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Former Trader Joe's Exec Launches New Store Selling Expired Food

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(Photo by via Ernesto D. Arias on the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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The issue of food waste has become a huge one here in the U.S. where an estimated 40 percent of our food gets tossed out, while many go hungry.

No one has figured out the solution to the problem yet, but Doug Rauch, the former president of L.A.-based Trader Joe's, is launching project called The Daily Table, which aims to use some of the industry's estimated $47 million of food that's wasted each year to help feed lower income communities.

The pilot program is launching in Dorchester, Mass and will sell prepared food, along with fruits and vegetables, that are past their labeled prime but are still deemed safe to eat.

According to a recent study published by the Food Marketing Institute, nine out of 10 people in the U.S. are throwing away food senselessly because they don't understand labeling and expiration dates, amounting to 160 billion pounds of wasted product. Says the study:

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The lack of binding federal standards, and the resultant state and local regulatory variability in date labeling rules, has led to a proliferation of diverse and inconsistent date labeling practices in the food industry. Open dates can come in a dizzying variety of forms, none of which are strictly defined or regulated at the federal level. This haphazard system is not serving its purpose well.

Still, it won't be an easy feat for people to overcome the idea that they're chowing down on food beyond its prime. But in the barren food deserts that exist in the US, this might be the best option for access to fruits, veggies, and healthful food.