Specialty Food Magazine


Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 124 of 203

sodium. We're going to limit sodium to 480 milligrams per serving, maximum. So instead we add curry or a Jamaican-style spice that, turns out, for the community we serve, is a popular approach. How do you source products? We're going to suppliers and they're coming to us. It will be a trea- sure hunt. Whatever we collect or get special pricing on, from canned beans and pasta to tuna, will comprise the shelf-stable offerings. We won't sell anything that doesn't meet our sugar or sodium standards. We were offered 55 pallets of bread from restaurants. It was all white f lour and the sodium levels were too high, so we had to say no. And it was a big shock to them. They thought we were there to feed the hungry, and we are, but we want to feed them what helps them move forward and doesn't make things worse. We know there will be things we have to buy. We'll need to purchase spices and oil, and protein is hard to get donated. We've created special relationships with manufacturers, who will give us a discount as a nonprofit. We're working with poultry producers and fisheries to provide a discounted protein source so we can offer meals and entrees at the same price as fast food. We're eager to find sources of product from manufacturers, producers and growers, and retailers who would like to support this program because we're just starting up and not near the level of donations that we'd like to be. Why has the media portrayed your idea as one where you're selling expired food? When I first started talking about this, the press was saying the exec from Trader Joe's is bringing in expired food and repurposing food waste. I would say over and over again: no one in America wants a second helping of food waste. Stop calling it that. That's not what it is. Food waste is waste that came from food. I'm talking about wasted food. For instance, we were at a produce market in Boston introduc- ing ourselves. One vendor asked whether we brought our truck and we hadn't. We asked why and he said he had 7,000 pounds of mangoes. We said, what's wrong with them? He said, "they're almost ripe. We can't ship them to the grocers now because they're within a day or two of eating." As a society, this is nuts. If wasted food were a separate country in the world, it would be the third-largest generator of greenhouse gases behind the U.S. and China. It's that big. Food waste, as a term, does a disservice to all of us who are trying to recover wasted food and reduce the amount of perfectly good food that's wasted. How much do expiration dates contribute to the problem of wasted food? Not one in a hundred Americans knows that [expiration dates are] not federally regulated, except for infant formula. These dates—sell by, best by, use by, enjoy by—are not food safety dates. So if you buy a product and it says "sell by today's date," they don't expect that product to be consumed today, or even tomorrow. That's the last day they'll sell it to you and then give you a conservative amount of time to use it, assuming you store it properly. Our confusion over display codes, and our referring to them as expiration dates, is leading to billions of pounds of perfectly healthy, delicious food being tossed out. How are you staffing? Our executive chef is Ismail Samad, the co-founder of Gleanery, a for- profit restaurant in Putney, Vermont, that gleans from all the Vermont farmers and dairies and creates gourmet meals. They're doing it for environmental reasons. In other positions, we're staffing from within the community and offering life skills for all of our employees. In conjunction and with funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield, every employee goes through a series of classes, including financial literacy, non-defensive communication, goal setting, interview skills, and public speaking—because Daily Table is not going to be their last job. We want to invest in them so they can go out and be their very best. What does the future of Daily Table look like? We want to create more sites in Boston and look to New York, Detroit, Chicago, or L.A. next, where there's a tremendous need. This is a proof-of-concept store. If it works, we'll look at expanding. If it doesn't work, we'll look at tweaking and figuring out what went wrong and how can we adjust and address the needs of the community. Responses have been edited. Read more from Doug Rauch at specialtyfood.com/news/section/opinion "If wasted food were a separate country in the world, it would be the third-largest generator of greenhouse gases behind the U.S. and China." Denise Shoukas is a contributing editor to Specialty Food Magazine. Join Doug Rauch at the Summer Fancy Food Show on Monday, June 29 at 9 a.m. for a talk on how to do good while running a successful business. 122 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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