If you’re lucky enough to have a dad who eats leftovers off your plate, you may think your food waste is under control. Think again; 50% of the food produced in the United States ends up in a landfill, either collected as waste at the grocery store, from restaurants, or from your refrigerator.
Despite what you may have been told, the Clean Plate Club will only get you so far, especially when we’re fighting such serious issues of food waste. But there’s no need to fast and no need to freak out. Some innovative people are making some innovative products that help redirect food waste to create something delicious.
Eat up-cycled ingredients and fight food waste with these four treats that are biting back.
Forget everything you think you know about juice. No more green cleanses that taste like grass; no more detox shot bottles the size of your pinky. MISFIT Juicery makes juice with a purpose by giving a home to all the fruits and veggies that don’t meet modern day beauty standards.
Pear-shaped apples? No problem. Curvy and colorful carrots? Bring ‘em on. With each sip of these sweet concoctions, you battle the twenty-billion pounds of produce that gets wasted each year.
Best of all, food waste at MISFIT comes full circle when the pulp left over from the juicing process is composted with the help of Compost Cab, a company that delivers the fruit and veggie remains to urban agriculture organizations around Washington, D.C. Cold-pressed juice doesn’t get any better than this.
Talk about getting wasted. There’s never been a cocktail like this before—in fact, it’s so new that the product is still in the works. But here’s all you need to know: 7 Knots Spirits is a startup that's figured out how to turn discarded brownies into sweet sips.
And they're not using just any brownies. The scraps come from Greyston Bakery, a social enterprise that has been praised for its open-hiring policy, which allows anyone a job opportunity, regardless of their background or experience.
These imperfect brownies undergo a distillation process that allows them to transform into spirits that can be crafted into creative cocktails. 7 Knots Spirits will also be partnering with a fruit and veggie producer to turn 30,000 pounds of daily wasted produce into a drink that gets you wasted on food waste.
Speaking of getting wasted, ReGrained is another company with booze on the brain, although their granola bars aren’t actually alcoholic (sigh).
Beer probably isn’t the first product that comes to mind when thinking of food waste culprits, but six-billion pounds of grains are used by brewing industries each year—and these six billion pounds of grains don’t all end up in your glass of amber ale.
The secret ingredient in these waste-fueled bars is spent grain that’s been collected from local San Francisco breweries. After the grains have been soaked to release all that sugary goodness, they’re job in the beer brewing process is done.
But why waste an ingredient that’s packed with protein and fiber and ready for the baking?
That’s where ReGrained comes in. By mixing these saved grains with other responsibly sourced ingredients, a truly delicious and nutritious granola bar emerges. So go ahead: eat more beer, waste less food.
Just like beer brewing has its own hidden forms of food waste, so does the winemaking process.
The equivalent of grains tossed after malting are the skins of grapes that are discarded after juicing. These crushed grape skins, called pomace by people in the biz, create one ton of waste for every five tons of grapes that are crushed to make wine.
Lucky for us, and even luckier for the planet, The Republic of Tea has teamed up with WholeVine, which is a company that sources otherwise wasted ingredients from the fine wine vineyards of Sonoma Wine Country. These grape skins are then used to replace tea leaves and make uniquely conscious beverages that focus on reducing food waste.
The switch from tea leaves to grape skins is what you’d call a win-win-win: it reduces the environmental footprint of the winemaking industry, pineapples plus grape skins and sweet peach make a super tasty tea, and grape skins fill you with all the superfood buzzwords you love: antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, and more!
If there was ever a time to make a toast, it would be to celebrate all these delicious ways of fighting food waste. Whether it’s spirits made from brownie bits or granola bars crafted from spent brewing grains, there have never been more delicious ways to get wasted.