One way organizations are trying to help reduce food waste is by upcycling food. This means using ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption. Some of this food is surplus, both on institutional and consumer levels, and some is atypical, otherwise known as “ugly” produce that doesn’t meet grocery store standards. It can also come in the form of by-products that are made when producing other foods.
Not only does upcycling help alleviate food insecurity—approximately $1 trillion of food is lost or wasted every year —and reversing this trend would preserve enough food to feed 2 billion people , more than twice the number of undernourished people across the globe—but it also helps to promote the importance of reducing food waste across the entire food chain.
For these reasons, some innovative companies in the plant-based food movement are embracing upcycling.