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San Francisco restaurant makes pizzas using upcycled ingredients

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The USDA says as much as 40% of the U.S. food supply - 40% - goes to waste. A pizza place in San Francisco is trying to use that food, and they got customers.

DAVID MURPHY: It's been mayhem every single day. Every single day at 5 o'clock, there's at least five or 10 bodies waiting outside to get in.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

That's David Murphy, one of the owners of Shuggie's Trash Pie. The name nods to their raw ingredients - food that would have otherwise gone into the trash, like wilted greens, blemished fruits and off-cuts of meat.

INSKEEP: The other day, a farmer offered them a load of squash.

MURPHY: They were like, hey, we need to get rid of this squash. It's, like, sunburnt. Nobody's going to buy it. So can you take it on? And, man, I tell you what, this is, like, one of the absolute best pizzas I ever had in my life. It's got cilantro stem, salsa verde, crema hondurena, a bunch of cotija cheese, really over-roasted squash. And, man, I tell you, this thing is sexy.

FADEL: For dessert, there's chocolate pot de creme made with discolored walnut butter and banana skin caramel.

MURPHY: And it's got a bunch of glitter and flowers on top. It's, like, really dumb-looking, but it's, like, really, really good.

FADEL: Co-owner Kayla Abe hopes the mission of their restaurant makes people think about what they can do themselves.

KAYLA ABE: Because while we can rescue some food from our local supply chains, a lot of food waste happens at the consumer level, as well - the vast majority, actually. So the only way that we're going to be able to begin to make a dent in this issue is if people take home these ideas that we're trying to introduce to them at the restaurant and incorporate into their own lives.

INSKEEP: So come for the food. Come for the mission. Or...

MURPHY: Come on down to Shuggie's. We'll pour wine all over your face (laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GIMME PIZZA")

MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY OLSEN: (Singing) Spaghetti. Pasta - put it in the pizza. Fish sticks - put it in the pizza. Ketchup - put it in the pizza. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.