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Denver based non-profit finds a plate for all that ugly produce and other food we waste

We Don't Waste estimates $28 M in recovered food
Posted at 4:00 PM, Jan 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-02 18:00:49-05

Americans are perhaps more picky than most about the appearance of their produce. Chances are, you’ve picked up a slightly discolored pepper or a dented squash and put it right back.


Because of that, it’s estimated that roughly 20 percent of all fruits and veggies go to waste - discarded as ugly and unworthy of our dinner plates.


But, a Denver-based non-profit is hoping to change that, one three-headed potato at a time.


“A crooked carrot tastes the same as a straight carrot,” said Arlan Preblud, founder of We Don’t Waste.


We Don’t Waste is exactly what its name implies - an organization that takes good food and finds a plate for it.


"This is all heat and serve," said director of operations Tim Sanford who was picking up unused food prepared by Epicurean Catering for the Denver Broncos game over the past weekend.


“This is top-shelf prime rib that hasn’t been carved,” said Sanford. “People who don't have enough to eat - or anything to eat - they're not eating prime rib."


We Don't Waste will clear out excess from restaurants and events, take ugly produce from grocers and put other rejects to good use.


"Americans have this concept that everything has to look perfect before it tastes perfect," said Preblud.


Bothered by waste and hunger, Preblud founded We Don’t Waste as a means to fix both.


"Before we were able to pick this up, it would all go to the landfill," Preblud said.


What started out of his Volvo has now grown into a new 10,000 square foot warehouse in north Denver, six employees and three trucks. Those trucks take unused, yet nutritious food to places like the the Denver Rescue Mission and 80 other agencies We Don’t Waste works with, where chefs are happy to have it.


"Not only do you not have to buy it, you don't have to cook (this food),” said Sanford of the recovered items from Epicurean. “All you have to do is heat it up."


We Don’t Waste estimates it redistributed $28 million in food in 2017. If you'd like to donate to We Don't Waste, the majority of its funding does come from individual donors.


"This is wonderful food," Preblud said. “It’s perfectly edible.”