, poor Black folks in Dorchester and everywhere else don’t deserve affordable fresh food like the rest of humanity? This man is out of his mind and anyone else who thinks this is a great idea is as evil as this man is. If it’s not good enough for a White mouth then it’s no good for anyone else. That’s that.

  2. I really think the initiative should be to donate food, not sell it. Goodwill is the darling of thrifters, but what about people who can not afford to buy? It would be so much more useful to help those in need of a meal by doing this but giving it away in a structured setting. Food and fellowship.

  3. ashleighmarie

    @patti But you need money to run a program like this. Nothing is free, not even things that appear so. I like the idea of selling it because it keeps the organization able to continue doing this for people.

  4. The sad thing about this is that he is not losing anything, the food he throws away at the end of the year is consider a lost, so he still is going to carry that as a lost on his taxes, but to turn around and sells it, this is morally wrong but it is like double dipping, he claims it and sells it, he is the only one make money off of the food. Just give it away! That is what a person who loves God would do.

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