Mr. Rauch, retired head of Trader Joe's, was interviewed on WGBH radio today. He said that 40% of the food sold in America is thrown away. The coverage of the proposed store, which will sell prepared meals for reheating at home, as well as slightly-beyond-purchase date ingredients,
seems focussed mostly on overcoming the prejudice against foodstuffs that aren't perfect. I hope there will be more attention given to the environmental, nutritional, and fiscal benefits of more intensive efforts to eliminate the waste of usable food.
It was also noted that supermarkets get tax write-offs for donating food they can no longer sell, so in addition to limiting their bills from the carting companies, there's another financial incentive to donate.
People will ask why the food isn't just donated to shelters and other feeding programs. There can be complicated logistics to that - deliver? pick up? charity kitchens' ability to incorporate it into their menu?, etc.
Plus, there are many people who can't afford healthy supermarket food at full price, but do not qualify for government or private assistance.