Daily Table: Shop For Cheap Meals At Grocery Store That Stocks Aging Food

If there's anything that we've learned over the years of featuring grocery stores and restaurants, it's that the food industry is incredibly picky when it comes to the produce they use. Vegetables that are a little misshapen find themselves at the bottom of trash bags, and food nearing its best before date is considered unsavory before its time. There are some kind souls out there, however, that take pity on this unwanted food, and create businesses specifically to carve out a place in life for neglected eats.

The latest business that believes we should embrace all food, regardless of its age or appearance is Daily Table. It's a non-profit grocery store that has recently setup shop in Dorchester, Massachusetts, near Boston. The man behind the concept is none other than the former president of Trader Joe's. Doug Raunch. With first hand insight into the amount of good food that found its way into dumpsters, just because it was getting on in age, he realized that a change needed to be made.

Typical grocery stores want to feature produce that is attractive, bright, and appealing. That means that fruits and veggies that are still perfectly good, while showing the beginning signs of aging, are discarded so they're not seen as unappealing to shoppers. But things reaching their "best before date" are still perfectly edible, and with approximately 23 million households in the US using food stamps (according to 2013 statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture) to make family nutrition affordable, wasting nutritious food sources just seemed ridiculous. Traditional grocery stores aren't likely to change their ways with regards to what they sell, but he recognized that he might be able to change how they dispose of the product that they can't use.

It took a few years for the Daily Table concept to take shape, finally opening this June. All inventory is food that other stores would otherwise be throwing away prior to it becoming inedible. It's either nearing its best before date, or it's simply surplus food that can't be used for any other reason - you know, the food that's basically been discriminated against. The Daily Table grocery store operates primarily by receiving donations from those that are ready to see the poor fruits, veggies, and other products get on with their lives. This  shop allows them to do just that by offering them for sale at super affordable prices.

Shoppers will find that the prices just aren't comparable to more traditional grocery stores, with prices like 49 cents per pound for apples, canned veggies 2-for-$1, or twelve eggs for 99 cents. Additionally, they offer pre-prepared meals at affordable prices. According to the Huffington Post, fast convenience meals are actually among the most expensive - and have the tendency to be less healthy than fresh, whole foods since they're filled with preservatives and other chemicals.

Their meals, that operate on a daily rotational schedule, are basically ready to eat, and can be offered at affordable prices since the same "old" food is used in all recipes. The head chef at the grocery store, Ismail Samad says it's easy to find usable parts of just about any discarded food, provided you're willing to cut off the bits that are starting to show their age. The cool part about the ready-to-eat recipes at Daily Table, besides the price and use of unwanted food product, is the fact that they tend to use a lot of in-season produce. Recipes change on an ongoing basis as what's available depends on the most recent donations. Naturally, any surplus of "inedible" food provided contains a greater quantity of whatever is in season, creating the opportunity for more variety.

While this is the first Daily Table store to pop up, its founder hopes that the concept will take off, as it's mutually beneficial for stores in the industry and shoppers alike.

Via: NPR

Also read: The Island of the Misfit Food