Cesar Zuniga, operations manager at the Salinas Valley municipal dump in California, points to salad greens that still have two weeks before their sell-by date. "Some loads ... look very fresh," Zuniga says. "We question, wow, why is this being tossed?" Allison Aubrey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Allison Aubrey/NPR

This Alaskan cod taco with pickled radish salsa is one of several drought-friendly recipes that chef Nathan Lyon and his culinary manager, Sarah Forman, have cooked up. Courtesy of Sarah Forman hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Sarah Forman

Noemi Sosa shops at Daily Table, a nonprofit supermarket in Dorchester, Mass. Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

itoggle caption Jesse Costa/WBUR

The Mariposa border crossing, as seen from Nogales, Ariz., September 2013. This land port serves as the main point of entry into the U.S. for fresh produce from Mexico. A lot of that produce gets rejected just past the border, even though it's perfectly tasty and edible. David Kadlubowski/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption David Kadlubowski/Corbis

Not so ugly, eh? Supposedly imperfect produce rescued and reclaimed for consumption by Bon Appetit and Better Harvests. Far left and far right: Courtesy of Ron Clark/Better Harvests. Center three images: Courtesy of Bon Appétit Management Company hide caption

itoggle caption Far left and far right: Courtesy of Ron Clark/Better Harvests. Center three images: Courtesy of Bon Appétit Management Company

Student volunteers with The Campus Kitchens Project evaluate produce. The initiative gets high-school and college students to scavenge food from cafeterias, grocery stores and farmers' markets, cook it and deliver it to organizations serving low-income people in their communities. Courtesy of DC Central Kitchen hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of DC Central Kitchen

Oranges sit in crates at the Rancho Del Sol Organics farm in San Diego County, Calif., in 2014. A labor dispute at major West Coast ports has left millions of pounds of California oranges stranded in warehouses and on half-loaded boats. Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Steve Kudlacek is an undergraduate at the University of California, Irvine who helped Professor Greg Weiss develop a way to unboil an egg. Steve Zylius/UC Irvine Communications hide caption

itoggle caption Steve Zylius/UC Irvine Communications

Seattle garbage collector Anousone Sadettanh empties a small residential garbage bin into his truck in 2014. It is now illegal to toss out food with the trash in the city. Residents will get warning tags for now; the city will start imposing fines in July. Elaine Thompson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Elaine Thompson/AP

Sherri Erkel and her daughter, Asa, cook dinner in their kitchen in Iowa City, Iowa. The Erkel family is part of an EPA study measuring the amount of food wasted in U.S. homes. Pat Aylward/NET News hide caption

itoggle caption Pat Aylward/NET News

Massachusetts composting companies like City Soil, which turn food waste into compost that can be used on gardens and farms, say they expect to get quite a bit of new business from the food waste ban. Courtesy of City Soil hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of City Soil

The rendering industry likes to call itself the world's oldest recycling system. Nearly 100 percent of processed pigs will eventually get used — as meat and in uses as varied as medicine and pet food. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

Ready-to-eat meals found in the prepared food aisle are a growing source of waste, as it is difficult to reuse meals that aren't sold but are fully cooked. Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media hide caption

itoggle caption Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

Students are given healthy choices on a lunch line at Draper Middle School in Rotterdam, N.Y., in 2012. To keep students from tossing out the fruits and vegetables they're served, researchers say it helps to give them a choice in what they put on their trays. Hans Pennink/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Hans Pennink/AP

Bounty from the bin: Thaler says you can find plenty of tasty, edible produce that's tossed out. Plastic-wrapped produce tends to be a safe bet, he says. Courtesy of Maximus Thaler hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Maximus Thaler

A strawberry vanilla WikiPearl made with Stonyfield frozen yogurt. Stonyfield and WikiPearl, Inc. hide caption

itoggle caption Stonyfield and WikiPearl, Inc.

There may not be a pot of gold at the end of these rainbows, but there is an anaerobic digestion facility turning food waste into energy at Jordan Dairy Farm in Rutland, Mass. Randy Jordan/Massachusetts Clean Energy Center/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Randy Jordan/Massachusetts Clean Energy Center/Flickr

Throwing out a pound of boneless beef effectively wastes 24 times more calories than throwing out a pound of vegetables or grains. Egg and dairy products fall somewhere between the two extremes. Morgan Walker/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Morgan Walker/NPR