How one company eliminated food waste: The ‘landfill can no longer be an option.’

Those carrot tops you’ve lopped off are not garbage. Your snapped-off green-bean stems are not scraps. They are what Thomas McQuillan, sustainability director for Baldor, a specialty foods and produce distributor, calls sparcs — “scraps” spelled backward and pronounced like “sparks.” And sparcs, despite popular assumption, are often just as edible as the rest of the fruit or vegetable.

“The narrative around food that we don’t traditionally eat is all negative,” said McQuillan, whether it is the recently in vogue “ugly” produce or the yuck-inducing name “trash cooking.” “Instead of calling this trim or byproduct, let’s come up with a name for it.”

It worked for the slimehead, a fish we now see on restaurant menus as orange roughy. It worked for Archibald Alexander Leach — you probably knew him as Cary Grant. And McQuillan is hoping the rebranding effort will make a dent in this country’s huge problem with food waste.