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Food waste is a mounting problem worldwide. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, global food waste is estimated at 1.3 billion tonnes – or one third of all the food produced in the world. In response, several initiatives have sprung up.
In 2013, Tristram Stuart, an award-winning author and food waste expert for 15 years, founded Feedback, a London-based organisation that campaigns to end food waste at all levels of the food supply chain. Celebrity chefs have also joined hands in pop-up event wastED, an effort started by American chef Dan Barber in 2015.
A new wave of food producers has also resulted – people are adopting a collaborative approach to give second wind to discarded foods and by-products. We round up some of our favourites from around the world.
Bakeries are high up on the food waste ladder when it comes to discarding bread merely a day old. Toast, founded by Stuart in 2016, sources surplus loaves from bakeries and the heel end of loaves from commercial sandwich makers to make ale. Each bottle uses approximately a slice of bread. To date, Toast has saved more than 6,000kg of bread! All profits are channelled to Feedback to fund its efforts against food wastage.
Toast was launched with support and endorsement from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and its first bottles were sampled at the Tribeca Film Festival for the screening of Wasted! The Story of Food Waste. It has since increased its range of beers to lager, ale and IPAs.
If you want to try your hand at making your own beer from bread, check out their home-brew recipe!
When Kaitlin Mogentale was in her last year of studies at the University of Southern California, she noticed that the pulp that got left behind after her friend juiced a carrot. Mogentale took the pulp home and made cookies out of them. That set her on the journey to Pulp Pantry, together with friend Ashley Miyasaki.
Fuelled by her background in environmental studies, the friends started partnering with a juicer on campus for pulp collection. Today, Pulp Pantry partners with three juiceries in Los Angeles for organic fruits, vegetables and almonds. Each week, 90kg to 250kg of pulp is repurposed into raw and dehydrated vegetable crisps, as well as grain-free granolas in several flavours.
Who would have thought that the water left behind from cooking legumes can be used as an egg substitute? During cooking, starches and proteins released from the likes of chickpeas and lentils bind together with the water used, lending it a consistency similar to egg white.
Called aquafaba, Sir Kensington’s obtains it from a chickpea processing company to produce Fabanaise, a range of vegan mayonnaise. To balance the taste, richness and umami of original mayonnaise, Fabanaise is infused with a bit of kombu seaweed. The range also includes flavours like the smoky and mildly spicy Chipotle and avocado oil.
The company also produces good ol’ mayonnaise in seven different flavours, and boasts a ketchup and mustard range as well.
For more eco-friendly ideas, check out what two businesses are doing to encourage sustainable living.