Bread crusts into beer, junk into jam and unwanted fruit and veg into smoothies - a new raft of companies is creating artisanal products from food that usually ends up in the bin.
The Scrumping Project
According to the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, households in the area waste 39,000 tonnes of food every year, and nearly half of that is fresh fruit and vegetables. More fruit goes unpicked or never leaves orchards.
Run by the Brighton Permaculture Trust, the Scrumping Project intercepts fruit that would otherwise go to waste and turns it into juices, chutneys and jams.
Based in Washington DC, MisFit sources produce that isn’t considered attractive enough for restaurants and stores and turns it into cold-pressed juices.
Varieties, such as 24 Carrot Gold (carrot, apple, turmeric and lemon), are made from 70-80 per cent recovered fruit and veg, including trimmings and scraps leftover from packaged carrot sticks and watermelon cubes.
The traditional Pennsylvania-Dutch recipe is made using excess produce that local anti-hunger organisation Philabundance is unable to move.
UK company Toast Ale sources surplus bread, including scraps and crusts leftover from packaged sandwiches and artisan loaves unsold by bakeries, to create a special recipe brew.
The bread is toasted into large ‘croutons’ ready for the brewing process.
All profits from the ales, created with master brewers from around the UK, go to Feedback, an environmental organisation committed to fighting food waste.
Named Best New Convenience Food at the World Food Innovation Awards 2016, ChicP is hummus made from surplus fruit and veg.
The colourful recipes include banana and cocoa and beetroot, horseradish and sage.
Founder Hannah McCollum often made dips from leftovers when she worked as a private chef and was inspired to change the way we think about cooking and waste.
With the tagline ‘saving fruit one bag at a time’, Snact creates fruit jerky from produce that is unsold or often chucked away for being too big, small or ugly.
Friends Michael Minch-Dixon and Ilana Taub started by collecting surplus fruit from London’s wholesale markets, concocting their snacks in a kitchen in Hackney. Now the chewy fruit strips are sold via online stockists including Ocado.
Their packaging can be composted at home, too.
Rubies in the Rubble
Spurred on by the amount of food thrown away at farmers’ markets, Jenny Dawson and Alicia Lawson launched Rubies in the Rubble- a company simmering unloved and unwanted fruit and veg into chic jams and chutneys.
Read our interview with founder Jenny Dawson here.
Based in London and often found at festivals, Rejuce collects surplus and unloved fruit and veg and blitzes them into juices and smoothies.
Read our chat with Rejuce here.
FoPo Food Powder
This clever company collects fruit and veg discarded because it’s too ripe or too ugly and turns it into powder - extending the shelf life from two weeks to two years.
The process preserves up to 90 per cent of the nutrients and also makes it easier to transport the produce, which can be sprinkled on yogurt or added to soup, baking recipes, stews and smoothies.
Espresso Mushroom Company
For people who throw coffee grinds in the bin (or down the drain) every day, these kits provide an innovative way of putting them to work instead.
Grow oyster mushrooms using the grounds that would otherwise be wasted.
Find more uses for coffee grinds here.
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