Secret recipe turns culinary trash to treasure

Preserving surplus food
Preserving surplus food

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Story highlights

  • Rubies in the Rubble is a luxury preserve brand that turns food waste into delicious chutneys and jams
  • After researching food waste in 2010, founder Jenny Dawson sought to tackle the growing problem of excessive food waste
  • The business now sells a selection of preserves through high-end outlets such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols
Think twice before you throw out your leftovers, those scraps could form the basis of a spiced apple chutney or a luscious raspberry jam.
London-based company, Rubies in the Rubble, concoct luxury preserves out of food destined for the garbage can. Founder, Jenny Dawson, made her first batch of chutney out of leftovers in 2010 and since then the brand has flown off the shelves in high-end outlets such as Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. But how do you transform food waste into an in-demand product?
CNN: What inspired you to start the project?
Jenny Dawson: I was researching food waste in 2010 and realized the scale of it, the implications both financially and environmentally. I wanted to do something about it. With my own eyes, I saw mountains of mangoes coming in from Kenya which looked perfect to me but for some reason they were being thrown away. It evoked a reaction in me. I thought there must be something I can do with this - I want to make a brand that champion-s things that others overlook.
CNN: What inspired to you to turn this project into a business?
JD: People were saying why don't you become a charity? But I was really passionate about becoming a business that solved social problems. We live in a capitalist society where businesses take change and I was hoping we could be an example of a business that really made a social impact throughout our supply chain.
CNN: How has the response been so far?
JD: There's been an amazing response to our product, people really get behind it. In general, the supermarkets as well as the UK government have really gone behind it - people talk about it now and are trying to address this. People are really aware of it...they want to change and become responsible for what they're consuming.