Designing Waste Out of the Food System: The Spare Food Co.

by Deirdre Appel
The Spare Food Co.

Name: The Spare Food Co. 

What They Do: The Spare Food Co. is a culinary innovation company committed to the conviction that a reduction in food waste can significantly help reverse climate change and reduce food insecurity around the globe. They partner with progressive chefs and culinary organizations to design waste out of the food system by finding delicious new uses for overlooked and forgotten food and coming up with ways to plan, procure, prepare and plate meals in order to create new products made from ingredients that would otherwise have ended up in landfills.

How They Do It: Led by two brothers, Adam and Jeremy Kaye, who come from a family of culinary entrepreneurs that dates back four generations, The Spare Food Co. uses culinary innovation to design new meals and menus made from leftovers and food scraps It hosts hands-on culinary workshops to inspire employees and partners to develop new skills and cultivate a more sustainable system. 

Mission: The Spare Food Co. inspires people to reimagine, rethink and recreate the future of food. It helps its partners to see the unseen, cook the uncooked, and turn massive food waste into surprising new revenue opportunities. 

Latest project/campaign: In May 2019, The Spare Food Co. hosted a workshop, Seeing the Unseen, at the NYC Food Waste Fair. The day began with a visit to suppliers and processors in Hunts Point-—the gateway for 4.5 million pounds of meat, produce and fish every year. The aim of the visit was to take a closer look at the ingredients conventional thinking would put in the landfill or compost. From there, the group reconvened at the Institute of Culinary Education to brainstorm new creations, share insights, and commit to actions that the participants could implement when they returned to their own kitchens. 

Major Funding: Revenue from its partners, workshops and product development

Profit/nonprofit: For-profit benefit corporation

Annual Revenue: N/A

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: It is documented that roughly one-third of all food that is produced is wasted. The Spare Food Co. is finding ways to reuse and redistribute that food waste by working with hospitality, food service, and grocery companies as well as fast-casual restaurants. Co-founder Adam Kaye has been at the forefront of the food waste movement and was responsible for creating the successful wastED pop-up restaurant concepts in New York and London where chefs come together to design menus that raise awareness about food waste. 


Location: New York City
Core Programs: Combating food waste through design thinking and innovative consulting
Number of staff: 4
Number of volunteers: N/A
Areas served:  Though New York City based, The Spare Food Co. works with partners nation-wide.
Year Started: 2018
Founder(s): Adam Kaye and Jeremy Kaye
Contact Information: or call +1 (415) 858-8778

Photo Credit: Jon-Marc Seimon

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