Recovering Restaurant Food Waste with Sabine Valenga of Food for All

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We don’t realize that when we throw away food, we’re actually throwing away all of the resources and energy that went into growing, processing, and distributing that food.

sabine valenga

Every year in the US, over 700,000 restaurants throw away 11 million pounds or over 25 billion dollars worth of food. 

To help turn this around, Sabine Valenga helped found Food For All, a business that sources surplus food from restaurants and lets individuals pick it up for a discount. Sabine’s revolutionary business model is helping restaurants dramatically reduce how much they waste each day and is helping Americans from all walks of life get access to the food they want for less. 

Learn how Sabine helped start Food For All as a graduate student and why restaurants waste so much in the first place. We also get into a delicious solution for surplus herbs, how businesses and nonprofits can actually work together to reduce waste, and what Sabine thinks many people misunderstand about hunger in America. 

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a budding environmentalist, or just hungry for ways to save money on convenient meals, this episode has something for you. 

Show Notes: 

  • Learn more about Sabine and her work on their website
  • Sabine first learned about food waste from the hilarious and eye-opening feature that John Oliver did about it in 2015
  • Food for All tackles waste that happens in restaurants. You can see a graph of where exactly waste happens from ReFED here 
  • Sabine and her team work closely with the Greater Boston Food Bank. You can learn more about them and support their work here 
  • We only need to recover 1/4 of the food we waste every year to feed everyone in on our planet
  • To help make food more accessible to everyone, regardless of their income level, Imperfect offers a reduced-cost box program
  • The federal government recently announced its cuts to food stamps
  • Sabine’s tip: use up extra herbs by chopping them and combining with yogurt for a quick and easy dip.
  • Sabine is a fan of the work Urban-X is doing to improve life in cities
  • My Fresh Bowl is an urban vending machine that serves healthy meals
  • Reilly recently had a productivity breakthrough thanks to the Pomodoro technique
  • Sabine’s go-to to make someone feel loved is Pão de Queijo, a traditional Brazilian  cheese bread
  • Sabine has not one but 3 go-to karaoke songs!
  • Sabine admires the work of architect Andres Jaque

If you enjoyed this, then tune in to Addressing Hunger in America with Susannah Morgan of the Oregon Food Bank.