How 5 food brands are turning food waste into scrumptious snacks

27 May 2022

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annfromsg

cover pic Photo: Rind Snacks

Every year the world discards almost 1.4 billion tonnes of food waste. In America alone, the number is reported to be 40 million tonnes annually. Thankfully, there’s a rise in companies upcycling the food industry’s byproducts in an effort to curb the waste problem. These firms manufacture their edible food products with leftover ingredients, often in snackable formats.

Think of pulp from veggies and fruits morphed into chips while spent grains from breweries are turned into crispy puffs. The result is not just nutritious but also makes it easy for every consumer to build a better planet.

On that note, we've rounded up five vegan food brands rethinking waste by upcycling food ingredients to make snacks that are downright addictive.

Renewal Mill

renewal Chocolate chip cookies from Renewal Mill. Photo: @Kristyahimsa

Pulp Pantry

pulp Pulp Chips. Photo: @yourfriendjen

Did you know that 40 percent of food goes to waste in the US, and the biggest chunk of that consists of fruits and veggies? Our greens are far too nutritious to get tossed out into a landfill and that's the situation Pulp Pantry wants to fight. Since being founded in 2019, the company has saved over 79,000kg of veggies.

These discarded vegetables and fruits are turned into chips with flavors like Spicy Barbeque, Salt n Vinegar, and Jalapeno Lime. Each of these flavors packs up to 5 grams of fiber per serving and under 150 calories – that’s more fiber than kale chips, making it the perfect healthy snack.

Rind Snacks

pic Rind Chips. Photo: @Kaylas

As its name implies, Rind Snacks makes chips from fruit rinds. Founder Matt Weiss was inspired by his grandmother who made fresh juices with whole fruits and vegetables, including roots, rinds, seeds, and stems. Fruit rinds are chockful of nutritional benefits and most importantly, they're rich in fiber.

Rind chips come in all kinds of flavors too. Each snack blend features superfruits with a chewy or crunchy texture. Our members recommend the chewier ones. @yumi describes the Straw-peary version as "perfect for in between meals or to throw in your oatmeal."

ReGrained

pic Regrained chips. Photo: @Karenasp

Breweries produce waste after the malting process of making liqueur. This is when barley grains are "spent" after being soaked and then lightly cooked, rendering them sugarless. What's left, though, is a very nutritious residue that's high in fiber and protein. Need extra convincing? Our member @sunshine94 says, "it’s healthier than your traditional chips."

These spent grains are usually fed to livestock, but the founders of ReGrained, Daniel Kurzrock, and Jordan Schwartz, had a different idea. They partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and patented a process and technology to turn spent grains into flour. On top of bite-sized snacks, the company also offers energy bars in flavors like honey cinnamon, chocolate coffee, and blueberry sunflower with ginger and cranberry.

Spudsy

pic Vegan cheesy cheddar sweet potato puffs from Spudsy. Photo: @veganrecipeandvibes

Spudsy is on a mission to rescue bruised or imperfect sweet potatoes from being thrown away and turning them into delicious sweet potato puffs and fries. These come in snack bags that aren’t too different from the shelf-stable potato chips we’ve come to know and love. Our members are big fans, especially the Cinnamon churro puffs. Our member, @knorthway, calls it "a divine combination."

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