The PLEDGE™️Fights Food Waste 

If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest contributor to climate change, according to the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization

Did you know that American households waste up to 40% of the food they purchase? That food ends up in the compost or landfill instead of feeding people. Food businesses end up wasting food too – up to 28%. Fortunately, there are individual actions that both consumers and businesses can take to reduce food waste. 

Make Food Not Waste PLEDGE participants
Participating businesses, Farmacy Food, PizzaPlex, Avalon, Madam at Daxton Hotel, and The Apparatus Room at Detroit Foundation Hotel gather at PizzaPlex.

Make Food Not Waste is a Detroit-based nonprofit championing the reduction of food waste on individual, business, and societal levels. Since their founding in 2017, they have rescued over 39,000lbs of food from the landfill. Part of their work involves the Upcycling Kitchen that takes surplus food from local farms and restaurants and creates delicious meals for those in need. Another aspect of their work is focused on educating consumers how to reduce food waste in their own kitchen by understanding labels on food and teaching how to use food scraps. 

New this year, Make Food Not Waste partnered with Food Rescue US – Detroit to be the first organization in the US to offer The PLEDGETM. This pledge is part of an international certification system that instructs restaurants, hotels, and other institutions to rethink the food they waste. 

“There are three big reasons why this certification is important,” Danielle Todd, Executive Director of Make Food Not Waste, says. “The first, of course, is that it keeps as much food as possible from ending up in landfills. Anytime we can keep food out of landfills, we’re helping with climate change. The second key benefit is that the kitchens will save money and post-Covid that’s even more important. And last but not least, it lets diners choose to support restaurants that are being environmentally responsible.” 

Over 20 businesses in Metro Detroit have enrolled in this process, including Avalon International Breads, Baobab Fare, Folk, Miss Kim, Good Cakes and Bakes, Marrow, and more. These restaurants undergo a guided audit to reduce food waste in their kitchens in seven key areas.

“This program goes deeply into the kitchen’s operation to kind of smoke out the ways food might be going to waste,” Todd says. “So if you’re a chef that cares a lot about food and running a healthy business, you’re going to be interested to find ways you may not have thought of to get even more out of the food you buy.“ 

Representatives from Founders, Saffron de Twah, Pizza Plex and Sister Pie participate in a kick-off event.

Currently, this program only serves the metro Detroit area, but Todd hopes the program will expand across the state. Participating in the program showcases the restaurant’s commitment to sustainability, the environment, and their guests. Their extra time and energy goes towards making the most of their ingredients and ensuring that any waste is taken care of properly. Eaters are encouraged to seek out and raise a glass the restaurants committed to The PLEDGE!

More information can be found online at 

Emma Beauchamp is the Editor in Chief of Taste the Local Difference 

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