Last Friday we interviewed Toast Ale for series 5 of the podcast. We discussed how much innovation is coming through in the food industry to reduce food waste. With organisations like Feedback lobbying governments to change policy, people are effecting change on every level. I wanted to give a mention to small businesses who are working in this space to change attitudes to surplus food and the food they’re creating from ingredients which would otherwise be wasted.
L to R : Nibs etc., Toast, Rubies in the Rubble, ChicP, Urban Cordial, Elysia, Dash
Despite starting out just a couple of years ago, Chloë - founder of Nibs etc., has already received a plethora of awards and recognition from organisations such as WeWork. Nibs etc. are taking surplus pulp and transforming it into a variety of products. The process of juicing leaves a super nutritious, fibrous pulp that is often thrown away and Nibs etc. are making delicious granola, crackers and bakes. Find them at Borough Market on Thursdays and Fridays and packaging-free at Re:Store Refill in Hackney Downs. Keep up to date with Chloë and Nibs etc. here
The UK throws away a whopping 44% of all the bread it produces! Toast Ale, led by Tristram Stuart (founder of Feedback, watch his inspiring TED talk here ), take the heal ends of the loaves used to make packaged sandwiches and use it to brew their beers. Not only are the beers award winning, the profits are donated to Feedback, an organisation campaigning to end food waste on a global scale. Toast are on a mission, so much so that they’ve opened up their recipe for anyone to try making at home. Their ultimate goal is to reduce food waste and every aspect of the business is geared towards it. Find Toast in independent stores, pubs, bars and supermarkets across the UK and read more about them here
Rubies in the Rubble
An early starter in tackling food waste within a business. Since 2011, founder Jenny has been taking surplus fruits and vegetables from New Covent Garden Market in London and turning them into pickles, chutneys and relishes. The range has grown to include a banana ketchup (it’s delicious!) and vegan aquafaba mayonnaises. Find Rubies in the Rubble in Waitrose, Ocado and Sainsburys plus many independent retailers all over the UK. I highly recommend listening to the Desert Island Dishes podcast episode with Jenny to hear her talk about how she started the business.
Whilst working in the food industry, Hannah - founder of ChicP, could not ignore the enormous quantities of leftover food and ingredients that was thrown away after events. Hannah found that houmous and dips were a really versatile way of using up leftover fruits and vegetables and so, ChicP was born. ChicP produces a range of savoury and sweet houmous with interesting flavours such as beetroot, horseradish & sage and banana, chocolate & avocado. Find ChicP on Ocado, in WholeFoods and in multiple independent retailers across the UK.
Inspired by produce on her allotment, founder Natasha started selling home made cordials at farmers markets, handpressing fruit for over 20,000 bottles before outsourcing production. Urban Cordial uses fruit from British farms which have not met supermarket beauty standards to create a variety of low-sugar cordials with really interesting flavours such as apple, lemon & fennel and raspberry & rosemary. Since launching they’ve saved an impressive 40+ tonnes of surplus fruit from going to waste.
A super innovative concept, Elysia purchases surplus from local artisan producers to create breakfasts and canapés for events. Sometimes producers have surplus from when a recipe has not quite turned out right or there’s an ingredient missing from the batch, the food is still of course perfectly good to eat but is not consistent enough to be sold alongside other loaves/boxes/jars. Elysia take this and create beautiful spreads for parties, corporate lunches and events.
Creators of sparkling water infused with wonky fruit and veg from British farms. Founders Alex and Jack were aware of the immense scale of produce which was not reaching the supermarket due to imperfections, size or colour and so created Dash to help tackle this issue. The cans contain no sugar or sweeteners so they have a natural flavour of cucumber, lemon, raspberry or blackcurrant. Find it in supermarkets, independent stores, Selfridges, Whole Foods and so many more.
Let me know below if there are more I should add to this list!