Food is crucial for our lives. And we should show respect to the food we grow, mind how we consume, and think about how to prevent food waste to fight the climate crisis, especially as we are close to World Food Day.
According to the World Economic Forum, around 931 million tonnes of food go to waste each year, where 61% comes from households, 26% from food service, and 13% from retail. The unconsumed products produce 8% – 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Thankfully, some companies are figuring out innovative ideas to transform wonky ingredients and leftovers into new products. From using the coffee ground to misfit veggies and fruits, here are 10 companies fighting food waste their way:
1. Coffee Cherry Co – turning coffee fruit into flour
Coffee beans give energy to everyone worldwide, but what energizes this company is the coffee cherry. The coffee cherry is a tiny fruit that protects the coffee beans and ends up usually rotting on coffee plantations, taking a long time to decompose.
The Coffee Cherry Co is a certified B Corporation that turns the coffee fruit into flour to empower sustainable change. As a result of a dehydration and milling process, this highly nutritional coffee flour can provide flavor, nutrition, and function in beverages, baked goods, and other snacks.
By preventing the coffee cherry waste, this company helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase revenue sources to the coffee farmers, create new jobs and provide a superfood to people.
2. Toast Ale – using bread to produce beers
Did you know that bread can turn into beer? That’s what Toast Ale does in London. Worried about the contribution of food production to climate change, Toast Ale uses surplus bread from bakeries and sandwich makers to replace barley in its beer.
Launched in 2015, this company has saved more than 2 million slices of bread, cut 42 tons of co2 emissions, reclaimed 175 553 m2 of land, and saved over 250 liters of water. Beyond the environmental impact, Toast Ale donated over 48000$ to charity to help fix the food system and fight food waste.
By saving up to a slice of bread per bottle, Toast Ales is working to nudge a positive action for the planet.
3. Fruitleather – using fruit leftovers to create leather
Fruitleather Rotterdam is transforming leftover fruits into durable and animal-friendly, leather-like materials. This company aims to create products for the fashion and furnishing industries using this eco-friendly material.
By transforming fruit waste into value, Fruitleather Rotterdam wants to raise awareness for food waste (45% of the produced fruit goes to the trash). At a deeper level, this company wants to tackle unethical animal leather production and harvesting (billions of animals die at the hands of these practices and 650 million kgs of CO2 emitted in its cleaning process).
Fruitleather is on a mission to radically change the world of the polluting leather industry.
4. Wholy Greens – pasta made out of wonky vegetables
Wholy Greens produces vegetable-based consumer products such as pasta by using unnecessarily discarded vegetables.
They are exploring ways to make the most of every crop and plant. This company produces pasta with over 50% circular vegetables, offering variety and colorful options made out of spinach, carrots, pumpkins, and beetroots.
Wholy Greens is on a mission to help people and the planet flourish, by making food for the pro-earth generation.
5. Nam Mushrooms – using coffee ground waste to grow mushrooms
Inspired by nature, Natan created Nam Mushrooms as a circular economy solution to the produced coffee waste in Lisbon, Portugal.
Nam Mushrooms collects coffee grounds and uses them to produce fresh and organic oyster mushrooms by partnering up with Delta Cafes and serving restaurants and coffees around Lisbon.
After the production, this company sells back the mushrooms to the restaurants and local community. In addition, Nam mushroom gives the mushroom production waste to local farmers as an organic and nutritional way to grow fruits and vegetables. Finally, for the people who want to grow their mushrooms, this company has Home Grow kits available.
From waste to taste: Nam Mushrooms keeps creating value without waste to the local community.
6. Rubies in the Rubble – transforming rejected food into condiments
Jenny began rescuing vegetables and fruits from the local market as she was shocked by the amount of food production rejected because of its shape, size, and color. With all the ingredients she started cooking recipes in the kitchen, ending up creating Rubies to the Rubble.
Since then, this company has been baking delicious condiments using surplus ingredients. From mayo made with aquafaba to ketchup made with fresh fruit & veg sourced directly from farms, this B Corporation offers a variety of 10 different products.
To date, this company has already saved 351 600 kgs of fruits and vegetables, cut 294 500 kgs of CO2 emissions, and 896 432 miles driven.
Every single day, Rubies to the Rubble is making less waste and more taste.
7. KromKommer – turn imperfect food into soup
From the total food waste, around 10% to 20% of fruits and vegetables are thrown away because of the aesthetic standards.
Working with the same principles as the previous company, KromKommer has been committed to rescuing wonky vegetables and fruits but turning them into tasty soup since 2012. Currently, they produce 9 different soups sold in over 150 restaurants and stores, from tomato soup to gazpacho.
To raise awareness on food waste, this dutch company also promotes education by providing toys for children, selling crooked seeds, and engaging actively in changing policy.
Believing in a world without waste and striving for equal rights for all the vegetables and fruits, KromKommer will keep changing the food system with its krommunity.
8. Regrained – upcycled food ingredient from beer
Dan and Jordan noticed the grain wasted to produce their beer and were concerned about the billions of pounds produced by breweries. With further research, they decided to create Regrained – a San Francisco-based startup – rescuing the grain waste from the brewing process that has incredible nutritional value.
Powered by patent-pending technology, this company upcycles the grain into flour called “SuperGrain+”. Working as an innovation platform, this B Corporation co-develops new food products with brand partners using the super flour to make nutrition bars, pasta, puffs, and premium ingredients.
On a mission to better align the food we eat with the planet we love, Regrained already upcycled more than 659 000 pounds of grain.
9. Flawsome Drinks -juice made from imperfect and surplus fruit
After noticing the number of fruits sold in standard size and wrapped in plastic in the supermarkets in London and visiting local farms, Karina and Maciek opened their eyes to the food waste problem – aesthetic standards.
Inspired by their nan’s tasty recipes, Karina and Maciek created Flawsome and started saving imperfect and surplus fruit to transform it into tasteful crafted cold pressure juice.
Offering 9 different juice flavors, this company responds to 4 main pillars to develop its drinks: tastes great, fairer for farmers, saving the rejected, and better for the planet.
Since the beginning, Flawsome has already saved almost 23 million fruits and avoided 1,6 million plastic bottles. But they will not stop here as Flawsome aims to save 20 thousand tonnes of wonky and surplus fruit and donate 1 million drinks for charities in the next 5 years.
10. Dash Water – saving fruit & veg and turning them into sparkling water with flavours
With food waste at the forefront of their minds, Jack Scott and Alex Wright partnered up to create a drink free of calories, sugars, and sweeteners with the fruits and veggies that would reach any supermarket.
Using 3 simple ingredients and judging only the taste of the ingredients, this B corporation has available 5 refreshing sparkling water flavors to satisfy your thirst. Up to date, Dash Water has already saved over 547 000 kgs of wonky fruit and veggies from waste.
Working to save 2.500 tonnes of wonky fruits and veggies by 2025, Dash water wants to hydrate and inspire millions of people to fight food waste together.
Bonus – App Kuri and OLIO
Kuri is a climate-friendly cooking app created by Baptiste Magaluti. This app helps you decide your next meal according to your dietary preferences and restrictions, your stock on the fridge, and the seasonal ingredients. Also, it calculates your carbon footprint and helps you reduce it without compromising the deliciousness.
To help you avoid any leftovers or seasonal ingredients going to the trash at home, we suggest you use this app Kuri to cook responsibly and prepare good climate-friendly meals.
Feel free to read our interview with Baptiste Magaluti, founder of Kuri App.
Another amazing tool focused on fighting food waste is OLIO. Created by Saasha Celestial-One and Tessa Clarke, OLIO is a free app connecting individuals within a community to share food and other household items so that the full value can be eaten or realized, and they don’t go to waste. OLIO is a community of 5 million people. Since it has been founded in 2016 they have seen 30 million portions of food successfully shared and redistributed on the platform.
Read or watch the interview of Saasha Celestial-One here.
Fighting food waste depends on us all
By taking the example of these companies, we can be creative and make the most out of the food that enters our door or builds a business from food waste.
From farmers to restaurants and governments, we must do more to rethink the food system and reduce the environmental impact of food waste. We need to make sure we don’t throw away money, water, and resources used to grow our food. So every step we make to prevent food waste, it’s a step towards a better future.
These companies are a shortlist of many more making a great effort to tackle the problems of our food system.
Do you know other food saver companies you would like to highlight? Join the conversation on our Social Channels.