Turning ugly produce into soup and food scraps into soaps!

By Alexandra Lim-Chua Wee
April 11, 2018
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jumbo netherlands supermarket
Credit: Courtesy of Jumbo

Shelves are stocked with rescued food products at a branch of Jumbo, one of the largest supermarket chains in the Netherlands. There are soups that use ugly produce, beer brewed using stale bread, and cider made with bruised apples. Even orange peels are used-in soaps. It's a bold statement on how what we now consider food waste can be used.


Customers are loving it. "We sold about 700 items in one week. It's double what we sell for organic products," George Verberne, an entrepreneur who runs the branch in Wageningen, north of Amsterdam, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. So far the upcycled goods are only available at this store but the plan is to expand the program to three more supermarkets this year as part of "Waste is Delicious," a local initiative started by Verbene's company along with 18 other Dutch companies.

Currently, about a third of the world's food ends up wasted. To help bring that percentage down, the Dutch government is on a mission to cut its food waste in half by 2030 and is working with the United Nations on programs.

If you're curious about upcycled foods, you can find them in the U.S. now. From juiceries making granola out of produce pulp to snack makers turning spotty bananas into sweet bites, here are some of our favorite food rescuers-proving that the fight against food waste can be very delicious.

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