Healthy Food at Affordable Prices

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Healthy Food at Affordable Prices

What's the catch? 

No catch, just a hardy hat’s off to Trader Joe’s former president, Doug Rauch!   He recently founded a nonprofit  grocery store called the Daily Table to help alleviate food waste and offer low-cost healthy food options to residents of Dorchester, near Boston.   The store stocks foods donated from wholesalers and markets that are close to “sell by” and “best buy” dates.  By the way, these terms are not indicators of food safety, but used by retailers for rotating products for freshness.   These donated foods can then be sold at surprisingly low prices.  Using SNAP benefits?  No problem, they can be used on any product in the store!  One more good deed, the Daily Table employs a huge percentage of local residents!  Sounds too good to be true. 

Many people from the young to the elderly who have limited income and are “food-insecure” sacrifice a meal to keep the lights on and pay the rent are often drawn to the cheaper, fast-food chains that offer empty calorie options because they are affordable.  That, in turn, increases their chances of developing  chronic health problems.  Perhaps, one of the key components in our obesity epidemic.

Rauch told the Boston Globe that the new grocery store is trying to reach the “working poor who are out buying food, but who can’t afford the food they should be eating.”  The Daily Table grocery store is hoping to alleviate this issue by “providing healthy meals that are no more expensive than what people are already buying at fast food chains."  Here’s an example, the Daily Table may have a sale on healthy foods, such as paying $0.90 for a tub of blackberries. Unfortunately, you can often pay that much for one blackberry in a typical local store.

Now enter the gluten-free food industry and it’s amazing increased variety of offerings today, but unfortunately these options are often paired with much higher price tags.  While we are constantly being exhorted to consume healthy, whole, unprocessed foods, the difficulty for some is the expense of eating healthfully.  Perhaps the availability of a nonprofit grocery store offering fresh produce at reasonable prices, may have a positive effect on the food-insecure population's health, in addition to those who are also eating to ensure their health.

A big thank you to Mr. Rauch for demonstrating what can be accomplished in the name of humanity.  Do you have markets like this in your area?  If not, here’s a wonderful opportunity presenting itself!!