Minimizing waste is a growing trend across every industry, including the food industry. An industry notorious for waste, upcycled foods are on the rise.
How Much Food We Waste Each Year
Over 72 billion pounds of food are thrown away each year in the United States by farmers, food manufacturers, grocery stores, restaurants, and households. Sometimes it’s because it’s gone bad, but mostly for visual appeal. This is up to 40% of the food farmers grow, often because it’s not pretty—oddly shaped, a faded color, inconsistent size, etc.
What Are Upcycled Foods?
One of the most popular upcycled foods is baby carrot sticks and shredded carrots. Oversized and oddly shaped carrots used to be tossed as buyers found them to be undesirable, so instead of being wasted, they are a new food product.
Many food products create a pulp that is thrown away, so companies are taking this pulp and creating food products. Or taking the unattractive food and creating pulp to make veggie chips or turning it into a salsa or chutney. It’s a win for the manufacture as “ugly” produce costs less.
At home, you can turn your veggie scraps into compost or use it to make broth. Home garden extras can be canned or dehydrated. All spoiled extras can be composted.