What if you went grocery shopping and all of the food on the shelves had expired beyond its sell-by date? Well, that could very well become a reality -- but on purpose. The former president of Trader Joe's is opening a chain of grocery stores that sell expired foods in May. The idea is to sell wholesome, healthy food that's just barely past its prime, but is still safe to eat. At a discount! And as a bonus, you're saving the Earth from a lot of waste as well. There, now does that sound a bit more palatable? Here's how it'll work.
The chain is called Daily Table, and it's part grocery, part cafe. It will sell the expired foods nearby conventional supermarkets would otherwise throw out. Since you usually have a few days there between the sell-by date and the actual date when the food spoils, the groceries will still be safe to eat.
I could give you all the mumbo-jumbo about how Americans throw out 40 percent of our food every year and all the millions of dollars that wastes. But is that even on your mind when you go grocery shopping? The real draw is going to be the prices.
Will people think it's worth it to pay less for groceries that aren't pristine-fresh?
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Some stores do a form of this already -- they'll mark down groceries that are near their sell-by date. And some of them are just careless and sell expired food accidentally. Who hasn't brought home something expired at one point or another? But I think selling slightly expired food makes sense. As long as the food is still good, and the people buying it understand that they have to use it right away, it's a fair trade-off.
I'm sure they'll be some stigma to shopping there. You know -- like if your kids' friends find out you get your groceries from the "expired food" store, there could be some teasing. But that aside, I think this idea could definitely help out a lot of strapped families.
Would you shop at a store that sells expired food at a discount? How much would you trust it?
Image via Mark Turnauckas/Flickr