How to Turn Ugly Fruits & Veggies Into Amazing Meals! | Earth Your While w/ Zach Anner

How to Turn Ugly Fruits & Veggies Into Amazing Meals! | Earth Your While w/ Zach Anner


– We’re in L.A. Kitchen,
a place that turns ugly fruits and vegetables into beautiful delicious meals and opportunities. I’m gonna see what
qualities I can learn about ugly fruits, so I can
put in my Tinder profile. So what if this banana is bruised and kinda twisted and uses a wheelchair? Swipe right! Let’s go! (lively music) This is an amazing office, it’s like half rock stars and half inspirational posters. – Well, I like to keep myself motivated and it reminds me of
the people who I admire, so that hopefully, I can
be the kind of person somebody admires, five,
10, 15 years down the road. – Sooner or later, there’s
gonna be a poster with your friend and some quote on it. – Hopefully it doesn’t say
wanted but I’m with you. – What is the L.A. Kitchen? – We take food that would
have been thrown away, people who are society under valued, the volunteers who wanna
make something happen, chefs who wanna teach and have jobs, men and women who want
to come off the street or not go back to prison,
we put them all together in this beautiful spot, shake it up and watch what comes out the other side. – What comes out the other side? – Beautiful healthy
meals and men and women who go out and get jobs and keep jobs. – So what was it about your personality that helped you succeed in this? Because I know a lot of people have ideas about how they wanna change
the world for the better, what do you think made it
possible for you to do it? – It was that sense of,
not only can I do this, but I wanna do it. As a kid, I saw Dr.
King and Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X and Gloria Steinem and Barbara Jordan and
real powerful people who were fighting for others and I kinda grew up thinking, that’s what
it means to be an American. You know, that your job
is to leave your campsite better than you found it, so
this is actually just being, for a lack of a better
phrase, I’m a good scalp. – Hey Chef Charlie, how’s it going! – Hey Zach, how you doing? – Good! What are the top three
things that people can do with food that’s on the edge? – I’m gonna say, dehydrating it, pureeing it, saving it,
freezing it and pickling it. – Nice, that was like five. – Yeah. – That’s awesome! What are some qualities of bruised food that people don’t know
about, that are so great? Like, does cosmetically imperfect food have like, a great personality? – This pineapple would
have gotten thrown away. It isn’t quite perfect,
it’s not quite ripe. This is all of the stuff that
we saved from this pineapple. Here’s what 95% of the world throws away. Here at L.A. Kitchen
though, what we do is, we slice it, very thin and this will go into the oven overnight at a 130 degrees and then I have either pineapple
chips or pineapple powder. – What! Give me a little taste. That’s flavorful! How much food do we waste? – Oh dude, it’s estimated right now, somewhere between 35% and 40% of all food gets thrown away, but half of that is cosmetically imperfect
fruits and vegetables. – Why is food waste such
an environmental issue? How does a zucchini
release greenhouse gases? – Well man, I’ll tell you,
it’s all of the energy it took to grow that zucchini. You know, whether it was the gas to get the truck there,
whether it was the water. Secondly, there is the emissions that come out when you throw stuff away. It’s the greenhouse gases that accumulate from the hundreds of
billions of tons of food that get thrown away globally. I think the carbon footprint
for the average bruised banana that gets thrown away, will
shock the average American. – So, to the person at home that has like, the bruised apple or the
pear that’s misshaped and is like, “I don’t know about that!” what do they do with that stuff? – I would pickle it and preserve it. I just boil some aromatic spices together into about two cups of vinegar. Pour it over about a quart of ice and then I chill it instantly so I could add it to my vegetables that otherwise would have been thrown away and we just save them here. I’ve worked under Michelin
chefs for four years, so I had that respect for ingredient. This was alive at one time. – Alright man. What made you wanna do this? – I was running nightclubs and
I went out one night to feed poor people on the streets of DC. A friend of mine, basically
said, “come out with me.” we ended up serving
people outside in the rain and here I was up in a warm truck, serving people out through a window who were outside, shivering in the rain and it was that dichotomy
of me up in the truck, warm, serving the poor and this
poor person down there, who every single night had to come back so another person could
come out and feed the poor. So, what I thought is,
maybe there’s a way in which both sides can be both redeemed and liberated at the same time. I just wanted to feed more people better food for less money, while I shorten the line with job training. But what I didn’t realize is how open Americans were with the idea of waste and how much they wanted to be involved in solving that problem. – How do you get started
with L.A. Kitchen? – I originally hit the top of my ladder in my career as an executive
chef, French Bistro and then, life kinda hit me sideways. I get a phone call and
it’s the police department and they say, “hey, you know what, your father passed away homeless.” so that right there, led me
to reevaluate everything. The money, the power, the
executive chef, the position all seemed very unimportant in comparison to the people that were
struggling like my father. So I switched my path
of life, you could say, to help save not just food,
but help save somebody that maybe needs a second chance and that’s what L.A. Kitchen is about really. – I said it a lot, but, charity is about the redemption of the giver, not the liberation of the receiver. It’s not enough to just feed the poor, you have to help them out of the situation which they found the need
to go and ask for help. – So, with the food,
you nourish the people that nourishes the community. – That is really my aim is, train them to get the job, but train
them more to keep the job. – What can we do in the average household to make sure that we’re not wasting stuff. – There’s really lots of
things you can do with food before you actually throw it away. But, our thing is, it isn’t how
many pounds of food we move, it’s how much we squeeze
out of every ounce we get. – Thank you for doing all this work. You’re the Elon Musk of
food that’s almost gone bad. Thanks man! – Yeah man, it’s a pleasure
to have you here, Zach. More than you know. ♫ Soul Pancake – Hey guys, thanks for
watching the episode. I wanna know what you guys are
doing to reduce food waste. Let us know in the comments
and use the #EarthIt I’m gonna start pickling
everything, I’m a pickle machine!