Doug Rauch

“This is about trying to tackle a very large social challenge we have that is going to create a health care tsunami in cost if we don’t do something about it.” ~Doug Rauch

Doug Rauch worked with Trader Joe’s Company for 31 years. He began as President of Trader Joe’s East, where he worked to establish the company in 17 states. After becoming Trader Joe’s national president, Rauch continued to help the company grow—under his purview, the company expanded to a total of 340 stores in 30 states.

Doug Rauch

IMG: via Conscious Capital

Today, Doug Rauch is a partner with Apta Capital, and is the CEO of Conscious Capitalism, “a movement dedicated to elevating humanity through business.” Rauch’s leadership within this organization comes as no surprise to those that followed his career at Trader Joe’s. According to the Conscious Capitalism website, Rauch “developed [Trader Joe’s] prized buying philosophy, created their unique private label food program, and wrote and executed the Business Plan for expanding Trader Joe’s nationally.”

Rauch’s latest venture is the opening of a store called the Daily Table, which will address the issues of food insecurity and food waste in America. The store will open in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and will sell prepared food items made only from recently expired produce. About 40% of food in the U.S. is thrown out because of a passed sell-by date, despite the fact that, most of the time, the food is still perfectly good. The Daily Table will “bring affordable nutrition to the underserved in our cities.”

Rauch explained in an NPR interview, “It basically tries to utilize this 40 percent of this food that is wasted. That is, to a large degree, either excess, overstocked, wholesome food that’s thrown out by grocers, etc… at the end of the day because of the sell-by dates. Or [it’s from] growers that have product that’s nutritionally sound, perfectly good, but cosmetically blemished or not quite up for prime time. [So we] bring this food down into a retail environment where it can become affordable nutrition.”

There is an estimated 160 billion pounds of food wasted in the United States alone each year, much of it thrown out because consumers are confused by sell by, best before, and use by labels and are afraid of getting sick. Using the good old-fashioned method of checking food to see if it’s bad rather than relying on a blanket label would save a lot of food, and feed a lot of people.

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