Revive Your Produce!

The Lempert Report
February 12, 2015

Giving surplus produce a second chance.

Statistics on food waste in the US are not pretty. For example, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent figures, in 2012, America produced 35 million tons of food waste.
And here’s another one, 40% of all edible food in the United States today is wasted, which costs us $165 billion each year and about half of all food wasted is fresh produce.  So what are we to do with such daunting figures?

Well one San Francisco-based social enterprise is facing the problem head on, with a simple mission to give surplus produce a second chance.  

KAY FEKER Co-Founder & COO, Revive Foods
Revive Foods is a food based social enterprise that focuses on giving surplus produce a second change. And we're starting with Jam's, Jellies, fruit spreads, butters.  We're trying to put out products that are also just as high quality as our competitors but a far more affordable product. So if an 8oz jam is priced at anywhere from 6 - 10 dollars right now, we want to start at about $5 per 8oz jar.

Since we do live in the heart of really where most of the production happens for the rest of the nation, and simultaneously therefore a lot of waste happens, a lot of the farmers can't bring the produce to market every year, so much of it is thrown out we realized this is definitely a far more pressing problem that's really in our day to day that we'd like to tackle head on.

Right now in the recent months we've been recovering the food at the retail level.  We wanted to use the surplus that really doesn't taste any different, we’re not looking to recover food that's gone bad.  It's really just fruit that looks different. 

Phil:  The question is, What can be done to lessen food waste?

Kay: It’s getting into the habit of planning ahead more, so if you know you’re shopping Monday through Wednesday - you really don’t need to be purchasing  produce that you likely won’t be able to use in the next three days.

On the other hand when you have products that are starting to lose a little bit of their shape or color, things like bananas are a great example…if they are going brown or bruised or a little bit beat up, there’s so many things you can do with your produce. Think a little bit more about what you can do, because you’d be surprised how easy it is to make homemade goods like that.  At Revive Foods we give produce a second chance.