A Cincinnati chef named Suzy DeYoung was once a caterer who had first hand experience with how vendors, restaurants, and even grocery stores pick-and-choose the prettiest produce to make meals. The amount of food waste Americans create is staggering, and as a chef DeYoung knew that an ugly vegetable could make as good a meal as the most pristine and spotless one. That's just not what her high-end customers wanted. DeYoung told Fast Company that she had to pass by a lot of good food to make a pretty plate.
"That always kind of haunted me and I hated that,” she explained.
In her hometown of Cincinnati, the waste seemed particularly egregious. Cincinnati's childhood poverty rate is nearly double the national average. Knowing this statistic and the amount of food being regularly thrown out, DeYoung decided to do something about it and started a nonprofit called La Soupe. La Soupe collects leftover produce from grocery stores and farmer's markets, then turns them into soup that can be frozen and distributed to hungry families.