What is upcycling? Simply put, upcycling means taking unused or discarded foods and transforming them into a new product that both adds value and reduces waste. From using the leftover byproducts of yogurt to make a tasty drink to repurposing “imperfect” bananas for an all-natural snack, upcycling can take many forms, all while reducing our carbon footprint and benefitting the environment.
FreshDirect is thrilled to partner with a number of brands that use upcycling to prove that food can not only taste good, but do good too. Working toward a more sustainable food system is part of our mission, and supporting food brands that are aligned with us on this goal is one of the many ways that we are committed to helping you make more eco-friendly choices. Read on to get to know more about our upcycled products and the stories behind their creation.
Many small indigenous farmers of organic, regeneratively farmed bananas can’t get their wonderfully flavorful, tree-ripened bananas to market because of cosmetic imperfections. Barnana was created to make sure that these unwanted bananas can be enjoyed by all and don’t end up as waste. The company sources fruit from small organic farms in the Amazon, providing remote, family-owned farms with a reliable market for their precious produce. These bananas are then used to create Barnana’s crispy plantain chips and chewy banana bites.
Renewal Mill’s cookies, flours. and baking mixes are not your ordinary pantry items: each one of their products uses upcycled ingredients that are left over from other food processes. In 2020 alone, the brand saved an impressive 91,850 pounds of food. Their efforts are also aimed at benefitting the environment: Renewal Mill’s okara flour, made from unused soy milk pulp, has a carbon footprint that’s an astonishing 60% less than traditional wheat flour. Plus, it’s gluten free and easy to use in baking recipes.
Spare Tonic & White Moustache
Spare Food Co.’s tonic drinks are borne out of a mission to reduce food waste. One way that they’ve worked toward this goal is by creating new products from overlooked ingredients. Their partnership with White Moustache, a small-batch yogurt company, takes the leftover whey from yogurt production and repurposes it for use in Spare’s delicious beverages. Spare’s investment has allowed White Moustache to expand their yogurt production, hire more people, and buy more milk from family farms in the Hudson Valley.
reHarvest’s reBLEND freezable smoothie shot pops are made from upcycled fruits and veggies that would have otherwise gone to waste, saving a whole lot of produce and transforming it into something truly tasty. Each pop is like a mini smoothie boost that you can easily grab whenever you need a pick me up – they’re ideal as a mid-morning or afternoon treat. They’re filled with nutrients while also being environmentally friendly.
Small scraps of discarded food add up to big problems. And fruits and vegetables account for the largest portion of wasted food,representing between 30 and 40% of the total in the United States. RIND ensures that no part of a fruit gets wasted. Their dried fruit snacks use the whole fruit—peel and all—which also increases the amount of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber in each serving. In 2020 alone, eating rinds helped save over 120,000 lb of food waste.