A slice of Scraps’ Green Pizza is everything I want it to be: The crust is crispy, the cheese-to-sauce ratio just right, and that sauce—pesto made from broccoli leaves—has a fresh, peppy taste. By the second slice I’m already planning the next time I’ll have this pizza, maybe an outdoor lunch with friends on my rooftop with glasses of Descendant Cider to complement, or more likely when I’m in need of a healthy, quick dinner after a day of running all over the city.
Scraps’ pizzas aren’t your typical New York slices. For one thing, the pizzas are frozen and ready to eat in as little as eight minutes. They’re also made partially from produce that’s typically not eaten.
“We wanted to change how people think of frozen food,” says Jessica Smith.” It’s craveable … it’s healthy, it’s tasty,” adds Jane Katz.
Smith and Katz launched Scraps in 2019 after planning the company and their initial product line for more than a year. The two Brooklyn women, who got to know each other through Katz’s blog, eventually met over tapas at a bar in Brooklyn where they ended up in passionate conversation about the state of food waste.
“We’d both recently heard that 40 percent of food is wasted in the U.S. each year, and we talked about how we could become part of the solution,” says Smith, who was already thinking about starting a new food venture when she met Katz.
Together the two women decided to focus on pizza as an entry point to creating a conversation around food waste.
“Creating a packaged product requires consistency so we worked to find things that were available nationally and available ugly,” says Smith, referring to produce that doesn’t meet traditional food retail’s cosmetic standards.
To do that they created two pizza recipes, the Green Pizza which uses broccoli leaves to make pesto as well as excess or bruised basil leaves, and the Red Pizza which uses imperfectly shaped peppers to create a red sauce with a smoked pepper, zippy taste. During harvest season in New York they source ingredients from farms in the Hudson Valley, whereas in the off-season they’ve partnered with Bronx-based Baldor Foods to secure “ugly” produce. Flour for the pizza crusts is also sourced locally from upstate New York’s Farmer Ground Flour.
Right now you can find the pizzas in the frozen food aisle of local grocers including Brooklyn Fare, R&D Foods, Sahadi’s, Greene Grape Provisions, Windsor Farms, Mekelburg’s and Clover Grocery or online through Our Harvest and Mike’s Organic Delivery. The pizzas come par-baked and are ready after 8 minutes in the oven, although I did mine for 10, but I like my crust extra crispy.
This year Katz and Smith are working on getting their produce into more stores, doing more in-store demos of the products and creating more partnerships with farmers to be able to use more ingredients that otherwise wouldn’t be eaten.
“We want to make a more sustainable way of eating, easier,” Katz says.
Photos courtesy of the author unless otherwise noted.