Food Upcycling: Save Money, Save Your Health, and Save the Environment, All at Once.

A frugal lifestyle is always desirable. And so is an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. It goes without saying that a healthy lifestyle is one of the most sought after balances by most people. But what if you could actually take a single step in these three directions all at once?

Food wastage is a huge problem in the U.S. In fact, an estimated $162 million dollars worth of food is thrown away on a yearly basis, a lot of which aren’t even close of spoilage. In an attempt to mitigate the such a waste of food, some organizations have taken it upon themselves to collect leftover food from restaurants in order to repurpose them for food for the homeless.

However, actual food isn’t the only source of food wastage. It also comes from the by-products that are created during the process of producing other products.

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These by-products can come in the form of whey, old fruits, and old vegetables. And as you may have guessed, these by-products will almost always end up in dumpsters.

What is upcycling

This is where upcycling comes in. Upcycling is the practice of creating a useable product from something that would otherwise be thrown away. Not only that, but the upcycled product gains value as well. So, for instance, a wooden skid can be upcycled into numerous types of furniture. The same process can be applied to food.

The upcycling of food byproducts is not something that’s new. In fact, there are quite a few companies that have taken it upon themselves to push forth this trend of minimizing the amount of trash that reaches landfills.

Companies that do upcycling

There are a few notable companies that do this. For example, Regrained is a company that makes granola bars from used beer grains. Then, there’s Rubies in the Rubble, a company that makes condiments and relishes out of surplus vegetables and fruits which would normally be simply thrown away.

Azuri Health and German development agency, GIZ are also in on the mission to minimize food wastage by creating a facility that transforms fresh mangoes into dried mangoes that are sold globally.

Another notable company that’s doing its part in reducing wastage is PLANETARIANS. This company that takes defatted sunflower seeds (the byproduct of sunflower seed oil extraction) and makes them into chips. What’s special with this company is that their product is actually incredibly healthy due to the fact that the sunflower chips contain about 36% protein.

For reference, the defatted sunflower seeds that are often given to livestock as feeds are unnecessarily wasted because meat only contains about 26% of protein, protein which would have been better off consumed by humans.

The best bit about these companies is that they don’t charge much for their products, which makes these products excellent alternatives to more mainstream products. They are easy on the wallet and they are healthy to take.

So, do you want to live the frugal life? You may do so while also keeping yourself healthy and the environment, relatively trash-free.


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