By Mike Pomranz
Updated February 25, 2016
Building Materials from Food Waste

My grandfather used to tell me that expiration dates are just a suggestion; it doesn’t necessarily mean the food can’t be eaten. He was right. Not that I’d trust eating half the things in his fridge, but he was right. As we discussed last year, even the USDA admits, “There is no uniform or universally accepted system used for food dating in the United States.”

A supermarket in Denmark has taken that idea to heart. WeFood, which opened in Copenhagen this week, only sells food that would have been discarded by other grocery stores. Expired food, damaged food or any surplus in general: As long as it’s edible, WeFood wants what other business would have thrown out.

The values behind the market, which was started by a non-profit, aren’t about finding a way to make a buck where other companies couldn’t. Instead, WeFood hopes to cut into some of Denmark’s 700,000 tons of annual food waste while offering inexpensive shopping options to people who are concerned about their budget, the environment, or both.

“WeFood is the first supermarket of its kind in Denmark and perhaps the world as it is not just aimed at low-income shoppers but anyone who is concerned about the amount of food waste produced in this country,” said Per Bjerre who works for Folkekirkens Nodhjelp, the organization behind the store.

The market hopes to sell produce for up to 50 percent less than other grocery stores. They already have an agreement with one of the country’s biggest grocery chains for bread, as well as agreements with fruit importers, butchers and other food producers. And much like the unique Dutch grocery store Swingmarket that we looked at earlier in the week, WeFood also relies on the help of volunteers.

My grandfather would love this concept. Have they considered opening a location in Florida?