Food waste consciousness has been a major trend for a while now and continues to be in a nonstop rise. Giving food a second opportunity means overlooking physical appearances and designing new ways to consume them; maybe as a snack bar, a drink, or even transforming it into tableware, sustainability is leading food designers to explore new options of repurposing food.
Foes and Friends
New alliances between big companies and new startups are giving surplus a whole new meaning. What’s waste for some is gold for others, and this is changing the way companies relate with each other. The results? Products that defy the standards and propose new territories to explore through smart collaborations.
Companies and startups that take advantage of this to transform this waste into jelly or
Not all food waste can be repurposed as a new edible product due to flavor and physical properties. This has led designers to find different solutions, such as turning residues into new materials.
Japanese designer Kosuke Araki has created tableware using recycled food waste, using carbonized vegetables mixed with some sort of “animal glue” extracted from bones and skins. The results? A beautiful collection of perfectly functional tableware.
Simultaneously, designers around the world are finding a wide variety of applications, such as clothes made from orange fiber and mushroom leather shoes, this being only a tiny scope of the many uses and ingredients to explore.
Today’s Menu: Waste!
What other places to start thinking about sustainability than a restaurant? For years, chefs have been focusing on ingredients with qualities such as freshness and aesthetics, which has sadly lead to high food waste in kitchens.
Chef Massimo Bottura has taken a social approach to this problem with his project “Food for Soul” and “Bread is Gold”, in which he uses food waste from local markets to feed the homeless and mental health patients with the help of volunteer chefs.
Just like food products have introduced different claims about food responsibility, it’s a matter of time before we see chefs and restaurants add new layers of complexity when speaking about sustainable practices.
The Beauty and the Waste
Technology plays a big role in these innovations; we find new ways to relate to food (and its waste) through it. Technologists are coming up with all kinds of ways to solve this global issue, and a good example that caught our eye is a new initiative called Upprinting Food is giving old food a new lease of life by turning it into a material which can be used for 3D printing new food.
The results? Visually appealing (and complex) shapes made of a mixture of fruits, vegetables, grains, and other ingredients, which can not only be eaten and enjoyed again but can also be implemented very nicely in restaurant dishes, adding a new layer of value to it.