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Danish Supermarket Tackles Waste By Selling Almost Expired Food

A new Danish grocery store has the right idea when it comes to food that has passed its best-before date.

It’s been called the world’s first waste supermarket.

As CBC reports, instead of throwing perfectly good food into the garbage, We-Food – a supermarket started by a Copenhagen charity – is selling discounted food that is blemished or past its best-before date.

While it’s illegal to sell food that’s past its expiry date, it’s legal when it comes to its best-before date.

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Image: Quartz

Apparently, a lot of the food hasn’t even reached its best-before date but may be flawed in some way – like a rattled or dropped container. The surplus store – which has a range of suppliers and agreements with butchers, importers of citrus fruits and a producer of organic fruit and nut bars – makes it easy for corporations to donate their blemished goods and they try to sell everything they get donated.

It relies entirely on these donations.

It’s a seemingly simple concept that is a pretty helpful one in the lives of local citizens.

“It’s a concern for everyone,” said Thomas Mølgaard Anderson, head of Second Hand & We-Food at DanChurchAid, on CBC’s Metro Morning.

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 “You have the youngsters, a person on welfare benefits, you have the middle class, you have the above middle class people — it’s a very big mixture — the only group that we see in our market surveys that are under-represented for now is the older part of the population. In some way they haven’t connected to this yet,” he said.

The grocery store sells a variety of products, including fresh bread, fruits and vegetables, cakes, frozen goods and canned goods – all for about half of the original price.

Long lines are common outside of its doors, filled with both the eco-conscious set and those on limited budgets.

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Since opening its doors in February, the supermarket has become so popular that they opened a second location this month and have a third in the works for the spring.

It’s something to consider; a 2014 report from Value Chain Management International found that in Canada, $31-billion worth of food ends up in landfills or composts each year.

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