Grocery stores throw out a lot of good food every day. That’s what we’ve learned from the Freegans, or the dumpster-divers, who are able to live solely off (good, healthy) trash.

Of course, not everyone wants to become night lurkers parsing through dumpsters and trash bags behind the local bagel store. But it is about time that Americans begin to see the way they purchase and save food in an entirely new light. That’s what Doug Rauch, the former president of Trader Joe’s, aims to do with his new store — the Daily Table — officially opened in Dorcester, Mass., on Thursday.

The Daily Table is different from your average grocery store because most of its items are under $1, it’s a not-for-profit, and its entire purpose is to use the waste from other grocery stores (which typically consists of expired, or one-day-old foods, that are still safe and good to eat) and sell them at a much lower price.

the daily table
The Daily Table will be open seven days a week, from 11a.m. to 8p.m. Facebook
the Daily Table
Rauch plans on opening stores in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, and New York. Facebook

Yes, Rauch has been criticized for selling “trash” to poor people; low-income people often live in food deserts where their only options are fast food or corner delis filled with junk food and snacks. The Daily Table would offer an alternative to that at equally cheap prices. But Rauch believes the food that often goes to waste in our country isn’t trash at all; it’s still entirely good. In fact, according to the USDA, 31 percent of food made in the U.S. goes to waste every year, uneaten and thrown out. This adds up to a loss of $161.6 billion. So that’s the dilemma: One of the richest countries in the world with plenty of food still sees a good chunk of the population going hungry every day.

If you could buy a healthy lunch at the Daily Table for the cheap cost of a McDonald’s Big Mac, fries, and Coke, it’s likely more low-income people would do so.

“Daily Table is a not-for-profit retail store that offers our community a variety of tasty, convenient, and affordable foods that will help you feel and be your best; food that will keep you moving forward, not hold you back,” the Daily Table website states. “Our meals are priced to compete with fast food options, making it easier for families to eat healthier within their means.”

the Daily Table
Keeping prices low is paramount for the Daily Table, which Rauch hopes will serve poor communities. Facebook

In undertaking this project, Rauch knows he must make people more aware that expiration dates shouldn't be followed religiously. In fact, most foods last well beyond their expiration dates, and shouldn’t be thrown out immediately.

Imagine this: a grocery store where you can also get take-out lunch and dinner, with entrees starting at $1.79, and side dishes from 50 cents to $1. A dozen eggs will cost $1.19, a can of tuna 55 cents, and a box of cereal 70 cents (none of this $5 cereal stuff we see nowadays), according to Supermarket News.