EP 111 - Reduce, Reuse and Upcycle - Preventing Waste and Driving Innovation with the Upcycled Food Association

EP 111 - Reduce, Reuse and Upcycle - Preventing Waste and Driving Innovation with the Upcycled Food Association



Have you ever wondered what happens to food that gets manufactured and grown, but not used?  Well here’s a scenario.  Cashews are commonly eaten - But did you know the cashew meat from inside the cashew fruit, which is normally thrown out, is a single ingredient, organic product that tastes amazingly like meat, with the same consistency. The truth are a LOT of predicted that get wasted in the food manufacturing process and all of this wasted food presents an opportunity to create exciting new items and categories.

June 24 is National Upcycling Day, and in this episode, I spoke with Angie Crone, the CEO of the Upcycled Food Association, to learn more about what up cycling is, the non-profit’s mission and the crucial role it plays in preventing food from being wasted.  We also dive into why The Upcycled Certified® label is the most important third-party certification that supports up cycling integrity and environmentally-conscious stewards and why you should look for it in over 1,400 grocery stores across the country.  You can take the Upcycyling pledge to reduce waste in your own home and business on our website at eatcleaner.com and chefmareya.com.  Let’s dig in!

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LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE HERE or or wherever you stream media and if you loved it, please leave a 5 star review!

Consumers need to become familiar with the concept of upcycling and trust that their purchases are good for the environment.’

-Angie Crone


Wasting food is an environmental problem as it wastes resources used for farming, transportation, and human labor.

-Angie Crone


[00:00:00] Upcycling turns food waste into new products.

[00:05:32] Food waste harms environment and society.

[00:10:05] Cozy Earth: Yummy, ethical, comfy bedding brand.

[00:13:19] Upcycling community inspires creative problem solving.

[00:16:50] Reduce food waste by upcycling and learning.

[00:22:43] "Natural food wash extends produce's shelf life"

[00:24:54] Upcycling food waste into nutritious products.

[00:30:21] "Magic light for better health and skin."

[00:32:05] Upcycling test with Moms Organic successful.

[00:35:14] Grateful for listeners and requesting subscriptions/shares.



  1. How do you currently approach reducing food waste in your household or business?
  2. Have you ever tried upcycling food before? What was your experience and what tips would you offer to someone beginning this practice?
  3. How do you assess the accuracy of date labels on food products, and to what extent do you trust your senses when deciding if food is still good to eat?
  4. What new information did you learn about the environmental impact of food waste and how it relates to the current climate crisis?
  5. How can retailers and manufacturers work together to reduce food waste and promote upcycling initiatives?
  6. What role do product certifications, like Upcycled certified products, have in ensuring environmentally conscious production practices?
  7. Can you think of any creative examples of upcycling food waste from your own experiences or research?
  8. How does the practice of upcycling food tie into larger conversations around sustainability and a circular economy?
  9. In what ways can we as consumers support and promote upcycling initiatives in the food industry?
  10. What other industries could potentially benefit from upcycling practices and initiatives, and how could this promote a more sustainable future?


Podcast Episode Summary: Upcycling Food and Reducing Waste


- Introduction: Upcycling food is a fun and creative activity that can help reduce potential food waste, and there are resources like cookbooks that provide inspiration.

- Proper food storage, taking inventory before shopping, offering to-go containers, and looking for brands with certifications can all help reduce food waste.

- Date labels aren't always accurate, and trusting one's senses can prevent unnecessary food waste.

- We waste 30-40% of all food produced globally, which equates to 1.3 billion tons of food valued at a trillion dollars - this wasted food could feed the world's 800 million food-insecure people twice over.

- Wasting food is an environmental problem as it wastes resources used for farming, transportation, and human labor.

- Methane created from decomposing food waste in landfills is 80 times more powerful than CO2 in the atmosphere over the first 20 years, exacerbating the climate crisis.

- Upcycling food waste can help reduce methane production and mitigate the climate crisis.

- The CEO of the Upcycled Food Association talks about the nonprofit's mission and its crucial role in preventing food waste, and how the Upcycled certified label is the most important third-party certification to support Upcycling integrity and environmentally conscious stewards.

- People can take the Upcycling pledge to reduce waste in their own homes and businesses through eatcleanar.com and chefmaraea.com.

- Upcycling can take place at different levels of the supply chain and at the individual level, creating sustainable and marketable products from what would otherwise go to waste.

- Upcycling food waste leads to creative solutions and delicious results, such as banana bread with banana peels and cacao hulls.

- Other benefits of upcycling include creating new categories and products from what might have gone to waste, as well as inspiring creativity and diverting waste from landfills.

- Upcycling can also lead to other positive outcomes for food and the environment, and it's better to use food waste for animal feed than to send it to landfills.


LinkedIN Post

In the latest episode of RFYBL's MP3 Master, Reduce, Reuse and Upcycle - Preventing Waste and Driving Innovation with the Upcycled Food Association, we learn about the importance of reducing food waste and the benefits of upcycling. Here are three key takeaways:

- Upcycling takes various forms and can occur at different levels of the supply chain to reduce waste and promote sustainability.

- The Upcycled Food Association offers certifications for brands that upcycle food as a way to promote environmentally conscious stewardship.

- Consumers can also upcycle food in their homes and businesses, which will further help reduce waste and promote sustainable living.

Join the conversation on how we can work together to reduce food waste and promote a more sustainable future! #upcycling #reducewaste #sustainability



Dear RFYBL Community,


We are excited to present episode 111, "Reduce, Reuse and Upcycle - Preventing Waste and Driving Innovation with the Upcycled Food Association." In this episode, our CEO and guest speaker Angie Crone discuss various ways to reduce food waste and promote upcycling.


Several key takeaways include:


- Upcycling can take place at different levels of the supply chain, from using leftovers in your own kitchen to using ugly produce to create new marketable products.

- The Upcycled certified label is the most important third-party certification to support Upcycling integrity and environmentally conscious stewards, found in over 1400 grocery stores across the country.

- Eating upcycled foods is an easy way to promote sustainability and help reduce the harmful effects of food waste.

- Upcycling food waste can lead to creative solutions and delicious results, such as banana bread made from banana peels and cacao holes.


We also discuss other innovative products such as Cozy Earth's bamboo-made bedding and the Loom Box, which harnesses the benefits of red light and near-infrared wavelengths for improved bodily function.


Additionally, we share why it is crucial to reduce food waste; globally, 30-40% of all produced food is wasted, equating to 1.3 billion tons of food valued at a trillion dollars. This wasted food could feed the world's 800 million food-insecure people twice over. Wasting food is also an environmental problem as it wastes resources used for farming, transportation, and human labor. Reducing food waste can help reduce methane production and mitigate the climate crisis.


So, we encourage you to join us in taking the Upcycling pledge to reduce waste in your own homes and businesses through eatcleaner.com and chefmaraea.com. By taking these small steps, we can all make a big difference in our environment.


Thank you for being a part of our amazing community and supporting the cause of sustainability.



THREAD: Looking to reduce #FoodWaste and help the environment? Check out these tips from our latest podcast episode:


  1. Upcycle food! Cookbooks provide inspiration. Cashew meat from inside the fruit is one item that would normally be thrown away & can be used as a single ingredient organic product that tastes like meat.


  1. Learning proper #foodstorage & taking inventory before shopping can also help reduce potential waste.


  1. Offering to-go containers for party guests can prevent leftover food from spoiling.


  1. Look for brands with certifications supporting #upcycling: helps reduce food waste.


  1. Don’t trust date labels blindly. Trust your senses! Trusting one's senses can prevent unnecessary #foodwaste.


  1. Unfortunately, we waste 30-40% of all food produced. This equates to 1.3 billion tons of food valued at a trillion dollars.


  1. If we didn't waste food, we could feed the world's 800 million food-insecure people twice over. Reducing food waste can mitigate the #climatecrisis.


  1. Wasting food isn't just a humanitarian problem, it's also an environmental problem due to the resources used in farming, transportation, and human labor.


  1. Reducing food waste can help prevent methane production and mitigate the #climatecrisis.


  1. Supporting upcycling initiatives can lead to creative solutions and delicious results. Even banana bread can be made from banana peels and cacao holes.


  1. Upcycling can create new foods, categories, and opportunities. For example, whey, a byproduct of Greek yogurt, can be turned into a nutritious probiotic drink.


  1. Upcycling is about creative solutions and diverting waste from landfills. It's a great way to save money by making the most out of leftovers and reducing waste.


  1. People can take the #Upcycling pledge to reduce waste in their own home and business through eatcleaner.com and chefmaraea.com.


  1. The North Star goal is to save as much food as possible from waste through certified products like the Upcycled certified label found at over 1400 grocery stores across the country.


  1. Upcycling is a growing community with an adventurous spirit. Join the movement and reduce food waste! #sustainability #environmentallyfriendly





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00:00:00:17 - 00:00:31:00

Speaker 1

Have you ever wondered what happens to food that gets manufactured and grown but not used? Here's what I mean. So cashews are commonly eaten, right? But did you know that the cashew meat from inside the cashew fruit, which is normally thrown out, is a single ingredient organic product that tastes amazingly like me with a similar consistency? Yeah. So the truth is a lot of food gets wasted in the food manufacturing process.


00:00:31:08 - 00:01:13:21

Speaker 1

And all of this wasted food presents an opportunity to create exciting new items and categories. June 24th is national upside Living Day. And in this episode, I spoke with Angie Crone, the CEO of the Upcycled Food Association, to learn more about what upcycling is the nonprofit's mission and the crucial role it plays in preventing food from getting wasted. We also dove into why the Upcycled certified label is the most important third party certification to support upcycling, integrity and environmentally conscious stewards, and why you should look for it in over 1400 grocery stores across the country.


00:01:14:04 - 00:01:43:20

Speaker 1

And hey, you can take the upcycling pledge yourself to reduce waste in your own home and business. Just check it out eatcleaner.com and chefmareya.com. So let's dig in. I'm Chef Mareya, the Fit Foodie, and this is Recipes for Your Best Life where we dish about all things related to food, health and wellness to nourish you from the inside out.


00:01:44:05 - 00:02:00:03

Speaker 1

I love hosting special guests who are experts in their field and we also get to talk about topics that are important for your well-being. You'll always get lots of food for thought you can really sink your teeth into. So pull up a chair and welcome to the chef's table.


00:02:01:16 - 00:02:03:10

Speaker 2

Angie, it's so nice to have you on.


00:02:03:28 - 00:02:07:08

Speaker 3

Thank you so much for having me. It's really exciting to be here.


00:02:08:05 - 00:02:18:19

Speaker 2

I loved meeting you. Natural Products Expo West and talking about the Upcycled Food Association and you know what the organization is doing. Can you give us a little bit of background on it?


00:02:19:11 - 00:02:56:03

Speaker 3

Yeah, absolutely. So the Organic Food Association is the only industry food association that is dedicated to accelerating the creation of delicious and nutritious upcycled food products. And so we were formed in 2019 by nine companies who were all working in this space. So all working to find creative ways to use byproducts in the food system. And they wanted to come together to share resources, share knowledge, and really unify what it means to be upcycled.


00:02:56:03 - 00:03:23:10

Speaker 3

And so we started there. From there, we defined upcycling. We created a standard, the first ever of its kind. First of stewarding that definition and then, you know, Fast-Forward three and a half years later, we're now 260 companies all working in this upcycling food space. And we also have our certification in the market where there's over 400 products and ingredients that have certification.


00:03:23:21 - 00:03:39:15

Speaker 3

And the really cool thing about our work is that upcycling is such a crucial solution to reducing food waste and mitigating the climate crisis. And so that really is where it sort of binds us all together.


00:03:40:04 - 00:03:52:08

Speaker 2

I love how fast you've grown. I mean, it's amazing, in just a few years, how many companies have signed on How did you get into this space? Is your background in food as well?


00:03:53:02 - 00:04:21:04

Speaker 3

It is. So I actually grew up on a farm, so I started young. But that sort of led me to sort of, you know, more education as an environmental science and policy I have worked over the last decade in the consumer packaged goods space, really driving, working with mission driven companies working on sort of ethical sourcing and certification programs.


00:04:21:25 - 00:04:48:24

Speaker 3

So I have worked with him, you know, most beloved brands like Muni, Organic Tea and Imperfect Foods. And then I spent several years with Fairtrade, USA. So working in that third party certification base and did have a love for the supply chain and growing food and getting to work with really innovative FORWARD-THINKING companies who are trying to use their business for good and not just for profit.


00:04:49:21 - 00:04:59:02

Speaker 2

I love that. And you know what? Your major is exactly what my daughter's major is. She's going to graduate from UC Davis so why not give her another career idea?


00:04:59:11 - 00:05:15:05

Speaker 3

Yeah, and you know, when I was doing it, it was we were a huge cohort and I and I think that's changed with is really exciting. So I'm glad to hear more people going into this field and it's so needed. We don't have a lot of work to do.


00:05:15:28 - 00:05:31:19

Speaker 2

It really is needed. And I want to just kind of zero in a little bit more on the environmental impact. You know, why why should people care? I mean, why is upcycling and important? I would call it a social mission.


00:05:32:06 - 00:06:12:17

Speaker 3

Yeah. Yeah. Well, some people may have already heard this statistic, but we waste about 30 to 40% of all food that's produced, meaning it never reaches a table or a person. So that equals globally about 1.3 billion tons of food that is valued at about $1,000,000,000,000 That's enough food to feed the world. 800 million food insecure people twice over. So wasting food to me is, yes, it's a huge environmental problem because when you waste food, you're also wasting the water that went into it.


00:06:13:06 - 00:06:38:07

Speaker 3

The cropland that was probably converted did to grow that food, all of the fuel that's needed to transport it around, the human resources that went into it And then it never gets eaten. It just it's kind of a silly problem to have. And it also holds so much potential. So when we waste food and it decompose, it goes to landfill.


00:06:38:07 - 00:07:04:05

Speaker 3

It creates methane. Methane's 80 times more powerful than CO2 in the atmosphere. Over the first 20 years. And it's in the in the air. And so by reducing food waste, we're also able to reduce the amount of methane that's being produced in this short term, which gives us even more runway to mitigate the climate crisis. So, yes, it's an environmental, it's social, it's ethical.


00:07:04:29 - 00:07:08:27

Speaker 3

As a really creative faith to be working on solutions.


00:07:08:27 - 00:07:36:20

Speaker 2

And I love that it's solution oriented. And, you know, the fact that rotting food is the number one cause of methane emissions is staggering to me because not only do we have hungry people out there, we have you know, this environmental crisis and we can all take apart. And so what, you know, can we just dove into what upcycling means exactly?


00:07:36:20 - 00:07:52:19

Speaker 2

Is it food that, you know, has reached its peak and, you know, maybe it's a little bit past its prime? Or is it food that's rescue? Like, let's let's kind of just define what upcycled means when it when we're talking about food.


00:07:52:27 - 00:08:12:28

Speaker 3

Yeah, absolutely. So we have a technical definition that we use as an industry to be able to sort of audit against it. And so I'm going to give you that one then I'm going to break it down really simply. So the more technical definition is upcycle foods are foods that, you know, otherwise would have not gone to human consumption.


00:08:13:22 - 00:08:39:02

Speaker 3

That they're produced using verifiable supply chains and they have a positive environmental impact. Now, what does that actually mean? It means that it's any food within the supply chain that wouldn't have gone into a human sort of product at the end of it. So this could look like at the farm level, ugly produce. The market is not there for a lot of ugly produce.


00:08:39:18 - 00:09:09:19

Speaker 3

So even by taking that and sort of turning it into a marketable product, it's a form of upcycling moving up into the supply chain. Thinking about our production processes, there is often these byproducts or what we call coal products or side stream fuel to the production of products. So let's say, for example, beer in the process of beer making, there's a lot of spent grain which we like to refer to.


00:09:09:19 - 00:09:36:28

Speaker 3

A saved grain that is really nutritious, have a lot of fiber that can be captured and turned into flour So upcycling is there taking a co-products and then rethinking, then reimagining them and turning them into something else that is edible. And then if you want to bring it to your own kitchen, you're probably upcycling a lot of the time you're thinking that you're using your leftovers or your scraps.


00:09:36:28 - 00:10:00:24

Speaker 3

And so you know, if you're if you're keeping the stems of your carrots and other scraps, then you're turning them into a broth. That's probably a form of upcycling because if you didn't do that, where would it end up? It would end up in the landfill or your compost. But what you're doing instead is you're keeping that nutrition and you're keeping that food in in your own consumption supply chain.


00:10:01:06 - 00:10:03:01

Speaker 3

So that's essentially what upcycling is.


00:10:05:11 - 00:10:28:08

Speaker 1

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00:10:28:09 - 00:10:53:11

Speaker 1

Next to my body, it's durable and machine washable and it's ethically produced, which is huge. They pride themselves on their ethical production. And I'll tell you, I have so many things from cozy earth, from sheets to bedding to towels to robes, pajamas, shortstops, dresses, and they are my absolute favorite items. You can get 40% off at Cozy Earth right now.


00:10:53:16 - 00:11:06:18

Speaker 1

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00:11:09:06 - 00:11:40:01

Speaker 2

My kids with will love hearing this because I they call me the queen of it I don't throw anything away and incredible Like maybe to a fault sometimes they're like really mom like that banana peel and the banana bread. But you know what I find is that it's creative. You know, I try and come up with solutions to use foods and ingredients that maybe never had a chance to see the light of day.


00:11:40:01 - 00:12:05:22

Speaker 2

We we use our creativity to. I participated in a really cool event, a chef event in San Diego several years ago called Wasted and the same philosophy. They challenged us chefs to use items that would normally get thrown away and produce beautiful food. And that's when I got exposed to using aquafaba, you know, creating aquafaba from garbanzo beans.


00:12:05:22 - 00:12:34:01

Speaker 2

I think I mentioned that a concept to you, and we ended up sampling a really delicious banana bread where we use the peels in the banana bread and we used cacao, the actual cacao holes and mouth down and out of them. And it's almost like taste like little compounded So it just it ended up being so much more interesting and, and there was a story there.


00:12:34:02 - 00:13:04:28

Speaker 2

So what that excites me personally, I mean, I get excited about the creativity of what we can do and how we can certainly divert things. But what about this initiative excites you and what do you think people can kind of get excited about? Because let's be honest, not everybody will change their habits or even be aware of their habits unless it kind of hits something on a personal note for them.


00:13:05:16 - 00:13:18:29

Speaker 2

Maybe they won't. Maybe they won't be as motivated, you know, to keep food out of the landfill, although they should. But what can they be excited about with regards to upcycling that can relate to their lifestyle?


00:13:19:13 - 00:13:55:10

Speaker 3

Yeah, absolutely. And I just want to say that the thing that really gets me excited, too, is also that very creative problems are being and how you can really think about new innovations and try new things. So I love sort of the adventurous spirit that the upcycling community has. And then I think even just thinking about food that is wasted differently does something bigger in our society, it really makes us think about the quality and the value that we put on.


00:13:55:22 - 00:14:14:19

Speaker 3

You are natural resources and the things that we create and how we want to use them. So even if you're not able to upcycle every single thing in your kitchen because you don't have the time and there's other things going on, that's okay, it's also just a way of thinking of sort of rethinking how do we live within our planet?


00:14:15:27 - 00:14:34:10

Speaker 3

And then if that is is the thing that gets you out of bed. It's also a great way to save money, though. We waste a lot of food when we waste food or wasting all the resources. We're either wasting money. And so if you can even think about it, I think we're all feeling the sort of pressures of the economy and inflation.


00:14:34:10 - 00:14:41:01

Speaker 3

And so if you can squeeze another meal out of your leftovers, you know, that adds up over the course of a year.


00:14:42:22 - 00:15:20:22

Speaker 2

Definitely. I think the financial impact is something everybody can get excited about. And, you know, I think rescuing something just makes you feel good. I was at Sprouts the other day, and they have a table that is dedicated to companies that are, you know, doing ugly produce or, you know, imperfect produce. And I always shop from there. And I just I got like a pack of five big bell peppers for two 99.


00:15:20:22 - 00:15:21:21

Speaker 2



00:15:21:26 - 00:15:24:16

Speaker 1

And looking at them visually, I mean.


00:15:25:17 - 00:15:46:02

Speaker 2

Maybe they're a little misshapen or, you know, maybe one is a little bit small and one's a little large. I don't care to mean I would have paid, you know, probably if I would have bought those individually, they would have been around $2 each. So to me, it was a big win. I mean, so I think everybody can get behind saving a little money.


00:15:46:02 - 00:15:50:03

Speaker 2

And, you know, I always say produce isn't perfect and neither are we.


00:15:50:15 - 00:16:15:18

Speaker 3

Yeah, exactly. And I think just to add a number to the amount, I think that that that is that the average American family of four throws out at 1600 dollars a year just in produce. So if you think about the number of parties that can buy or, you know, tanks of gas or whatever it is that that $600 it you don't feel it acutely every single day.


00:16:15:18 - 00:16:19:19

Speaker 3

But when we do look at it across the span of a year it really does add up.


00:16:20:07 - 00:16:49:14

Speaker 2

Yeah. Yeah definitely. So with that how can people at home start to think about upcycling. I mean obviously supporting the brands that are upcycled certified is a great start. But what about just in their homes? Is there are there some tips that the USA offers or just some rules of thumb there that we can give to people listening?


00:16:50:07 - 00:17:14:11

Speaker 3

Yeah, absolutely. So I think, you know, if we're thinking about specifically upcycling within your fridge or in your pantry, there are really great cookbooks. One of the ones that I've been perusing lately is The Everlasting Meal by Tamara Adler. She doesn't waste a thing. So even just getting inspiration from resources like that, I think can help you be more creative in the kitchen.


00:17:15:04 - 00:17:32:14

Speaker 3

And, and then if you have leftovers, you know, maybe you have a family challenge, you do your own version of Chopped, you know, how can you turn this into also a way to sort of bond with your family and sort of have fun with it? A waste doesn't have to be a shameful thing. It can be like a really fun, a creative activity.


00:17:33:02 - 00:17:59:02

Speaker 3

So those are two things that are really specific to upcycling, but there are other ways that you can also reduce the potential of wasting food in your home. So one is learning proper food storage. So there are really great resources online that you can access that sort of say, you know, it's better if you keep your bananas on the counter or you know, your avocados in a brown paper bag or you don't store your apples and your onions together.


00:18:00:00 - 00:18:23:28

Speaker 3

You can also take inventory before you shop so I'm guilty of this, too. Sometimes I forget that I have something in the back of my fridge and I buy it again. And now I have two of them and one of them is going to go bad. And there is also, you know, if you're going to have a party offer to go containers for your party, you I definitely be in that position where you have all this food left over and there's no way you can eat it.


00:18:24:12 - 00:18:45:10

Speaker 3

And so, you know, think about how you can encourage your guests to take things away. And then, of course, yeah. When you're out shopping, too. Also, look for those those brands with the certification that can help you reduce food waste just by purchasing sort of your favorite snacks or your, you know, your standard staples one thing I would say is trust your nose.


00:18:45:16 - 00:19:14:02

Speaker 3

So a lot of the label, they're actually not regulated and they're more of a signal of of a manufacturer's quality preferences. And so also learn to trust your senses, you know, smell being tasted. Look at it. And getting comfortable with that and sort of going by what's exactly on me. The date code is also a useful way to save money and reduce less wasted food.


00:19:14:02 - 00:19:53:02

Speaker 2

Yeah, I agree with all that. And I will add, we created a line of products called Eat Cleaner and everybody listening that knows me, this this is old news, but if you're new, you can check out E Cleaner dot com and find a range of products that are actually formulated to extend your produce shelf life. So when you bring your produce home, you can wash it, get it prepped and it's going to help it last up to five times longer, which is a big deal when it comes to, you know, keeping your produce ready to eat because how often do you grab it It's already built slime on it.


00:19:53:02 - 00:20:17:02

Speaker 2

It's died a slow death in your crisper, suffocating in a plastic bag. You know, there's a different way to approach it. So we encourage people to check that out. And also, we created a fund free resource called Save the Peels. And Save the Peels is all about how you can use the peels of your fruit and vegetables in different preparations from food to greenery.


00:20:17:03 - 00:20:28:12

Speaker 2

Cool. Yeah. Creating aromatherapy to, you know, all kinds of different fun, even skin care, you know that the inside of a banana peel is one of the best ways to give yourself a facial.


00:20:29:17 - 00:20:32:06

Speaker 3

I have heard that I have done it yet.


00:20:32:16 - 00:20:33:17

Speaker 2

Any work.


00:20:33:23 - 00:20:35:24

Speaker 3

I do, we try it.


00:20:36:10 - 00:20:37:24

Speaker 2

Because we eat a lot of bananas.


00:20:37:24 - 00:20:38:28

Speaker 3

So yeah.


00:20:39:04 - 00:20:53:10

Speaker 2

Banana peel and I'll even freeze them. So when I take them out, they're frozen. So it gives you like a nice little lift and I'll just rub it all over my face and it helps to soften. It helps to lift brown spots like it works.


00:20:53:11 - 00:20:58:09

Speaker 3

Wow, that's really cool. I mean, make your nose right if you don't need.


00:20:58:22 - 00:21:04:08

Speaker 2

Because there's so much that we can have fun doing rubbing banana peels all over our faces.


00:21:04:20 - 00:21:06:10

Speaker 3

Another fun family activity.


00:21:06:19 - 00:21:25:16

Speaker 2

Yeah, exactly. So what, you know, for the customer or for the brands out there, I should say, that are like, you know, have a brand or maybe I want to create a brand and I want to be upcycled certified, you know, how do they go about getting started?


00:21:26:11 - 00:21:51:02

Speaker 3

Yeah. So the first thing you know, the easiest thing is just to connect directly with our association. So go to upcycled food dot org. And then we have basically an interest form there for certification. You know what you expect. So we work with a third party certifying body that adds a lot of rigor and that sort of like outside objective auditing assurance.


00:21:51:25 - 00:22:14:04

Speaker 3

So they will walk you through the process of really evaluating what you're diverting from ways and so I would say the crux of the certification both for the consumer and for the company is to know that the one thing that we're really looking at is like what is happening to that food source, that ingredient that you're using before your product existed?


00:22:14:11 - 00:22:36:11

Speaker 3

So was it going into animal feed or compost or a landfill? And then what did your intervention change about that? So that's really what we're we're looking at and that's what provides the assurance like, yeah, the food is diverting food from a waste room and keeping those nutrients in the human supply chain, if you will.


00:22:43:16 - 00:23:05:02

Speaker 1

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00:23:05:22 - 00:23:30:08

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00:23:30:16 - 00:23:54:22

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Speaker 1

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00:24:10:20 - 00:24:53:01

Speaker 2

And so when you talk about items that would have ended up in a feedlot, for example, or maybe they would have been turned into some sort of oil or something of that nature. Are you saying that diverting some of those into potentially a new category is encouraged or I guess I'm trying to kind of understand and this is more maybe my own question, if it's already going to a purpose, is coming up with a new use for it helpful or is it really being more innovative and trying to divert other items.


00:24:54:13 - 00:25:21:26

Speaker 3

Yeah, I think that the the problem of food waste is so big that we need all of the solutions. Right? So sometimes going into animal feed, our food lot is more optimal than where it was going before, like a landfill, for instance. At our current philosophy is that we really want to try to keep food that was produced for humans in the human food supply chain in a direct sort of way.


00:25:22:09 - 00:25:39:21

Speaker 3

Yeah. So you know, if it's possible that that grain or I think a really great example is acid whey, which is the byproduct of sort of Greek yogurt making. There's a lot of way that's left over. This is really nutritious, lots of available nutrients.


00:25:40:05 - 00:25:43:03

Speaker 2

That goes into whey protein powders, for example.


00:25:43:03 - 00:26:09:03

Speaker 3

Sometimes yeah. And but a lot of that way is just it's spread on fields or it's literally flushed down the drain. We are seeing companies capture that turn it into a really nutritious probiotic drink, fermenting it, you know, pairing it with these like beautiful culinary flavors and then selling that. So that is upcycling. You're saying, oh, you're no longer flushing out.


00:26:09:03 - 00:26:37:11

Speaker 3

You know, we're just spreading it in a more passive way onto a field we're now turning that into a beverage. You know, I think the future of upcycling is a, from our perspective, is also starting to look at these other sort of outcomes for food and saying, okay, what, what is the scale of impact that can be had there and what's the value of providing that sort of verification along the supply chain for the buyers of that end product?


00:26:38:03 - 00:27:05:16

Speaker 3

I think where we started was really seeing the need for consumer to get more familiar with this idea and provide an easy way for companies to communicate with that consumer and also an easy way for that consumer to feel sort of trust and feel like very confident that what they were buying was good for the environment, was actually having these sort of social and environmental outcomes.


00:27:06:07 - 00:27:34:10

Speaker 2

Is the goal of the Upcycled Food Association to really be something like certified organic, for example, where, you know, people have built a trust because there is all of this rigorous kind of, you know, checking and balancing and making sure that, you know, they're doing what they're supposed to be doing and certified by a third party organization is that kind of what people can expect?


00:27:35:00 - 00:27:49:24

Speaker 3

Yeah, absolutely. It definitely providing that, you know, that source of truth that confirmation that this isn't just a claim like this is actually proven and it has a rigorous process behind it as well.


00:27:50:08 - 00:27:55:04

Speaker 2

Yeah. Where can people find Upcycled certified products?


00:27:55:22 - 00:28:23:14

Speaker 3

Yeah. So we've grown a lot. So the certification launched in 20, 21 it was a very crazy time if anyone remembered that far back that we launched in the middle of the pandemic. And we now have grown from having one product on the market in May 20, 21 to now having 434 products. And you can find those pretty much in every category in the grocery store.


00:28:23:14 - 00:28:53:18

Speaker 3

So you know, in your snacks category and your beverages and your baking and your, you know, your jams and jellies and you can find them at online grocers like this that's market, but also in stores like Whole Foods, Kroger Fruit and you know, lots of independents as well. So if you even just go to your grocery and you ask them like, what have they got their product you have, they'll be able to point you in the right direction because they're literally in every category now.


00:28:55:11 - 00:29:01:20

Speaker 2

What is your goal for the organization? What would you like to see in five years?


00:29:03:04 - 00:29:34:23

Speaker 3

Oh, well, we want to see this is a tough question. I have so many hope and dream. I would really love to see substitution for our common entry table. So if there's a baking mix, ensuring that there's a substitution that's using upcycled products, so ensuring that sort of we're balancing out that need for new and perfect with upcycled as well and literally every feasible category.


00:29:35:04 - 00:29:58:03

Speaker 3

The other thing I want to see, I think more retailers coming on board and setting standards around their sourcing that includes sort of this circular economy ethos and sourcing more brands that are producing these are the products, but also in their own sort of private label because they have such a huge opportunity to make a big environmental impact through their supply chain.


00:29:58:05 - 00:30:20:02

Speaker 3

And so you know, at the end of the day, our North Star is getting the most food saved from waste and possible to date. We've been able to save £2 billion of food through these products and have thought certification. We can do more. So I want to see that number, you know, triple and quadruple you know, exponentially year over year.


00:30:21:21 - 00:31:04:00

Speaker 1

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00:31:04:14 - 00:31:34:15

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Speaker 1

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00:31:41:28 - 00:31:49:26

Speaker 2

Now so I would love I'll tell you what I'd love to see. I'd love to see a dedicated area in the grocery store for upcycling.


00:31:50:02 - 00:31:50:16

Speaker 3



00:31:50:22 - 00:32:04:24

Speaker 2

I mean let me go and really focus my dollars on the things that matter and have them located in a place in the store. Where I can just shop from them. That's what I would love to see.


00:32:05:15 - 00:32:39:04

Speaker 3

Yeah, I would love that you. And we're hoping to, to use some sort of path around that. We have done one activation with mom's organic and the in the Northeast region, they have done some really great education in store around upcycling. And we definitely want to see that happening across retail retailers and, and also with distributors. You know, when you go to our restaurant, there is not only a food distributor behind how those restaurants are getting their food.


00:32:39:04 - 00:32:49:19

Speaker 3

So ensuring that they're able to also find upcycled products and sort of those ingredients should bring those into the restaurant is another exciting opportunity area.


00:32:50:08 - 00:33:01:24

Speaker 2

I love it. You can everybody listening. You can find more about the Upcycled Food Association in the show notes where we'll share the links and how can people connect with you on social media also.


00:33:02:12 - 00:33:26:20

Speaker 3

Yeah, so you can follow us on Instagram, our handles, upcycled food so you can follow us there. You can also go to our website we at the Upcycled Food dot org, we have a product finder as well. So you can take a look at all of the different brands and types of products and yeah, reach out few of you if you have any questions info at Upcycle Record, we'd love to answer them.


00:33:27:07 - 00:33:43:14

Speaker 2

Yes, and I always clue out our time together by asking my guest a question. And that question is if you could have anything, any meal created by anyone, what would the meal be and who would make it?


00:33:44:20 - 00:33:49:22

Speaker 3

Oh wow is a tough question. Okay.


00:33:53:20 - 00:34:19:03

Speaker 3

Well, okay, so I mentioned I grew up on a farm and my grandparents were really the big farmers in our family. And so I think I would want my late grandmother to make us her famous New Year's Day dinner, which included a boiled dram, black eyed peas, cornbread and green, a lot of which had been harvested and canned in the summertime.


00:34:19:03 - 00:34:25:08

Speaker 3

And put aside for the winter. So I would love for the taste that again and sit around the table with her.


00:34:25:19 - 00:34:28:15

Speaker 2

I can taste it. Just listening to.


00:34:28:24 - 00:34:29:02

Speaker 3



00:34:29:02 - 00:34:58:16

Speaker 2

Bootylicious it all sounds incredible. Angie, this has been such a pleasure. Thank you for sharing more about upcycling and how as listeners, consumers, people that are passionate about the environment, how we can help support that and spread the word and let people know that there is another option out there. And I'm sure we'll be talking more because the brands that you're working with are very interesting to me.


00:34:58:16 - 00:35:00:18

Speaker 2

So we'll keep the conversations flowing.


00:35:00:29 - 00:35:13:23

Speaker 3

You know, thank you so much for the opportunity. And this is it's been a great conversation and there's just so much exciting stuff in I'm looking forward to the continued conversation and what happens next.


00:35:14:11 - 00:35:35:08

Speaker 1

Thank you. Hey, thank you so much for listening to this week's episode. I know you have a lot of choices out there of what to listen to, what to watch. So it means a lot to me that you're here with me. And hey, if you love this content, would you hit the subscribe button? I want you around. I don't want you to just show up for one episode and leave.


00:35:35:08 - 00:35:56:29

Speaker 1

I want you here. Part of the conversation, a seat at this table. And while you're at it, would you share this with your friends and family? And if you take a screenshot and share it on your social media with the hashtags r f y b l four recipes for your best life, I'll make sure to personally give you a shout out and you may just be featured right here on the show.


00:35:57:15 - 00:36:03:22

Speaker 1

So until next time. Here's to living deliciously and being the chef of your best life.


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