Denmark is once again distinguishing itself in the race against food waste—this time, with a supermarket hawking items once destined for the trash bin.
Those items might include treats for a holiday that happened last week, a ripped box of cornflakes, plain white rice mislabeled as basmati, or anything nearing its expiration date. In other words, perfectly edible items that are nonetheless considered unfit for sale by the retailers and manufacturers who donate them.
WeFood is not the first grocer in Europe to sell surplus food. But unlike so-called "social supermarkets"—stores which serve almost exclusively low-income people—WeFood's offerings are very intentionally aimed at the general public.
The store's goods are priced 30 to 50 percent lower than those in regular supermarkets, according to WeFood. The store has already been a huge success. People have lined up before the store's opening every morning since its launch on Monday.
But is this food safe to eat? Well, the "sell by" date you see on many products actually refers to its freshness - not whether or not it's going to do you any harm. In many cases, food that's beyond this date won't be as fresh as it once was but is still perfectly edible. Of course you should still be careful to avoid eating food that's gone off, but you might find you don't have to throw away as much as you think you do.
Denmark throws away about 700,000 tons of food every year, according to several estimates. In fact, food waste is a major problem for the whole world.
Some 795 million people are undernourished globally, according to the World Food Program. Yet about a third of all food produced in the world—some 1.3 billion tons—is wasted each year, according to the United Nations. The cost of global food wastage is about $1 trillion a year.
All of the store's proceeds will go to DanChurchAid's work in developing nations like South Sudan and Bangladesh.