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Waste Not, Want Not: Welcome to the Upcycled Food Movement

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

Meet some foodie and sustainability nerds, health nuts, and creative innovators who are jumping into the Upcycled Food Movement and making money with edible upcycled food products made from food waste.

Here’s the idea. Take leftover pulp from juicing, leftover grain from brewing, misshapen imperfect fruits and vegetables, edible stems and leaves – and instead of throwing it all away, make something delicious out of it. By the way, food waste is a massive environmental concern, and all these upcycled food innovators are big on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that come from food waste being dumped in landfills. Food for thought...why are we wasting food when so many people are going to bed hungry or outright starving?

I'm spotlighting a few of these early innovators who have started their own companies. If this feels a little edgy, rest assured that it is all legit. There is even an official Upcycled Food Association that provides third-party verification.

This company takes the left-over pulp from making tofu, known in Japan as Okara, and makes upcycled flour, cookie, brownie and muffin mixes all Gluten Free. Renewal Mill was named a World-Changing Idea by Fast Company and envisions creating a new circular economy of food to keep valuable nutritional food from going to waste. Co-founder Claire Schlemme is a healthy eating enthusiast and sustainability expert. and was featured on Environmental Voices Rising – Women at the Mic podcast. Listen Here,

Here’s a company that was started by a couple of college guys, Dan and Jordan, who just wanted to make their own beer. They came upon the idea that instead of hauling the leftover grain to the dumpster, they could make bread and maybe even enough money to pay for their beer. The company now makes specialty pasta, snack puffs, bars, and a decent profit. Regrained has upcycled more than 659,427 pounds of grain. They helped start the upcycled food movement and have a slogan ‘Have your beer and eat it too.”

“Want to save the world, but can’t find your cape.” Reducing food waste is an effective solution to reducing global warming. Down under in New Zealand, two farmers put their heads together when they were blessed with a surplus fruit harvest. They began by making fruit paste using forgotten traditional food recipes. Along came a beer enthusiast and the company dived into making crackers from upcycled grains that are sugar-free and packed with protein and fiber. Up Bites is the name of their snack line that is all-natural, plant-based, and non-GMO.

You may not find these products on the supermarket shelves yet, but they all have online shops. Environmental Voices Rising supports the Upcycled Food Movement. How can you get involved? Share this blog with friends, visit our website, listen to our Podcast or Subscribe to this Blog.

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