SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A team of California bakers is turning food waste into sweet success.
"Every single night we witnessed tons of rice being thrown away," said Reyanne Mustafa of San Diego.
It was two years and she was in college and working as a waitress at a local restaurant.
"I don't think that I would've known how much food was being wasted if I wasn't firsthand seeing it."
She and then-waitress Krissy Krugman started collecting excess grains and pulp from area restaurants with the intention of upcycling the food.
"Honestly, it was my mom who turned to me one day and she said, 'How do you make food waste sexy? Cookies! Everybody loves cookies!'" said Mustafa.
Soulmuch Foods was born. The team uses common kitchen leftovers to create sweet, sustainable cookies and granola. They're all gluten-free and vegan.
"We really wanted to make sure it was the cleanest cookie on the market and so we don't even add any oils or preservatives or anything like that. Our wrappers are 100% compostable. They're made from corn and not plastic, so everything is so thoughtful," added Mustafa.
According to Soulmuch Foods' 2020 impact report, 5,000 pounds of food were saved from going into landfills.
"Our mission is to show people that if two waitresses, college waitresses, can do this, then imagine what other people can do," she said. "Sometimes the best environmental solutions can be the simplest ones or the most delicious ones like eating cookies."
Their products can be found at the OB Farmers Market and on their website.
This story was originally published by Jennifer Kastner at KGTV.