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Need to Know

San Francisco Start-Up Aims to Tackle Food Waste with Trash Pie Pizzas

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What if it were possible to help farmers, impact climate change, and enable people to eat more sustainably—all by way of a humble pizza? That’s the premise behind Shuggie’s, a concept devised by Chef David Murphy and Kayla Abe, scheduled to open in San Francisco in spring 2021.

Murphy and Abe are the founders of the Ugly Pickle Co., which utilizes discarded produce and plant parts to make gourmet pickles and spreads. The new venture is a “natural offshoot” and will feature a menu of wood-fired pizzas—lovingly deemed “trash pies— made with oft-discarded ingredients including ugly produce, spent grain, and offal.

“Tackling a topic like food waste through something like pizza makes the issue super approachable,” notes Murphy. He and Abe want to show people that it’s possible to minimize food waste in their everyday lives. Also, this time of COVID-19 “has exposed the long-existing cracks in our food system,” notes Abe. “We’re hoping to rapidly incorporate different types of produce restaurant operators usually say no to.”

But it is also imperative that the pizzeria is known for having delicious pizza and “not just as a gimmick with brains on the menu.”

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