A grocery store in Cologne, Germany is helping alleviate food waste with a new business model

A grocery store in Cologne, Germany called The Good Food is making giant strides against food waste by allowing customers to pay what they want for food that is not perfect. Oddly shaped fruits and vegetables along with products whose sell-by-dates have passed, and that would be thrown out by traditional grocery stores, are welcome and put on the shelf to sell at this socially-focused store.

The Good Food is the first of its kind in Germany and the third grocery store of its kind in the European Union. Selling everything from vegetables to beer, none of the products in the store have a fixed price. While having products that are past their best-before date might not appeal to everyone, many consumers don't mind and are more than happy to buy the products at a much lower price. In support of the Good Food store's ideology, a report from the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic states that because there is no standardized system of best-before dates which currently differ state to state that the date label on most products is not useful. Because most people follow these dates as strict rules rather than a guideline, tons of perfectly good food is thrown out each year in America.

Supermarket Customers

Not surprisingly, food waste is an international issue. It is both a huge waste of resources, that could go to feed the hungry, and an environmental issue. It is estimated by nonprofit EndFoodWaste.org that 10 percent of human-made greenhouse gas emissions come from the transport, storing and preparation of food that is never consumed.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) one third of the food produced in the world gets wasted and nearly half the food that is produced in the United States is never consumed. While The Good Food might not be as profitable as giant supermarkets, its social impact is tremendous and hopefully will serve as a model for other stores of its kind.

The Good Food

A grocery store in Cologne, Germany called The Good Food is making giant strides against food waste by allowing customers to pay what they want for food that is not perfect. Oddly shaped fruits and vegetables along with products whose sell-by-dates have passed, and that would be thrown out by traditional grocery stores, are welcome and put on the shelf to sell at this socially-focused store.

The Good Food is the first of its kind in Germany and the third grocery store of its kind in the European Union. Selling everything from vegetables to beer, none of the products in the store have a fixed price. While having products that are past their best-before date might not appeal to everyone, many consumers don't mind and are more than happy to buy the products at a much lower price. In support of the Good Food store's ideology, a report from the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic states that because there is no standardized system of best-before dates which currently differ state to state that the date label on most products is not useful. Because most people follow these dates as strict rules rather than a guideline, tons of perfectly good food is thrown out each year in America.