As a nation, we know we waste a lot of food. And we really do mean, a LOT of it. Food waste figures, not just in the UK but, across the world are staggering. Did you know that, globally, over ⅓ of all food produced goes to waste?
According to food distribution charity, Fareshare, 2 million tonnes of food wasted each year is good-to-eat when it’s discarded. Every year, there is an astounding 3.6 million tonnes of food waste generated by every part of the food industry including farmers and growers to manufacturers and processors to wholesalers, retailers and food service companies. That’s a lot of areas in the food supply chain that is churning out waste, right?
There’s no doubt that we need to address the issue of food waste and that’s exactly what the below, forward-thinking businesses are doing. From repurposing food waste into alcohol to saving edible food from being discarded, these businesses are taking surplus food and turning it into something innovative, sustainable, and still delicious.
“A beer with more taste. A world without waste.”Toast Ale
Taking one of the most wasted foods, bread, Toast Ale creates award-winning beers. They use bread waste in place of traditional barley to produce their beers. At the time of writing this, they’ve saved more than 2.6 million slices of bread! The B-corp certified beer brand also streamlines their production process to use less land, water and energy all while avoiding carbon emissions.
Aside from their commitments to sustainable practices and products, Toast Ale also donate 100% of their profits to charity. As they put it, they “fund systemic change to fix the food system”. Now that’s one ambitious ale we’re bready to drink!
“We’re adopting a new philosophy to understand how what is wasted today, can be treasured tomorrow.”Discarded Spirits
On the topic of food waste tipples, here’s a brand which is saving fruit peels from waste bins. One of the leaders in the sustainable spirits movement, Discarded Spirits make all their drinks out of food waste. The company seeks to cut out needless waste in food and drink production processes.
From rum made of banana peels to vodka created from grape skins, Discarded Spirits set an example to other food and drink businesses and show us the value in what others would consider waste. After all, if you can’t eat a banana peel, you might as well drink it!
“Fill your belly and save the planet by rescuing fruit & veg straight from the farm, including the odd curvy cucumber.”Oddbox
We’ve seen a lot of subscription boxes around lately but Oddbox is doing things differently. Oddbox’s premise is to deliver less-than-perfect, but still perfectly delicious, surplus produce to customers.
As the vegetable box brand points out, the UK has grown too accustomed to uniformity and blemish-free veg in its supermarkets. There’s no denying that fresh produce that are oddly shaped, not of the ‘optimal’ size or just plain ‘doesn’t look quite right’ get thrown away before they even leave the farm.
To combat this fruit and veg discrimination, the Oddbox team works directly with local farmers to collect odd-looking but perfectly tasty fruit and veg to be delivered direct to their customers. The subscription box cuts out the food waste AND the distribution miles from the farm to the distribution centres to the supermarkets before your home.