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The Boston Globe

Business

Putting expired foods to healthy use

Ex-Trader Joe’s head aims to fight poor nutrition, waste by creating meals for low-income customers

Doug Rauch, the former president of Trader Joe’s who made millions of dollars marketing cheap but chic groceries across America, plans to sell meals prepared with food that is edible but has passed its sell-by date to low-income consumers in Boston.

Rauch said he knows the concept may at first sound unpalatable, maybe even objectionable, but he’s convinced that his Urban Food Initiative has merit. The idea is to take food “waste” — perishables at, near, or past their expiration date that supermarkets throw out daily — and turn it into healthy meals priced like a McDonald’s Big Mac. Rauch compares the nonprofit’s mission to the work of Goodwill, which resells donated clothing at affordable prices.

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