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Why We Should All Be Buying Upcycled Food Products

You may be asking yourself, “Why would I want to upcycle food? I don’t want to eat anything that’s been in someone else’s mouth!” And I’m here to tell you that’s totally understandable and not what upcycling is anyway. Using the definition given by the Upcycled Food Association, upcycled food “is made with ingredients that otherwise would have gone to human consumption, is sourced and produced using verifiable supply chains, and has a positive impact on the environment.” In other words, it’s mainly misshapen, soft, and bruised fruits and vegetables, stems, leaves, and pulps that would otherwise be thrown away because they’re not aesthetically pleasing to the eye. However, these parts of the food are usually healthier for you than those actually being eaten.

Approximately 1.3 billion tons of food gets thrown away every year. As the food rots, it emits methane, a gas more harmful to the environment than CO². In an effort to reduce waste and harm to the planet, companies are beginning to partner with upcycling organizations so these foods are better used. Upcycling is quickly becoming the latest food health trend with Certified Upcycled labels coming soon. The industry itself is worth an estimated $46.7 billion according to a report by Future Market.

The good news is there are already many reputable upcycling companies here in the United States. One such company is Matriark Foods, which aims to supply schools, hospitals, and food banks with food by taking the surplus produce from farmers and turning them into soups and sauces. Another organization, NETZRO, re-harvests byproducts like egg shells, calcium, and spent grain and turns them into new ingredients to be used. Finally, Pure Plus turns “ugly” fruits and veggies into a powdered sugar substitute that can be used to flavor water or sweeten candies.

NYC, NYCTastemakers, upcycling, waste, fruit, vegetables,

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