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These 9 Companies Are Turning Food Waste into Delicious Snacks

Waste is truly having a moment. From compost to packaging, industries are rethinking not only how they produce, but what happens to all the extras. The food industry– where waste is devastatingly prevalent– has become the poster child for the burgeoning field of reuse, with non-profits turning excess food waste into jobs as restaurants amp up their efforts to cut down on meals trashed at the end of the night.

Herewith, we’ve compiled some of the most exciting (and delicious!) companies who are turning food trash into food treasure. Check out our picks, below.

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Photo: Tom Moggach

Toast Ale’s Brews

Made from bakeries’ surplus bread, Toast Ale sells several different brews from pale ales to craft lagers to IPAs in several countries across the world. (Where’s there’s bread, there’s brew.) In an interview, Chief Brand Officer Louisa Ziane explained to us, “The process is the same as traditional brewing– we just replace 1/3 of the malted barley with surplus fresh bread. There will be some variation in the final product due to the ingredients available locally.” Read the rest of our profile here.

ReGrained’s Snack Bars

Moving in the opposite direction of Toast Ale, ReGrained uses leftover grain from craft breweries to create nutritious snack bars. As more and more local breweries open up (ReGrained cites the staggering statistic that in 2015, two new breweries opened each day), ReGrained are aiming to close the “nutrition loop.” According to their site, the grain they repurpose is “high in protein (by weight, close to as much as almonds) and fiber (more than 3x that of oatmeal), [and] low in sugar (the sugar ends up in the beer).” We’ll drink (or eat?) to that!

 

WTRMLN’s Melon Water

With a line of five flavors (including a ginger variety and a lime option), WTRMLN gives discarded melons a second chance to be enjoyed. The drinks are naturally rich in potassium, amino acids, and Vitamin C, and are the perfect drink after a long hot day. And if that doesn’t convince you, know that it has the Beyoncé seal of approval. (She recently invested in the project.) Need we say more?

Forager Project’s Vegetable Chips

Forager Project is mostly know for their revolutionary cashew yogurt (So. Good.) but they also sell a line of vegetable chips made from juice leftover (you know, that weird pulp that takes forever to clean out). While you might think the chips are low in nutrients (otherwise…what’s in your juice?!), the pulp contains plenty of fiber and Forager Project adds various sprouted grains and seeds to amp up the flavor and health benefits.

Misfit Juicery’s Pressed Juices

Hoping to change the way we engage with produce, Misfit Juicery makes juices using 70% to 80% “ugly” fruits and vegetables– and is always looking for ways to crank those numbers up to 100%. Their flavors have tongue-in-cheek names like “24 Carrot Gold,” “Pear to the People” and “All Kale Breaks Loose” and experiment with unusual taste profiles. (Sadly, Misfit Juicery currently only has locations in NYC and DC.)

Snact’s Fruit Jerky

Based in the UK, Snact repurposes unwanted produce and turns it into a fruit jerky (which is then packed in compostable-at-home packaging– score). Just the right size for tossing in bags as a midday snack, Snact comes in several flavors and utilizes apples, bananas, blueberries, mango, and raspberries to craft flavors that are a delicious dessert alternative.

Imperfect Produce’s Weekly Deliveries

Though technically a CSA model rather than a contained, shoppable product, Imperfect Produce is a new delivery system that capitalizes on “ugly” produce that would otherwise be discarded. (A staggering 1 in 5 fruits and veggies are thrown away because they don’t meet cosmetic standards.) Produce is sourced directly from farms and subscribers can customize what they’d like more or less of in their box, according to their own tastes and according to how much they need– thereby avoiding food waste on both ends.

Rubies in the Rubble’s Jams & Sauces

An ideal gift, Rubies in the Rubble turns otherwise wasted produce into relishes and sauces that come in different several flavors: Pink Onion & Chili, Spicy Tomato, Banana Ketchup, and Blueberry BBQ Sauce to name a few. Their site features accompanying recipes– if you’re not sure how to use the products– for dishes like sweet corn fritters with banana ketchup.

 

Spare Fruit Co.’s Crisps

A true fruit makeover, Spare Fruit Co. turns “rescued” produce into beautiful cross-section chips. Based in the UK, Spare Fruit Co. specifically sources Kentish apples and pears, slices them whole, and then air dries them for a light snack that honors the original flavors of the fruit (looks aren’t everything). The chips can go sweet or savory; Spare Fruit recommends pairing them with cheese, salad, or cereal to boost enjoyment.

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