America trashes 40% of its food. A Colorado startup is connecting the discards to dinner tables.
Occasionally, at Regis University’s school cafeteria, there are dishes that sous chef Grant Ruesch calls “monotony breakers.”
A recent one? New York Strip steaks.
“I bought the steaks for a really awesome deal. I can’t remember, but like $3 a pound,” said Ruesch.
“$3.49,” someone interjected.
“We ran a steak night special at the college and we sous vide the steaks with some butter and fresh herbs and fresh garlic,” Ruesch continued. “We didn’t know how it was going to go because it was just something new we were trying. So we’re like, ‘we’ll do 70 steaks to see how it goes.’ We sold out in the first 45 minutes.”
The screaming-good deal was made possible by FoodMaven, a Colorado Springs startup that has spent the past few years fine tuning the logistics of getting excess and imperfect food to people who will eat it. While that may sound simple, it’s not. An incredible amount of uneaten food ends up in landfills each year for a variety of reasons, but a big one is when farmers, ranchers and local food producers can’t find a buyer or get the food to that buyer or a needy nonprofit in time.
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