Fighting food waste is not just about throwing less food away. It's also about upcycling by-products of food production to make new products all over again. We've partnered with local nut mylk manufacturers The Pure Press to upcycle the almond pulp that is a by-product of their cold pressing process, turning it into vegan banana bread! This means that not only is all this almond pulp saved from going to waste, but the initial almond crop (and all the water and energy it consumed along the way) goes twice as far, reducing our overall energy footprint. So our vegan banana bread is not just good for your gut - it's good for the planet too!
Food waste in Australia
Food waste is estimated to cost our economy a staggering $20 billion a year, with a massive five million tonnes of food ending up in landfill. It’s hard to imagine, but that’s enough to fill 9 000 Olympic sized swimming pools. Of all the food wasted in Australia, about half of it is due to household waste, with the other half coming from industry, which means businesses wanting to take sustainability seriously need to carefully consider how to minimise waste and upcycle by-products where possible.
Metal straws are just the beginning
Compostable packaging and metal straws are a great place to start, but there’s so much more we can do in fighting waste and working towards sustainability. It’s a huge issue and a constant learning curve for small businesses like this one! While we’ve always made an effort to use only sustainable packaging and to minimise waste in our production processes, this year we got to thinking hard about ways to redistribute excess goods and to upcycle input products that have multiple uses. As well as our new partnership with The Pure Press to upcycle their almond pulp waste from almond mylk production, we recently began working with local food rescue charity OzHarvest to redistribute unsold goods from our market stall, ensuring that any excess goods go to people who need it. Every little bit counts!
Upcycling for the future of the planet
The concept of upcycling food by-products is not new. Vegan bakers have known about upcycling aquafaba (the juice drained from canned chick peas) for ages! In modern times though, entire companies are being founded on the principle, such as Australian brand The Husk Mill, which produces cacao tea from husks left over from chocolate production, or UK-based Rubies in the Rubble, which produces condiments from ‘ugly’ produce rejected by big chain supermarkets.
How you can join the fight against food waste
As shoppers, your dollars have the power to build up companies that are taking the lead in sustainability, which is a pretty exciting way to make a difference! Your feedback and ideas also help those of us running businesses to stay on top of the issue and continually work towards making our production and distribution processes more sustainable.
If you’re interested in taking your personal war on food waste to the next level, Bekah strongly recommends taking one of the Waste Watchers courses or workshops. She personally did the 6 week course along with several peers in the Perth small business community, which opened up a whole new spectrum of ways to minimise waste that she’d never even considered before.
You can find out more about Waste Watchers workshops and events here.
You can learn more about Ozharvest donation and volunteer opportunities here.