From unwanted to wanted: The businesses making products from food destined for the bin
It’s estimated that in 2015 UK households binned £13 billion worth of food. At the same time, millions of people around the world don’t have enough to eat. Without a drastic change to the current system this will only get worse…
But what’s being done? And what can we do?
So far in this series on food waste, we’ve looked at some of the ways we can reduce and, even better, avoid wasting food in part 1 “From farm to table, rethinking the way we shop, cook and eat”. In part 2, “Dining out”, we took a look at the hospitality industry and some of the cafés and restaurants that are tackling food waste, including some places that only serve dishes made from food that was destined for the bin. And now, in part 3, we’ve shifted our focus to some of the amazing products out there that have been made from potential food waste, including beer, tasty treats and even fuel for your fire, stove or wood burner…
Toast Ale (UK)
Toast Ale is a social enterprise that brews beer from fresh unwanted bread. The bread comes from bakeries and commercial sandwich manufacturers before being combined with malted barley, hops, yeast and water to make beer. All Toast Ale profits are donated to Feedback, an environmental charity that campaigns against food waste (it also runs The Gleaning Network – more info on “gleaning” and The Gleaning Network below).
Fancy trying your hand at brewing your own beer from your leftover bread? Follow Toast Ale’s recipe (commercial breweries are encouraged to get in touch with Toast Ale first).
Spare Fruit (UK)
Making fruit crisps from unwanted fruit, all Spare Fruits’ profits are reinvested back into the business and raising awareness of food waste. They work with small farmers, paying them a fair price for their surplus or waste, which not only helps reduce food waste but also helps farmers to become more economically and environmentally sustainable.
Snact makes a tasty range of handmade fruit jerky from unwanted fruit from British farmers. Started in 2013 by friends Ilana and Michael, Snact products are 100% fruit, vegan and gluten-free and have no added concentrates, additives or preservatives. Even their packaging is home compostable! Check out their #deliciousprotest campaign that encourages “more taste, less waste”. We couldn’t agree more.
Delicious relishes made from unwanted fruit and veg. Launched in 2011, Rubbies in the Rubble has since saved over 85,219 fruit and veg from the bin!
Kromkommer launched in 2014 after raising over 30,000 euros from a crowdfunding campaign. A wordplay on the words “crooked” and “cucumber”, Kromkommer tackles food waste by producing soups from surplus and wonky fruit and veg.
Im-perfect (Catalonia, Spain)
The im-perfect range includes jams, soups and sauces, all 100% natural and made from food gleaned by its parent organisation Espigoladores. Espigoladores is a non-profit organisation on a mission to fight against food waste. In English, it means “gleaning”, which has a long tradition in rural Spain and involves gathering the leftovers after harvest. Volunteers work together to gather fruit and vegetables that would otherwise be binned. Volunteers can take what they need with the majority going to local foodbanks and charities.
In the UK and fancy gleaning? Sign up to The Gleaning Network‘s Gleaning List to find out about Gleaning days near you. The Gleaning Network coordinates volunteers, farmers and food redistribution charities across the UK and Europe to save thousands of tonnes of fresh fruit and veg from being wasted.
Maybe not a tasty treat but if you’ve got a fire, stove or wood burner that needs stocking this winter, you’ll want to check out bio-bean’s® Coffee Logs made from coffee grounds. Founded in 2013 by Arthur Kay, award-winning bio-bean® collects and recycles coffee grounds into sustainable biofuels and biochemicals, saving money on waste disposal, reducing landfill waste and displacing fossil fuels.
Or maybe your social enterprise or non-profit needs some expert support? Find out more on how I can help you here.