Upcycling usually refers to taking the “useless” parts from furniture and using them to create a new table (rather than throwing them away). However, the same concept applies to food. Enter food cycling!
“Useless” Byproducts Are Edible
When food is made in processing plants and farms, many parts of the meat or plant are thrown away. However, many of these food byproducts are chock full of nutritional value. They are thrown out for the sake of getting to the specific product.
Here are a few examples:
● Fatty and less desirable parts of a chicken are cut off and thrown away.
● Nutritious parts of whole grains are thrown away to create grain products (e.g., cereal).
● Green juices get rid of the fiber-rich pulp.
The list goes on and on!
While it is true that there are many foods that have excessive inedible byproducts, the opposite is also true. Many fruit and vegetable products have lost an excess of nutritional calories during the production process.
A Solution for World Hunger?
Upcycling food by itself is not enough to solve world hunger. After all, world hunger is a beast of an animal that needs multiple solutions working together simultaneously.
With that said, food upcycling is a powerful way to turn the abundance of food byproducts and turn it into solid nutrition.
Upcycling Starts In the Home
Food upcycling works as both a business practice and as a lifestyle. The practice is gaining popularity with restaurants and food-based companies around the world. However, there are simple ways to use food byproducts at home.
By using up as much possible food that is bought from the store, it helps both the world and the consumer. It creates more bioavailable food available in the world while also saving the consumer many grocery trips!
How to Practice at Home?
For juicing, any person can take the pulp from produce and turn it into cookies or many other healthy dishes.
The fatty parts from a cut of chicken or steak can be turned into tasty dog food – saving both time and money.
All it takes is a small dose of creativity, and the possibilities are endless.
Food upcycling is a win-win for everyone – both consumers and companies. Food saved at home means more food that is available to everyone else. Furthermore, “useless” byproducts are turned into delicious, edible nutrition.
Taking advantage of this practice takes a global effort with both companies and households. The more people that practice it, and home and in companies, the greater the positive impact on world hunger.
Thorsen, M., Skeaff, S., Goodman-Smith, F., Thong, B., Bremer, P., & Mirosa, M. (2022, November 7). Upcycled foods: A nudge toward nutrition. Frontiers. Retrieved March 2, 2023, from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2022.1071829/full